The Har-Har-Harbor

Ventura Harbor is a great stop for a few different reasons.

 Situated on the Channel Islands coast, Ventura Harbor has eclectic offerings that include entertainment, food, a team-building activity that’s actually fun and more. On the entertainment front, the harbor has a comedy destination, a new business called the Escape Room and even a classic arcade — something for everyone a stone’s throw from the docks. Boaters who are looking for a good belly laugh can stay over and enjoy all the unique amenities Ventura Harbor has to offer.

Ventura Yacht Club 1 offers guest docks for visiting boat owners, at $0.75 per foot per night. Visitors should call ahead to see if there are available berths, as they are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also several markets and chandleries, for resupplying and vessel service. Dave’s Fuel Dock 2 is a full-service gasoline and diesel fuel dock with ice, food, beer, live bait and tackle right in the harbor. Ventura Harbor Boatyard Chandlery 3 offers a large selection of nuts, bolts, zincs, fittings, packing, painting supplies and much more for boating repair needs and supplies. The Village Market 4 will supply boaters with all their fresh food and sundry needs.

There are several unusual attractions available right in the harbor, including the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club 5 , which offers nightly shows Thursday through Sunday, with special events and show times, so check its website for the schedule. The Ultimate Escape Rooms 6 offers an immersive experience where a team of participants must observe clues and solve puzzles in order to “escape” a room. Each puzzle excursion is one-hour long, so book ahead of time to secure one of four different escape rooms, with varying degrees of difficulty. For a more traditional way to unwind by the harbor, stop by the Village Carousel and Arcade 7 to play some old-timey games and ride the carousel, for some nostalgia.

If a combination of belly laughs and leisure work up one’s appetite, the heart of the harbor hosts an abundance of restaurants at any price range and variety. The Copa Cubana 8 , which offers a variety of authentic Cuban dishes, is in a great location with spectacular views of the harbor and live music most evenings and weekends. Boatyard Pub 9 offers a casual option for a hearty breakfast or lunch, with a full bar, free Wi-Fi and mellow live music on the weekend. This new kid on the block offers classic American dishes in a casual walk-up ordering atmosphere. For classic French cuisine, look no further than Le Petit Restaurant and Bakery 10 , which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has an extensive wine and beer list. The Coastal Cone offers a variety of sweet ice cream treats for dessert, including the Dole Whip, a concoction well known to visitors of Disneyland and the Dole Plantation in Hawaii.

The area around Ventura Harbor is known for its great surfing spots, and about five miles to the north is downtown Ventura, where the historic San Buenaventura Mission, the Albinger Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Ventura County and various art galleries and restaurants are located. Just south of downtown Ventura is the Ventura Pier and Promenade — the best front-row view of the sunset and Channel Islands. It is the eighth-longest pier in California and is known for having an abundance of good fishing.

Right in the harbor is Ventura Sportsfishing, where anglers can arrange for a chartered fishing boat. Island Packer Cruises in Ventura Harbor is where visitors can hop on a chartered boat to Santa Cruz Island and let someone else do the driving. On the Channel Islands is world-class diving, beautiful remote camping areas and hiking trails in an untouched nature-lover’s paradise.

TO THE WEB: (Ventura Harbor Boatyard)

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