Venturing around Ventura, CA
Last weekend, my husband and I attended a marriage conference in Ventura, California called Weekend to Remember by Family Life. They have them all over the United States, but we decided to make it a special weekend for us to get away from real life and just focus on us. The conference was really great and I recommend it to anyone who is getting married, struggling in their marriage, or just needs to refocus on their relationship. The speakers were all really fun, entertaining, and educational.
If you're unfamiliar with where Ventura is, it's about an hour and a half north-west of Los Angeles. It's a beautiful place right between the base of the hills and the Pacific Ocean. I kept looking around and saying, "Gosh, this place is pretty." It really took my breath away. Our hotel was right on the marina. I actually took the photo below from our bedroom window. You really can't beat that sunset, can you?
I have one rule when it comes to travel - I have to eat somewhere that we don't have at home. I love taking in the local foods and atmosphere anywhere I go, so this is a great rule to live by if you want to experience the local culture and what they really have to offer.
Spencer Makenzie's Fish Co. See more about this place here.
In-N-Out. While In-N-Out Burger isn't a one off kind of place either, we still don't have In-N-Out in Houston yet either, so of course we had to have our pit stop there for a late night snack :) I ordered the double double (double cheeseburger) with fries animal style (special sauce and grilled onions on top). I know it's bad for me, but totally worth it to splurge on while on vacation!
Lure Fish House. We walked into this place and the hubby and I both loved the decor. It was nautical, but elevated. So you didn't see any fish nets or anything like that, but it was really well done and elegant. And then the food came. Oh wow. I could have eaten at this place over and over again (and probably should have skipped another place I won't mention). Everything we had was so delicious! We had the crab cakes for an appetizer, I had the lobster roll for my meal, and my husband had the sesame-seared ahi tuna. I would order all of it all over again - so, so good. I just wish I had made it to dessert because their key like pie and flour-less chocolate cake were calling my name!
Things to do.
Ventura Pier. The pier is great for a romantic walk at sunset (which is what we did), fishing, and watching the surfers. And it's great for just relaxing and listening to the ocean waves hit the shore. Such a great spot!
Champagne on Main. We had a two hour lunch break one day during the conference, so of course we had to make it count. There happened to be a street festival going on that day so we opted to stroll through it to make fun use of our time. It was SO fun! There were street vendors selling their crafts, musicians playing, and everyone having a great time. We opted to just walk around (which was free), but you could pay to walk down the street and stop at all of the wine tastings along the way. There were definitely some other people there who were enjoying it a little more than we were. Ha!
All in all, we had such a great weekend! If you're looking to experience the California coast, I recommend driving away from the big cities a bit. It's a much different vibe and the people are friendlier too!