Summer outdoor activities in the Ventura area are plentiful and include ocean, trails, and wildlife. Here are a few ideas. If you haven’t, yet, try sailing in Ventura, wildlife viewing at Carpinteria Bluffs and Seal Sanctuary, and hiking Sycamore Canyon in Malibu.

Photo by Dana Murray

Classes: The Ventura Sailing Center offers a range of specific classes throughout the year for youth, women, certification, navigation, and island sailing. Classes take place at Marina Park, down at the end of Pierpont Blvd. in Ventura.

City of Ventura, Sailing Classes

Photo by Environmental Defense Center

Trail: The trail at Carpinteria Bluffs is flat, two miles round trip, and has an ocean view the entire time! Often the islands can be seen on one side and the Santa Ynez Mountains on the other side. Watch for birds of prey and porpoises as you walk. Begin at the parking lot and hike on the well-worn path across a meadow towards the ocean. Make a right turn when you hit the path and walk along the path, crossing the railroad tracks. When you reach a bamboo fence, you will be at the Seal Sanctuary, where you can view a seal rookery, and may spot otters and sea lions, as well.

Seal Sanctuary: The Seal Sanctuary is a community of Harbor Seals protected as a birthing habitat between December and May every year. Seals may be viewed from atop the 100 foot cliff, all year. The Environmental Defense Center is working to protect this area by fighting a project allowing oil drilling nearby. Information about the Venoco Paredon Project.

Directions: Drive Highway 101 North from Ventura and exit Bailard Avenue. Turn towards the ocean and drive one block to the parking lot.

Photo by Zeke Bean

Trails: The trails beginning at Sycamore Canyon Campground begin as a dirt service-road, with single track alternate trails, some ultimately connecting Newbury Park with Sycamore Canyon Campground on Pacific Coast Highway. An overlook trail loop, beginning at Sycamore Canyon Campground, offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Other trails cross the Backbone Trail, Danielson Ranch, and reach the Satwiwa Cultural Center off Lynn Road in Newbury Park. This stretch is 8.4 miles of trail and can be hiked in 3 hours, but requires a shuttle car. (Note: Many of the trails at Sycamore Canyon are suitable for mountain bikes.)

Directions: Sycamore Canyon Campground is located off Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. There is a pay parking area for day use, but some free parking in pullouts can be found along the highway.

Detailed information about Sycamore Canyon Hikes is found in the book, “Day Hikes Around Ventura County.”

Have some ideas for summer outdoor activities in the Ventura area that you would like to share? Email: