Ventura Harbor Village
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Ventura Harbor Village is a fun place on the weekend during the day when tons of people come here with their kids to dine, play arcade games, and stroll around. There are colorful windcatchers that spin in the breeze, a bubble machine that shoots out bubbles, and there's plenty of open space where toddlers can run. You can all grab a yummy icecream cone at the end of the outing at Coastal Cone Icecream!
There is a coffee shop with great views called Coffee Dock & Post.
The overall feel of the architecture is a bit like an office complex, but the yachts and boats are nice to watch. A cold wind blows here off the ocean but you can sometimes find an outdoor table that's tucked away in a sheltered spot.
There is an arcade game place below Margarita Villa for older kids, and the small carousel is in the same noisy room.
There's plenty of restaurants to choose from. Andrea's Seafood Restaurant is very, very popular so come early! They serve popcorn shrimp for kids in a plate shaped like a ship. Le Petit Cafe has some pretty outdoor seating. Margarita Villa is a large Mexican restaurant with great views high above the harbor. Copa Cubana has Cuban food and a great patio over the harbor, sheltered by glass.
At night it's kind of dead here. Coastal Cone Icecream is even closed! But there's great dancing at The Greek. A belly dancer performs every night on an attractive stage surrounded by mirrors. There is a nice outdoor section with water views sheltered by glass. The sampler plates with warm pita and creamy dips are delicious.
While here, cross the street and sit in the sand for a while at Harbor Cove Beach. If you walk a little north you can watch the jet-skiers, kayakers, and boats coming in to the harbor. At the northern tip of this area, across the road from the beach, visit the excellent Channel Islands Visitor Center with its fascinating and modern exhibits. Next door to the Visitor Center is the Harbor Cove Cafe (see photos), in a perfect spot on a grassy lawn next to the harbor. It's super nice to sit here at the picnic tables or at a table on the colorful balcony and take in the California vibes.
In July each year an event called Pirate Days is held at Ventura Harbor Village. Kids can enjoy strolling pirate bands, costume contest (even one for fido), treasure hunt, free water taxi rides, and greeting Captain Hook and Jack Sparrow. Admission is free.
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From Highway 101, exit at Seaward Ave. Turn left on Harbor Blvd, and follow it past some residential neighborhoods. Turn right on Spinnaker Dr. Turn right into the parking lot for Ventura Harbor. Three hour parking is free.
Coastal Cone Icecream, 1583 Spinnaker Dr, Ventura, CA 93001.
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Overall Visitor Rating:
|I have had nothing but great experiances in Ventura. Met awesome people, and ate gdelicious food!|
|At night The Greek at the Marina not only has nice food but a great atmosphere with Greek dancing. The staff entertain with some especially lively Zorba type dances and a belly dancer brings amusement by interacting with the audience. Lovely marina side setting makes it a romantic retreat.|