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[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””][/google_font]As the temperate summer of Ventura County continues, there is no lack of outdoor fun, night-life and good eats within reach!

Our LIV Sotheby’s International Realty team of brokers, Realtors and staff weighed in on the best-of-the-best of this diverse county, and here are our top picks:



[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””] TRAIL RIDING[/google_font]

Courtesy of Oso Ranch, Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company

Featuring trail rides into the Enchanted Forest, along the Ventura River valley through some of the most beautiful horse country in California is Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company.

Riding is one of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty sales associate, Cathy Titus’ all-time favorite ways to spend an afternoon.

As Cathy puts it, “You can truly enjoy a piece of the Ojai Valley’s history. The land conservancy where you ride was once part of the Mexican land grant known as Rancho Matilija, and was a working ranch that farmed and raised cattle until the 1980’s.”

Between the rich history and gorgeous views, rides with the Ojai Valley Trail Riding Co are something you won’t want to miss!

 



[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””] LUNCH AT PARADISE PANTRY[/google_font]

French Toast at Paradise Pantry. Photo courtesy of Paradise Pantry

With nearly 1,000 glowing reviews between Yelp, Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor.com, it’s no surprise why more than half of our agents and staff voted Paradise Pantry in Ventura as one of their favorite places to eat. Not sure what to order? Our top picks:

  • Seafood Crab Cakes
    (Seasonal)
  • Spicy Fish Soup which features fresh seasonal fish in a white wine, saffron and tomato broth with roasted peppers, garlic and herbs
    (Added bonus! This is dish is dairy and gluten free!)
  • Tres Leches from the cheese counter
  • Vegan mushroom and pistachio pate with marsala figs, and Tony Packo’s Sweet Hot Pickles and Peppers

YUM!

“Paradise Pantry is one of my favorite restaurants in town. Their menu features local farms and all their options are delicious!” says LIV Sotheby’s International Realty associate, Shanoah Curran

 



[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””] HIKING[/google_font]

Matilija Falls, Matilija Canyon, Ojai California

Hiking, hiking and more hiking!  The Ojai Valley is home to the most incredible hiking opportunities in Ventura County, if not the world. Most trails are dog friendly, and there is something for everyone,” says Victoria Adam, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty associate. “The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy manages the Ventura River Preserve; the Los Padres National Forest provides many of our most rewarding trails.”

One such location is the Shelf Road Trail – a hidden gem, featuring a 3.5 mile hike through the backwoods of Ojai between Gridley Road and N. Signal Street. This trail was noted by Goop.com as, “On the gentler side (a 3.5-mile out-and-back), Shelf Road Trail passes through fragrant tangerine orchards and leaves you at a scenic lookout over Ojai Valley.

Shelf Road is a great, easy hike right in town and the views are spectacular! The road is flat with mild slopes, and is close enough to downtown that a few minutes by car can get you to one of our local breweries, wineries or organic restaurants for a bite to eat afterward,” says Gail Graham, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty sales associate and Ojai resident.

Or head down to Ventura and visit the Botanical Gardens. As a lifelong resident of Ventura and locally noted nature photographer, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty sales associate, Phil Ranger describes the Botanical Gardens of Ventura best when he says,

Photo courtesy of Phil Ranger, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

The Ventura Botanical Gardens is comprised of 107 acres in Grant Park behind City Hall where the area was created based on the five Mediterranean climate zones on earth, with plants from each area.  It’s a great place to get some exercise, observe our magnificent downtown area, as well as coastal views from a unique and elevated perspective.  Tuesdays are free and those with canine friends are welcome to bring their dogs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Best times of year are after our first few showers of rain when growth begins to return, through April and into May.”

Looking for more? Take a short drive to Sycamore Canyon in Malibu. Although technically outside of county limits, the close proximity and spectacular views make this outdoor spot a must have on our list.

The ocean views are phenomenal! Hiking and mountain bike riding in Sycamore Canyon is like being on top of the world. And lots of wildlife, flowers, and streams,” input Clarence Shaw and Leann Langolf, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty team. “You can also camp there!”

 



[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””] KAYAKING AROUND CHANNEL ISLANDS[/google_font]

Courtesy of bairdphotos.com. © Michael L. Baird bairdphotos.com

Ventura County is home to two of the eight remarkable islands that make up the Channel Islands archipelago of California.

The best thing by far about Ventura County is our Channel Islands, and a day kayak trip around the islands is spectacular! It’s my absolute favorite thing I’ve done here,” says LIV Sotheby’s International Realty office administrator, Angelika Jedrasik.

Or if you can stay longer, go a little further south and visit the resort town of Avalon on Catalina Island, a popular tourist destination known for its pristine beaches and clear azure waters, boutique shopping, and breathtaking views.

 



[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””] CENTURY 10 THEATER, CENTURY RIVERPARK 16 AND CINEPOLIS LUXURY CINEMA[/google_font]

Century 10, Downtown Ventura

Looking for a leisurely and convenient, yet sumptuous experience? Look no further than the Century 10 in Downtown Ventura, or the Century 16 in Riverpark.

There’s going to the movies, and then there’s experiencing the cinema,” contributes Gwen Mulligan, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty associate. “Both Century theaters feature large, reclining leather seats and smaller theater rooms, keeping a show-going experience comfortable, relaxing and uninterrupted.”

Or go a little further southeast and you can experience the luxury of the Cinepolis in Westlake Village, offering all of the above, plus ‘at-your-seat’ waiter service for everything from gourmet appetizers to restaurant quality entrées, wine, cocktails and more.

 



[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””] OLD CREEK RANCH WINERY[/google_font]

Old Creek Ranch Winery. Photo courtesy of OldCreekRanch.com

With a wide array of reds, whites, rosés and sparkling wines, and a family friendly approach, it’s no wonder why Old Creek Ranch Winery at 10024 Old Creek Road is on this list.

The Old Creek Ranch is an 850-acre cattle ranch with a winery and fruit orchards and houses beautiful sprawling grounds, a tasting room, grassy picnic areas and outdoor guest spaces with handcrafted lounge chairs and couches. And for those busy parents with kids or fur-babies, your little ones are welcome as well!



[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””] BEACH GOING AND SURFING[/google_font]

Famed Ventura shores

Ventura, Oxnard and Carpinteria are home to several popular beaches. The State Beaches off Seaward and Pierpont offer a one-of-a-kind experience where you can walk from the sand to delectable dining and social hubs.

I love the warm days at the beach! It feels like I’m in Hawaii on some days!” says Gwen Mulligan, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty sales associate.

Or if you have kids, you may want to check out Mother’s Beach in the Ventura Harbor, popular for its jedi-enclosed shoreline, convenient walk to and from parking, and easy restroom access.

Looking for the best surf spot? As LIV Sotheby’s International Realty sales associate and owner of the Makos Surf Camp, Jeffrey Belzer, puts it,

You can’t beat Rincon, the queen of the coast. The Ventura coast has several excellent surf spots, but Rincon is where you want to go and vibe with the new young line of board shapers and get some of the best rides of your life.”

 



[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””] BIKING BETWEEN OJAI AND VENTURA[/google_font]

Ojai Valley Trail. Photo courtesy of user snapper on Flickr.

One of the unique offerings of Ventura County is the Ojai Valley Trail running between the quiet hills of Ojai to the dynamic beaches of Ventura, catering to bicyclists, walkers, joggers and equestrian riders alike!

“Where else can you ride your bike, off the main roads, on a totally protected bike trail, from the mountains to the ocean? Just a quick 13.9 miles from downtown Ojai to the beach in Ventura, or vice versa, or both ways,” says Victoria Adam, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty associate. “Just another activity that makes where we live magical!”


[google_font font=”Open Sans Condensed” size=”30″ weight=”300″ italic=”0″ letter_spacing=”3″ color=”#111111″ subset=”” inline=””] HAPPY HOUR AT WATER’S EDGE[/google_font]

With a generous happy hour menu available and gorgeous views, it comes as no surprise why LIV Sotheby’s International Realty marketing director, Samantha Moon loves Water’s Edge in Ventura.

I actually love Water’s Edge Restaurant and Bar Happy Hour. Elegant waterfront bar and grill with a piano bar and scenic views, specializing in steak and seafood. Their Happy Hour is one of the bests.”

Some of Samantha’s favorites from the happy hour menu are:

  • Any of the daily cocktail specials! (Always fun to try a fresh mixology)
  • The Exotic Sangria with red wine blend, orange cordial, pineapple, orange
  • The Gilroy Fries with garlic, feta and oregano
  • Shrimp Bruschetta Bites with fresh tomato, garlic, capers and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze

 

Now that you’ve heard from us, what are your favorites? Leave a comment below!

 

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