This article is sponsored by VenturaCountyWest, home to the idyllic destinations of Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura and the California Channel Islands. To learn more about the stunning region, visit VenturaCountyWest.com.
With five public courses each boasting magnificent ocean and mountain views, VenturaCountyWest is the perfect destination for golfers, from scratch players to aspiring PGAers.
But any would-be pro knows that the action shouldn't end at the 18th hole. Home to some of SoCal's best wine bars, craft breweries and restaurants, the region's array of nightlife options ensure 19th hole revelry lasts well into the evening.
Begin your day at any of the courses below, then sample local wines via the Ventura County Wine Trail before indulging in an excellent dinner and, if you have any energy left, a round of craft cocktails and live music. Read on to start planning your itinerary.
VenturaCountyWest is home to five public golf courses with spectacular designs and views usually found only at private clubs, but with reasonable green fees. In Ventura, choose between Olivas Links, an 18-hole, 6,818 yard facility designed by Forrest Richardson with a rolling links-style layout defined by seaside grasses and natural habitat, or the adjoining course, Buenaventura. At just over 6,000 yards to a par of 70, its classic 1930s-era shapes and designs make you feel like you've stepped back in time. Oxnard is home to two beautiful courses at River Ridge. The Vineyard offers breathtaking panoramic ocean views while Victoria Lakes boasts beautiful water features, bent/poa grass greens and Greg Norman hybrid Bermuda tees and fairways. Camarillo’s Sterling Hills is surrounded by lush avocado and citrus groves. This 18-hole championship golf course includes features that take advantage of the natural topography. Camarillo Springs is at the base of Conejo Mountain off the 101 freeway. Designed by Ted Robinson, its views include towering rock formations and gentle natural springs.
Ventura County Wine Trail
A “growing” number of local wineries/pouring rooms are located on the Ventura County Wine Trail. Instead of driving all the way to Santa Barbara County or Paso Robles, take a leisurely trip along the trail, which links wineries in Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura and beyond. Start in Camarillo with a stop at the quaint Bella Victorian Tasting Room & Bistro in Old Town Camarillo where owners Jerry and Kimberly Monahan grow Syrah, Grenache, Counoise and Viognier grapes in their local Camarillo vineyards. One of the country's only kosher wineries is in Oxnard and if you come to Herzog Wine Cellars during the week, you can see the state-of-the-art wine fermentation and bottling process in action. Taste wine in a beautiful setting before enjoying Mediterranean-influenced cuisine by Chef Todd Aarons at Tierra Sur Restaurant. Also in Oxnard is Rancho Ventavo Cellars in historic Heritage Square, home to vintage homes, a live theatre company and fine dining.
Food & Nightlife
The abundance of restaurants in VenturaCountyWest may make it hard to choose. In Ventura, Cafe Fiore and Watermark on Main offer live entertainment, amazing food and an evolving selection of signature cocktails, many featuring locally made liquors. Hollywood Beach Wine Company’s patio and wine selection is spectacular, or for something more exotic, try Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine, both in Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. Many new eateries and gastro pubs have opened over the past few years including Barrelhouse 101, Anacapa Brewing Company and Surf Brewery in Ventura and BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse in Oxnard.
Dinner is just the beginning of things to do once the sun goes down. From acoustic to rock, check Ventura's Zoey's Cafe's online calendar for who's playing. The Majestic Ventura Theater is another popular venue that features well-known artists as well as local bands. Musical tastes at this 1920s mission-style theater range from alternative rock, reggae, classic rock, metal, blues, country, jazz, Latin and more. For a night of laughter, the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club headlines well-known comedians and up-and-comers trying out their latest routines.
For more information on golf courses, wine and food options, and to start planning your road trip, visit VenturaCountyWest.com.