The following content is created in consultation with VenturaCountyWest, home to the idyllic destinations of Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura and the California Channel Islands. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Los Angeles' editorial staff. To learn more about VenturaCountyWest, visit VenturaCountyWest.com.
Pre-Holiday Fun in VenturaCountyWest
From hiking to wine tastings, craft breweries to top notch theater, there's plenty of pre-holiday fun in VenturaCountyWest
Looking for a November weekend getaway before the Holiday rush hits? With its mix of culture, food and the outdoors, VenturaCountyWest is the perfect destination, capable of tickling all your senses.
Channel Islands National Park offers five islands, perfect for fall hiking adventures. Grab an hour-long ferry leaving from Oxnard and Ventura and head to Santa Cruz Island. Along the way, you’ll spot dolphins and sea lions. Once there, you have hiking options from the easy to the strenuous (check out trailheads at Scorpion Anchorage). You can hike on your own or have an island naturalist lead you to scenic overlooks at Potato Harbor, Cavern Point and Smugglers Cove. Be sure to dress in layers as the weather fluctuates throughout the day, and pack plenty of water and food.
Wine Tastings and Pairings
After a day of hiking, it’s time to relax. Wine always seems to taste better in fall. Check out all the available wine tour options at the Ventura County Wine Trail. Or, try one of these restaurants that have made wine and food pairing an art:
Located in Ventura, this local favorite offers 32 different wines ready for sampling in one, three and five ounce portions. The friendly staff will help you make the right selection to go with an extensive small plate and small bite menu.
Enjoy wines that are paired at its Tasting Room & Bistro in Old Town Camarillo. It’s a “farm to table” menu filled with sumptuous locavore specials.
At La Dolce Vita in Oxnard’s Heritage Square, you can sign up for the "Wine-Dine-Tour.” First, enjoy a 45-minute docent guided tour of Heritage Square with its restored Victorian homes, church, water tower, pump house and storehouse. The buildings tell the story of Oxnard’s early pioneer families. Then, do a little wine tasting on the restaurant patio before enjoying a three-course Italian meal. The restaurant is located in one of the restored Victorian homes.
If you prefer beer, VenturaCountyWest is fast becoming a brew mecca. Besides being home to the California Beer Festival, its growing list of craft breweries is impressive. Here’s a sampling of a few of our favorites:
Founded by local surfers turned home-brewers, this Ventura-based brewery is close to the beaches and exudes a laid-back vibe. Bring your own food and sip award-winning ale, pale ale, Strawberry Wahine Wheat, Seawall English Summer Ale, and specialty beer blends.
Occupying a beautiful 115-year-old brick building on downtown Ventura’s Main Street, Anacapa offers handcrafted ales and lagers produced in its 12-tank stainless steel brewery, plus a full menu.
This family-owned microbrewery dedicates itself to quality over quantity, producing only 500 barrels of beer annually. Be one of the lucky few to sip their coveted suds in a beer tasting room that's attached to the brewery. Bring your own food.
Located at The Collection in Oxnard, The Yard House is one of the hottest new brew houses in Ventura County. Beers come in light to fruity to bold. The restaurant’s full menu includes sandwiches, burgers, steaks and fresh seafood and pairs perfectly with their handcrafted beers.
Tuck into gastro-pub favorites like burgers and steaks while sampling some of the 101 different imported and domestic beers flowing on any given day at Barrelhouse, which boasts the largest selections of specialty beers on tap in Ventura.
But the action isn't limited to wining and dining and brewpubbing. Round out the night by taking in some local theater.
Through November 17, Ventura's intimate Rubicon Theatre will be having performances of The Sunset Limited, written by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Cormac McCarthy (“No Country for Old Men” and “The Counselor”).
Every Saturday evening through December, enjoy an immersive theater experience at this murder mystery-comedy-dinner show, where the villain may be sitting at your table! The Dining Detective is staged at the Hilton Garden Inn in Oxnard.
For a full list of inspiring hotels, restaurants, dining, events and things to do in Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura, visit VenturaCountyWest.com.