Shopping: The campus is conveniently placed for a number of shopping options – you can find big brands and independent stores at the Telephone Plaza or Poinsettia Plaza malls. There are several grocery stores within walking distance of the campus, and a Trader Joe’s supermarket just 5 minutes away.
Movie Theaters: The campus is situated close to a number of movie theaters which cater to all tastes. Within walking distance is the Regency Theater, which screens both new releases and classics. A quick drive away you can also find Century 10 – the local multiplex which shows all of the latest blockbusters and 3D movies.
Majestic Ventura Theatre: The Ventura Theatre is a historic downtown location which plays host to the very best touring music acts coming through town. This is a truly special place to see a show, with the building having retained its unique 1920 character features.
Ventura Harbor: If you’re looking for a casual night out, you can’t go wrong by taking a walk down to the harbor. This waterfront area has a great selection of bars, restaurants and community activities. You can even find some late night laughs at the comedy club.
Photo Credit: Discovery Bowling Alley
Bowling: The nearby Discovery bowling alley is a perfect spot to hang out with your new classmates. As well as knocking down some pins, you can catch a live band, and enjoy some great offers on food and drinks until late.
Scenic Bike Ride: Ventura has one of the best bike paths on the coast, and many cyclists flock from nearby to take the 16 mile ride from Ventura to Ojai. This scenic route has a gentle incline which makes it great exercise for experts and beginners alike. There are also plenty of great bars and restaurants to enjoy once you arrive in Ojai.
Explore Wine Country: Wine lovers will find lots to love about Ventura and the surrounding areas, with numerous wineries to be visited and lots of samples to be had! Recommended options close to campus include the Four Brix Winery (just a few minutes’ walk away) and Old Creek Ranch (around 15 minutes’ drive).
Botanical Gardens: Parked in the middle of the city is this excellent hiking spot which is being converted into beautiful botanical gardens as part of an ongoing community initiative. A gentle 30 minute walk to the peak is rewarded with glorious panoramic views over Buenaventura.
Lure Fish House: Seafood lovers will delight in visiting Lure over on South California Street. Fresh catch is always the order of the day, and they have excellent value deals including a regular happy hour.
Stephens Market & Grill: Located on East Main Street, this Greek restaurant is a local favorite, providing traditional Greek delicacies in a classy but casual environment. Make sure you show up hungry, because they’re known for their huge portions.
The Habit Burger Grill: This is a student hotspot, just a 10 minute walk off campus. Stop by to explore the varied menu of decadent burgers which cover traditional and bold new flavor experiments. Service is fast and friendly and there is a fun atmosphere with lots of seating available both indoors and out.
Kibo Sushi: Kibo is widely recognized as one of the best sushi spots on the coast, and known for its fresh produce and excellent range of traditional Japanese cuisine. You can get take-out or dine in here, and it’s conveniently located just 5 minutes off campus on the busy East Thompson Boulevard.
Mary's Secret Garden: The best spot in the city for vegetarian and vegan friendly food is just 10 minutes’ drive off campus. Mary’s Secret Garden is a kitsch little café spot for lunch and dinner, providing a wide ranging menu of fresh food with a focus on organic produce.
Surf Brewery: Within walking distance of the campus you can find this gem for beer lovers. Stop by to try their sampler menu of craft beers (served on a surf board) and grab a tasty taco from the food truck regularly parked outside. You can also tour the brewery or even buy your own home brewing supplies!
The Cave: This hidden gem in the commercial area of town is well worth a visit, and a must for wine-lovers. Inside it has the ambience of a cave, dimly lit with atmospheric music, but also carries a sophisticated menu of freshly prepared food and a massive range of wines for tasting – there’s even a store to buy a bottle of your favorites on the way out.
Social Tap: This is a perfect beach-side hangout spot on South Seaward Avenue, which does a fine line in burgers and beers, with a wide selection of craft beers available. This is also one of the best spots in town to catch some live sports, thanks to the huge number of screens.
Anacapa Brewing Co: Just 10 minutes away from campus is this hip brewery, bar and diner. With their own on-site brewery there is an enviable selection of beers and ales to be sampled. The food menu includes a solid range of bar classic, but the real reason you should visit is the wonderfully laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff.
Find out more about Student Life at Ventura: