Our final stop on our California Coastal Vacay was beach camping in Ventura, CA! We stayed at Emma Wood State Beach right on the ocean. We couldn’t get any closer to the water if we tried. I’ve never stayed at a campground where we right on the water. Listening to the waves crash all night and opening the door in the morning to the ocean was an awesome experience. Exploring Ventura is also a must. There are tons of things to see in their downtown districts and the Ventura Harbor.
Beach Camping at Emma Wood State Beach
Emma Wood State Beach is very popular for swimming and surfing. We didn’t swim right in front of our camping spot because the tide was pretty close to the rocks when the kids wanted to go out. They do have a larger beach area right when you enter the campground, so we drove down there when we wanted to get in the water. There are no tents, water, restrooms, electricity, fire rings, phones or dump station available at this campground. Emma Wood State Beach is best for fully self-contained vehicles. High tides can also close the campground at any time so keep that in mind when you are booking.
We had spot number 82 and had no problems with the tide. This is about as high as the tide came up. The kids loved watching to see how close it would get to the trailer.
There was a lifeguard on duty while we were at Emma Wood. The kids went swimming and boogie boarding while we watched and I drew pictures in the sand.
Exploring Ventura, CA
We really enjoyed exploring Ventura, CA. They have a downtown similar to San Diego with shops and restaurants all along a couple streets. Visit Ventura’s website has a ton of great information on spots to visit. You can even pick up their Inspiration Guide online or pick one up at their downtown location. Ventura has a taco district with a full line up of taco shops. We enjoyed Taqueria Ventura Dona Raquel’s. We had a fun time exploring the harbor shops. The kids got the Unicorn Poop at the Coastal Cone right on the harbor.
We snapped a few photos while in the harbor.
Breweries in Ventura
Ventura is loaded with breweries. We did a little brewery hop and enjoyed Ventura Coast Brewing for their smooth straight forward beers and awesome patio in downtown. We had a lot of fun at Topa Topa Brewing. They had a lot of options for hazy’s, IPA’s, lagers and even a hard seltzer. The kids brought taki’s and did a spicy challenge while drinking a lot of water.
Our Last Stop
Aside from our exploring in Ventura, we did a lot of resting at Emma Wood State Beach. It was the last two nights of our two week vacation and everyone was pretty worn out. We picked up some really tasty food from the Red Barn Market while we were near downtown Ventura. The ceviche (photo up top) was amazing. We also grabbed all the fixings for pollo asada tacos with fresh salsa, cilantro, cotija cheese and guacamole. Ventura was an awesome spot to finish up our California Coastal Vacay!
Have you been to Ventura?! Tell me all about it in the comments and let me know if you have any questions for your next visit. xo, Bri