Harbor Cove Beach, Ventura Harbor Village, Channel Islands National Park

Ventura, California

Are you looking for a low cost/no cost destination that includes the Pacific Ocean and a dog friendly beach? If so, try this dog-friendly trifecta! The Ventura Harbor offers something for just about everybody. The parking was free when we went, and there is a variety of things to do at this one destination! We will be highlighting the trifecta that we found… Ventura Harbor Village, Harbor Cove Beach, and the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center!

#1. Are looking to do one of these activities? … *Be at the beach without touching the sand *Get a bite to eat *Browse in shops and/or *Indulge in some yummy treats? Then, Ventura Harbor Village will be the perfect place for you. The Ventura Harbor Village has dog-friendly restaurants with patio seating and a variety of small shops. If you don’t feel like any of those activities, then looking at the boats in the harbor, enjoying the scenery, or people watching are always relaxing enjoyable activities to do as well. Our suggestions is ….After a bite to eat, take a stroll, and then stop by one of the businesses to get a yummy treat. We love Coastal Cone. Not only do they have delectable creations for us humans, but they also have frozen treats for your dog.

#2. Would you like to dig your toes into the sand, watch the Pacific Ocean waves roll in, play some volleyball, and/or play with your dog on the beach? Then Harbor Cove Beach is a great beach to visit with your dog. This dog-friendly beach, located at the end of Ventura Harbor, is small but enjoyable. It is inside the jetty so it is protected and the waters tend to be calmer. Be careful to choose the correct beach though, because the beach just next to it on the other side of the breakwater has strong currents and could be more dangerous if you and your dog want to go in the water. If you go to the other beach, it is still fun to sit and watch the surfers riding the waves. Here is a little fun task, while you are at Harbor Cove Beach, see if you can spot the two mermaid statues. One is playing a flute and the other mermaid is playing a cello.

Here are some helpful tips: If you are trying to miss the crowds then the off season for going to the beach is the best time to go. If you don’t mind having company on the beach then hop on over and go during the summer. The parking has always been free when we have gone (hopefully they will keep it that way), so if you go during the warm days of summer, get there early because the parking will fill up. Don’t forget to bring a leash when you bring your dog to this fun dog-friendly beach. Other important tips: 1. If you are going to the beach, you need to park in the beach parking lot. You are not allowed to park in the lot across the street where the National Park Visitor Center is located. 2. Make sure to bring a poop bag and clean up after your dog. Whenever we go places, we see people leaving their dog’s mess on the beach and other places. There are not that many beaches that allow dogs, so it is important that everyone does their part to keep the dog-friendly beaches clean that way we can all enjoy with our dogs.

#3. The third of this trifecta is a treasure!! That is right, treasure exists at Ventura Harbor! A national treasure! Many people do not know that the Channel Islands National Park Visitor’s Center is actually located at Ventura Harbor. The Channel Islands National Park/Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center is a great place to visit. There is an observation tower that gives you an unobstructed view of the islands, a self-guided botanical native plant garden, a large raised-relief map of the islands, a gift shop, a small tide pool, a movie room to learn all about the islands, picnic tables, and more. This low cost/no cost treasure also has free parking available as well.

Imagine that you can visit a National Park, the beach, and enjoy great food at a beautiful harbor all in one day! I’m sure that you can see why we consider this a trifecta! We hope that you have the opportunity to visit this lovely place, and have a relaxing fun day like we always do when we visit the Ventura Harbor/ Ventura Harbor Village.

As always…Stay safe and have fun!

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