Ventura County is synonymous with amazing outdoor activities.
Beyond being one of the best surfing destinations in the world, outdoor enthusiasts will find everything from mountains to islands within miles of the beach. We asked our local friends about where they bike, hike, golf and run in the area.
- Dan Rogers runs The Bunker Golf Center, where you can practice your swing, learn better putting techniques or refine your club grip. When he wants to put his practice to good use, he'll head down the road to Olivas Links with their long holes, fast greens and high winds. In Oxnard, Rogers plays at the two courses at the River Ridge Golf Course. You can choose from the recently remodeled Vineyard course to their more challenging, championship-grade Victoria Lakes course.
- Triathlete and local personality Lori Hall has been swimming around Ventura Pier for 35 years, so she knows what she's talking about. Built in 1872, her fellow triathletes practice for a quarter mile around the pier. For running, she trots along the Ventura Promenade for as long as she wants. Along the way, she'll take a detour around Emma Wood State Beach or to the community-built Ventura Botanical Gardens to soak in the landscaped plots and colorful flowers.
- Also popular with local runners is the 132-acre Arroyo Verde Park that features miles of hiking trails. Patagonia wetsuit developer Andrew Reinhart explores Point Mugu State Park located a short distance away from downtown in the Santa Monica Mountains.
- Vineyard owner Karen Stewart of Four Brix Winery raves about the Ventura Marathon that takes place September 10-11 this year. It's also the last qualifying race before the Boston Marathon. If you can't endure 26 miles, they also run 5Ks, half-marathons and bike rides throughout the two days.
- Patagonia's Phil Graves can't get enough of all the biking options in Ventura. When he needs some bike gear or repairs, he heads to METALMTN Cycling off Main Street. His favorite place to bring friends is the Ventura River Trail, which snakes through 35 miles of country hillsides, vineyards and farms.
- Audrey Walzer is the owner of the Camarillo Yoga Center, which specializes in yoga for everyday people. So if you're just starting out on the mat or if you're an experience yogi, Walzer will educate your body and mind no matter what your flexibility level.
- Every one of our Ventura friends endorse taking an Island Packer Cruise to the Channel Islands. The uninhabited islands are perfect for diving, snorking, spearfishing, nature walking, camping or whale watching. Reinhart loves going deep-sea diving first thing in the morning to take advantage of the 100-foot visibility under water.