The Ventura Harbor is a particularly popular draw for visitors and locals, and it hosts events throughout the year. These include Wet Wednesday yacht races, Steel Drum Saturdays, and Kid's Club meetings with arts and crafts. They also have special festivals and parties throughout the year, so check what's happening before you go. Many of Ventura's hotels are located near the harbor, so families can enjoy the water and community without going too far.
When to Visit Ventura, CA
The best time to visit Ventura is in the summer months, from June through August. These months are optimal for outdoor activities like swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing. It's also the best time of year for humpback whale watching and when the sea lions start having pups on the Channel Islands just off the coast. The coastal warmth and animal interest also draw more tourists, and summer can be a very busy time for families trying to get away while school is out. Be sure to book your accommodation far enough in advance that you find the right hotel without overpaying.
If you're looking to beat the crowds, consider visiting Ventura during the Spring or Fall months, either March through May or September and October. The Channel Islands are still alive during this time, with wildflowers blooming and seabird nesting in the spring or northern elephant seals arriving in the late fall. The fall waters are particularly clear, with diving visibility exceeding 100ft in some places and water temperatures still around 70 degrees from the summer sun. On land, guests can hike through Camino Real Park from October through February to take in the monarch butterfly migration. Natural wonders await around every corner.
If you arrive during winter, don't worry; there's still plenty to see and do. Harbor seals start pupping, and many locals claim the best sunsets occur in December and January. January through March is the best time to visit if you're interested in seeing Pacific Gray Whales, and there are many tour companies that know exactly where to find them. With temperatures in the 50s and 60s, who wouldn't want to escape the snow of the north to visit? These months are also the best for finding the best hotel deals, without the tourists crowds driving up demand.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Ventura, CA:
Ventura by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean rate trends by star rating class in Ventura, CA. You can use these charts to evaluate the best months to stay in Ventura for any future trips.
Luxury Hotel Options in Ventura, CA
4 Star Average Prices: $174.04
For a more upscale visit to Ventura, consider the Ventura Beach Marriott. This hotel is ideal for couples and families and has a great location on Harbor Blvd. right near the beach. The Marriott has breakfast options and a restaurant for the evening hours if you're not up for leaving the hotel.
The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach is another luxury option for travelers who like to relax and feel pampered. The bellhop will whisk away your bags as you relax on the terrace or grab a newspaper from the lobby. When you're ready to venture out, the Crowne Plaza is just a short walk from the Pier, Seaside Park, and Mission San Buenaventura. Each day can have a different excursion, taking in the sites of Ventura without moving more than a mile in any direction.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Comfort Inn Ventura Beach. This hotel is south of most resorts, letting guests get away from the busy areas and enjoy their quiet corner of the beach. The multilingual staff and free breakfast work to make a homelike environment during your visit, including coffee and tea set up in the common areas.
Affordable Hotel Options in Ventura, CA
3 Star Average Prices: $159.83
If you're looking for a deal for your stay in California, consider the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Ventura Harbor. This hotel has a sprawling pool, which means guests can have space to relax without the risk of getting splashed by their fellow swimmers. Breakfast is included, and guests can enjoy the fitness facilities before setting out for the day. Most visitors prefer a hotel that has a pool and is close to the beach, so they can choose which aquatic activities to enjoy each day.
The Residence Inn By Marriott Oxnard River Ridge is also a favorite of deal seekers. On top of free breakfast and free Wi-Fi, the Residence Inn has kitchenettes in each room with refrigerators and microwaves. Outside, guests have access to grills to make hot dogs or BBQ as the sun sets. Eating out while on vacation is expensive, and guests can save a lot by grocery shopping and using the facilities provided.