The Golden State remains one of the most sought-after tourist destinations not only in the U.S. but the world over. Maybe gas prices are high, but that’s not stopping people from visiting the state where the sun shines almost all the time. 

Ventura County is one of these sunshiny places where everyone from backpackers-on-a-low-budget to high-end vacationers can experience endless excitement, from California air show performers to car shows to stunning botanical gardens. 

According to a recent travel article, the town of Ventura, along with the entire county, is said to be attractive and downright fun. It’s set beside a beautiful blue sea; it boasts lots of green spaceand an unrivaled natural landscape. Doesn’t matter if you’re picnicking under Serra Cross or piloting a boat; it’s tough not to have a good time on your vacation to Ventura County. 

The county and its towns not only offer plenty of outdoor vacation activities, but experts say you will find plenty of culture, history, and art to soak in. In particular, the small city of Ventura has done a commendable job of preserving the county’s history. 

Several of its landmarks are included in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. There is also a “thriving theater scene” in Ventura. Plus, it’s also a great area to sample many of California’s celebrated wines. 

In a word, Ventura county is considered a hidden gem nestled inside the Golden State. That said, here are some fun things to do when you travel there for vacation. 

Visit the Ventura City Hall

Said by the travel experts to be a “must on your list of things to do in Ventura County,” the Ventura City Hall, or what’s also known as the County Courthouse, was designed back in 1910 by Alfred C. Martin. The building is included in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, making it a great place to visit. 

The County Courthouse features Revival architecture with a terracotta façade, making it an iconic landmark. Its copper dome reflects the California sunshine. Inside the courthouse, you will find “gleaming mahogany paneling.” 

Visit the Ventura County Museum

Said to be a little museum packed with tons of history, the Ventura County Museum contains artifacts that date all the way back to the continent’s original setting. The facility offers a terrific and mesmerizing glimpse into Ventura County’s history, making it a wise choice for a morning or afternoon visit. 

Altogether, the museum houses about 30,000 artworks and artifacts, which are said to be exhibited on a rotational basis. Planners have worked hard to link the county’s present with its past. For instance, you view exhibitions on traditional Native American weaving and also how it is practiced in the 2020s. You can also see how modernism has impacted California’s architecture.  

Located right on Main Street in the city center, the museum is conveniently located. 

Visit the Ventura Botanical Gardens

Referred to as a “microcosm of the Mediterranean,” the Ventura Botanical Gardens are the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely walk. With its wonderful scents and vibrant colors, it is said to be one of the most exciting things to explore in the city center. 

Nearly destroyed by fire in 2017, the garden has made a full recovery. You will find more than 160 species of flora that originate from the world’s regions that enjoy a Mediterranean climate. You will also find a small forest of pines that provides a shade-filled walk. 

There are rumors about more botanical gardens opening in Ventura County, so be on the lookout. Often, these gardens are free of charge to explore. 

Visit the Serra Cross

If you’re into short hikes, beautiful views, and invigorating sea breezes, you can make the hike to the famed Serra Cross. In fact, walking to the cross is one of the most popular activities for vacationers who come to Ventura County. Said to be an ancient landmark, it offers the visitor awesome views and great photo-ops. 

Planted on the mountainside by Father Junipero Serra back in 1782, the cross overlooks the new Mission San Buenaventura. For many centuries the cross was utilized as a landmark for sailors wishing to come into the harbor. These days, it’s a “tourist icon” surrounded by 110 acres of parkland. 

You can hike up to the cross prior to dawn to enjoy the sunrise, but the best time is to visit in the early evening when the sun is setting over the Pacific Ocean.