San Pedro Street exit off Highway 101
Main Lot day use per vehicle: $10, non-peak season $5
Pier Lot: $10 year-round
Park Hours: Dawn to dusk
Pier open 24 hours a day
San Buenaventura State Beach boasts 2 miles of sandy beach right in the heart of Ventura. Recent winter storms eroded some of the sand south of the Ventura Pier, but plenty of beach remains to provide enjoyment for visitors.
San Buenaventura State Beach is the site of numerous events and activities during the year. The Ventura Promenade, which runs along the western end of the beach, is a popular stroll. Sight-seers, fishermen, and picnickers enjoy the 1,700-foot long Ventura Pier year-round. A playground located on the sand next to the pier has swings, slides, and climbing structures that can keep children busy for hours while parents relax on nearby benches.
Located just east of Surfers' Point and adjacent to the Ventura Promenade, Promenade Park makes a good stopping place for those enjoying a coastal stroll or ride. The park has restrooms, showers, and plenty of shade provided by palm trees.
A large picnic area at the beach is set back from the shore in a shallow valley, protecting it somewhat from the wind. There are picnic tables, BBQs, restrooms, and a bike rental shop.
For fresh oysters and clams, look for the Jolly Oyster located in the picnic area. The Kitchen and/or the trailer are open for business every day except Tuesdays.
The City of Ventura offers all-day and 4-hour free parking at most of its downtown parking facilities.
As its name suggests, Surfers' Point is a favorite local surfing spot. Spectators can gather on the beach or back in the shade of the park and watch surfers exhibit their skills on the waves.
Recent changes to Surfers' Point Park, completed in 2011, have made great improvements to this popular gathering place for surfers and onlookers, cyclists and walkers. Following the Coastal Commission's guidelines of managed retreat, the City of Ventura approved a Restoration Project that included relocating parking lots and realigning the bike path.
The site of the removed parking lot was restored with dunes and cobble. Tons of menacing rebar and rip-rap were removed and replaced with river cobble. Changes to Shoreline Drive have improved parking and traffic flow with the inclusion of a turnaround. Paid parking is located at the end of Shoreline Drive in the fairgrounds. There are now 25 surf check parking spaces along the road where surfers can park briefly to check conditions.
California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety