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Things to Do in Ventura County

2018 Ventura Public Art Project Wants You!

Over the past two decades, beekeepers the world over noticed a serious decline in the world’s bee population. Since 2006, the commercial bee population decreased 40% in the United States alone. In the UK, they’ve dwindled by 45% since 2010. Why should we care? Not only do they produce honey, but they help pollinate flowers and crops. Considering that roughly one-third of our food production depends on bees’ pollination efforts, this serious of a reduction in force severely hinders what eventually makes it to our dinner plates. You can help raise awareness by joining the 2018 Ventura Public Art Project “Bee Cause”. What is it and how can you help? Read on to find out.

The City invites the public to help create the 2018 Ventura Public Art Project called "Bee Cause" to help highlight honeybees, their importance in the ecosphere, and why they are disappearing at an alarming rate.

What: “Bee Cause” Public Art Project
Where: Museum of Ventura County (100 E Main St)
When: Saturday, March 3rd, 12 pm to 3 pm
Admission: $15
Contact: City of Ventura (805) 658-4759 or via email

2018 Ventura Public Art Project “Bee Cause”

Working in conjunction with the Museum of Ventura County and artist HB Hanrahan, the City of Ventura invites the public to join in on their “Bee Cause” 2018 Ventura Public Art Project. Participants will transform old hubcaps into colorful flowers using paints provided at this workshop. Eventually, these “flowers” will be permanently installed in the “Bee Cause” public garden at the Barranca Visitor’s Center. You must be at least 12 years old to participate.

Guests at the event learn how to put paint to hubcap through a series of workshops taking place this Saturday, March 3rd. The “Bee Cause” garden hopes to inform others about what’s happening to our nation’s honeybees as well as inspire people to help nurture bee population growth. To register, simply call the City of Ventura at (805) 658-4759 or send them an email at Your $15 fee helps offset the costs of creating this public art project.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Chowder Taste 2018 Celebrating National Clam Chowder Day

Did you know that National Clam Chowder Day takes place on February 25th? It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fan of the traditional New England clam chowder (white) or prefer the tomatoey goodness of Manhattan clam chowder (red). At the Ventura Chowder Taste 2018 event, everyone gets to celebrate both.

For just $5, sample mouthwatering clam chowders made by the talented chefs of seven local waterfront restaurants during the Ventura Chowder Taste 2018 event celebrating National Clam Chowder Day on February 25th.

What: Ventura Chowder Taste 2018
Where: Ventura Harbor Village
When: Sunday, February 25th, 11 am to 2 pm
Admission: $5
Contact: Ventura Harbor Village (805) 477-0470 or via email

Ventura Chowder Taste 2018

Chefs from seven different local restaurants prepare their favorite versions of this classic seafood dish at Ventura Chowder Taste 2018. Now, each tasting takes place inside their respective restaurants. Guests simply take a walk along Spinnaker Drive. First, pop inside one of the participating restaurants along the waterfront. Next, show them your ticket. Then, prepare your taste buds for exquisiteness. Enjoy live entertainment while you walk along the promenade.

Ventura Chowder Taste 2018 Tickets

Tickets cost just $5 each. With your ticket, you’re allowed a tasting of every single chowder presented at Ventura Chowder Taste 2018. Only 200 tickets will be available for sale at the Village Promenade. They’re sold on a first come/first served basis. Sales start at 10:30 am on the day of the event. Cash only, please. So come early to guarantee yourself a taste of the delicious chowders.

Restaurants Participating in Ventura Chowder Taste 2018

  • 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese (1575 Spinnaker Dr)
  • Andria’s Seafood Restaurant (1449 Spinnaker Dr #A)
  • Baja Bay Surf & Taco (1567 Spinnaker Dr #104)
  • Boatyard Pub (1593 Spinnaker Dr)
  • Brophy Bros Clam Bar (1559 Spinnaker Dr)
  • Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood (1583 Spinnaker Dr #101)
  • La Petite Cafe (1591 Spinnaker Dr #112)

You’ll find free parking located all around Ventura Harbor Village. Or, take the free downtown Harbor Trolley from 11 am to 6 pm. Visit Downtown Ventura’s website for the trolley schedule. Once you’re finished with Ventura Chowder Taste 2018, spend some time shopping at Ventura Harbor’s fantastic shops or take one of the amazing boat cruises around the harbor. You’re never left wanting for things to do when you come to Ventura.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Harbor Tall Ships 2018 Sail into Town

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sail the seven seas like they did back in the 1700s? No need to wonder anymore. The Ventura Harbor Tall Ships 2018 sail into town next month for a three week educational stop. Take advantage of this opportunity to step back in time aboard the sailing vessels Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washington.

Ventura Harbor Tall Ships 2018 sail into town next month, just in time for a fun Valentine's Day tour around the harbor. Hawaiian Chieftain & Lady Washington allow dockside tours during the week and two or three-hour excursions on the weekends. Book your tickets early.

What: Ventura Harbor Tall Ships 2018
Where: Ventura Harbor Village
When: February 13th, 12 pm, Ships leave Ventura on March 5th
Contact: Grays Harbor Historical Seaport (800) 200-5239

Ventura Harbor Tall Ships 2018 Sail into Town

Watching these majestic tall ships sail in and out of the harbor is quite a sight to behold. If you can’t make it to one of the locations listed below for their noon arrival on Tuesday, February 13th, come back over any of the three weekends they’re in town. However, we strongly encourage you to make the time to watch as the Ventura Harbor Tall Ships 2018 sail into town initially. That’s because all crew hands man the yards as the ships cruise into the harbor. You can watch as each crew member takes their position along the masts. Make sure you bring your camera for this amazing spectacle!

The ships depart for daily sea-faring adventures each weekend. Weekdays, however, dockside tours are available for history and boat enthusiasts. On these tours, you’ll learn all about life aboard the tall ships during the 18th century. Remember, there are several fantastic restaurants in Ventura Harbor Village. Dine while you wait for your tour to start or after you’ve had your adventure aboard one of the tall ships.

Tall Ship Cruise for Valentine’s Day

Looking for something really special to do with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day? How about a Sweethearts Tour around the harbor? Tickets run $55 each. But, you can save a little bit of money by purchasing a pair of tickets for just $100. These tours tend to fill up quickly. So register today. Other two and three hour tours are also available each weekend. Visit the Grays Harbor box office online here to purchase your tickets now. Again, this is a popular event. Tours sell out quickly. To make sure you have a spot on one of the tours this year, you need to book it early. They sail away from Ventura harbor on March 5th and won’t be back until next year.

Where to Watch the Ventura Harbor Tall Ships 2018 Sail into Town

  • Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center
  • Harbor Cove Beach
  • Rhumb Line-The Sunset Restaurant
  • Ventura Harbor Village

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Channel Islands Whale Watching Season 2018 Open for Business

Living near the ocean gives us access to an amazing lifestyle here in Ventura County. Our homes sit right on the migratory highway for some of the world’s largest mammals: whales. Right now, the Channel Islands whale watching season 2018 is open for business. It’s your chance to view these fantastic sea creatures as they make their way along the Pacific Ocean waterway.

The Channel Islands whale watching season 2018 is open for business. Watch these amazing creatures migrate to their calving grounds in Mexico and back up to their feeding grounds in Alaska between now and mid-April.

What: Channel Islands Whale Watching Season 2018
Where: Island Packers (3600 S Harbor Blvd, Oxnard, CA)
When: Now through Mid-April
Cost: Varies
Contact: Island Packers (805) 642-1393 or via email

Channel Islands Whale Watching Season 2018

Spouting, breaching, diving, spyhopping. Whatever you see whales do feels simply magical. And it all happens right in our own Oxnard backyard. On one three hour Channel Islands whale watching expedition, you may see gray whales, humpbacks, sea lions, seals, dolphins, and even an occasional orca/killer whale pod or two.

Island Packers offers kayak tours, guided island tours, harbor cruises, and even overnight camping trips on the Channel Islands. Seats are limited and sell fast. So, contact Island Packers right away to reserve your spot on the next winter tour.

Recommended Gear

To make your Channel Islands whale watching all it can possibly be, the experts recommend you bring along certain gear on your tour. For example, always bring a jacket. While the weather may be chilly to start, don’t be surprised when the sun pops out in the afternoon. Layered clothing keeps you comfortable. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen. Even overcast days allow harmful UV rays through, making sunburns a very real possibility. Protect your skin. Add a hat and sunglasses to keep your eyes safe, as well. Also, binoculars, while not required, really help bring these incredible creatures into focus. Finally, don’t forget your camera! You’ll be so sad if you miss a photo-op with the seals, dolphins, whales or any other wildlife on your sea-faring adventure.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Downtown Ventura Raffle Benefits Victims of Thomas Fire

In the first week of December, several fires broke out throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, including the Thomas Fire. Consequently, it feels as if the entire Southern California area has been set ablaze. As of this morning, the Thomas Fire was 45% contained and headed toward Montecito. As a result, it’s managed to take down 750 homes. Due to this tragedy, local businesses want to do something to help those affected. Therefore, they’ve put together a Downtown Ventura raffle. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit victims of the Thomas Fire.

All money raised from the Downtown Ventura raffle will be given to the Ventura County United Way to directly benefit victims of Thomas Fire.

Downtown Ventura Raffle

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With #downtownventurastrong, several local businesses banded together to create a Downtown Ventura raffle. Between now and December 21st, visit any participating business to pick up your raffle ticket. Your $5 ticket could net you a prize of $30 to $50 in gift cards to spend at various businesses in the downtown area. Fifteen lucky winners will be chosen in a drawing held on December 22nd from the entries. Feel free to purchase more than one if you’d like. Proceeds benefit the United Way of Ventura County, earmarked specifically for those impacted by the Thomas Fire.

Businesses Participating in the Downtown Ventura Raffle

  • Aloha Steakhouse
  • B on Main
  • Beloiseau Boutique & Gallery
  • Buenaventura Gallery
  • Cibara Salon
  • Harvest Cafe
  • La Catrina Folk Art
  • Latitudes Fine Art Gallery
  • MidiQueen Handbags
  • Plum Gift Boutique
  • The Refill Shop
  • Rosie Lee Imports
  • Sea Things
  • Tattered Door
  • Ventura Visitor’s Bureau

We want to thank everyone who participates. Whether it be those directly affected by the fires, firefighters, or their families, this Christmas is going to be especially difficult for many. Please do whatever you can to help.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Harbor Toys for Tots 2017 Campaign Ends Soon

As if the Marine Corps wasn’t cool enough. Since 1947, they’ve been collecting toys for underprivileged children during the holiday season. You can be a part of their efforts. But you must hurry. The Ventura Harbor Toys for Tots 2017 campaign ends December 10th. This ensures that all toys donated reach local boys and girls in time for Christmas.

The Ventura Harbor Toys for Tots 2017 campaign ends Dec 10th. Drop off a new/unwrapped toy for a boy or girl at any of the 3 designated locations by then.

Ventura Harbor Toys for Tots 2017

The Ventura Harbor Toys for Tots 2017 campaign needs toys for boys and girls ages infant to 12. Everything is accepted. If you have children or grandchildren, think about the kinds of things they like. Dolls, action figures, games, art supplies, toy cars…everything is welcome. Just make sure it is new and unwrapped. After December 10th, the local Marine coordinator arranges the pickup of donations from our local drop off points. Then, these toys get sorted into gender and age categories at a central warehouse. Finally, they get distributed to church groups, community agencies, and local welfare organizations.

Can’t make it to the drop-off point in time for the Ventura Harbor Toys for Tots 2017 campaign? You can still contribute by donating online. The money will be used to purchase toys wherever there is a deficiency so that no child gets left out. Since Toys for Tots is made up entirely of volunteers, 97% of the money raised goes directly to the kids, with 3% used for marketing materials.

Drop-Off Locations for Ventura Harbor Toys for Tots 2017

The following locations generously volunteered to host a drop-off box for Toys for Tots this year. Please visit them during their regular business hours.

  • Harbor Cove Cafe (1867 Spinnaker Dr) – Anyone who brings in a new, unwrapped toy receives a 10% discount (ends Dec 10th)
  • Sierra Pacific Mortgage (1583 Spinnaker Dr #213) – 9 am to 4 pm Monday thru Friday until Dec 8th. They’re located just upstairs from the Boatyard Pub. After lunch at the pub, take a stroll upstairs to drop off your toy donation.
  • Silhouettes by the Beach Salon (1591 Spinnaker Dr) – Make an appointment for a cut and style so you’re ready for all the holiday parties (805-650-9014). But make sure to bring something with you for the toy drive. They accept donations through the end of business on Dec 10th.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, approximately 15 million kids in the USA live below the poverty line. If they struggle to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, imagine how difficult Christmas must be for these families. You can make all the difference in these children’s lives this holiday season. Drop off a toy or two for the Ventura Harbor Toys for Tots 2017 campaign by the end of this week. Merry Christmas!

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Downtown Ventura Tree Lighting 2017

When does the Christmas season start in your home? The day after Thanksgiving? Or when the official City tree gets lit up? If it’s the latter, then you’ll want to watch the Downtown Ventura Tree Lighting 2017 yourself on Friday, December 1st.

The Christmas season doesn't officially start until the Downtown Ventura Tree Lighting 2017 takes place. This year, that's on Dec 1st at Mission Park.

What: Downtown Ventura Tree Lighting 2017
Where: Mission Park (185 E Santa Clara St)
When: Friday, December 1st, 3 pm to 8 pm
Contact: San Buenaventura Mission (805) 643-4318

Downtown Ventura Tree Lighting 2017

Main Street will be shut down in front of the San Buenaventura Mission specifically for the Downtown Ventura Tree Lighting 2017 ceremony. While the tree lighting won’t take place until after dark (around 6:45 pm), there will be plenty to keep you busy beforehand. Visit Santa’s Village for holiday-themed fun. You can also start checking off the items on your Christmas list by purchasing one-of-a-kind gifts found at the Village. Santa even plans to stop by for pictures with the children.

Watch Jesus’ birthplace come alive before your eyes with the mission’s living nativity. Choirs sing Christmas classics while other live entertainment performs throughout the day on two separate stages in Mission Park. They say it never rains in California (which, of course, is silly because it absolutely does). But, this year, it snows. That’s right. Guests at the Downtown Ventura Tree Lighting 2017 event enjoy a beautiful winter setting complete with snowfall. Food and beverages will also be available for sale.

Downtown Ventura Tree Lighting 2017 Parking

Parking for this holiday event can be found at the Ventura County Museum, at the Knights of Columbus Hall or in any of several lots available in the downtown area.

Hopefully, you and your family can make it to the Downtown Ventura Tree Lighting 2017. Santa should arrive just as the lights go on. Snow and surf within minutes of each other. Only Southern California can offer you both. Happy holidays!

Featured Listing

10929 Encino Dr Oak View CA

For more information on this and other Ventura County homes for sale, please visit our Featured Listings page.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Veterans Day Ceremony 2017

Since our very first days as a nation, more than 40 million people have served in the military. These amazing men and women made incredible sacrifices to defend our country. They deserve our respect. To honor every person who played their part, the City hosts a Ventura Veterans Day Ceremony 2017 this Saturday.

Come to the Ventura County Government Center at 11am on Nov 11th for the official Ventura Veterans Day Ceremony 2017 honoring all men and women who served.

What: Ventura Veterans Day Ceremony 2017
Where: Ventura County Govt Center (800 Victoria Ave)
When: Saturday, November 11th, 11 am
Admission: FREE

Origin of Veterans Day

Veterans Day actually began as “Armistice Day” in 1919 to commemorate the anniversary of the end of the “great war” (World War I). In 1926, Congress sought to make this a date of observance. In 1938, November 11th became an official national holiday. After World War II and the Korean War, President Eisenhower changed the name from “Armistice Day” to “Veterans Day”. Between 1971 and 1975, the date was moved to the 4th Monday in October. However, President Ford changed it back to November 11th in honor of the significance of the date and the origination of the holiday.

Ventura Veterans Day Ceremony 2017

Beginning at 11 am, US Navy Captain Chris Janke joins City and County officials as they pay tribute to veterans of all branches of the military. The service takes place at the flag poles located at Victoria and Telephone. This brief Ventura Veterans Day Ceremony 2017 concludes with an official laying of wreaths to signify each branch.

Free Services for Veterans on Veterans Day 2017

Many US businesses express their thanks to our military members by offering free meals and services on Veterans Day. For a complete nationwide list of where you can take advantage of these free offers, please visit the Military Benefits website. You can also visit Military Bridge’s website to locate local Ventura County locations offering free and discounted meals, admission, shopping, and services.

Featured Listing

10929 Encino Dr Oak View CA

For more information on this and other Ventura County homes for sale, please visit our Featured Listings page.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

2017 Ventura County Pumpkin Patches

October means fall harvest fun in Southern California. Halloween is just over three weeks away. That means it’s time to go hunting for pumpkins! But where do you start? Try one of these great 2017 Ventura County Pumpkin Patches.

Chances are good that there are great 2017 Ventura County Pumpkin Patches located somewhere near you. Which one do you like the most?

2017 Ventura County Pumpkin Patches

Ojai Pumpkin Patch

Who: Boccali’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch
Where: Boccali’s Ranch (3277 E Ojai Ave)
Hours: Now through October 31st, 10 am to 7 pm
Admission: FREE, Hayrides $2 each
Contact: Boccali’s Ranch (805) 669-7077

Home of the “Big Mac” pumpkins (super-sized). But you’ll find every size from small to large here. They also sell squash, Indian corn and other seasonal produce. Let the little ones run free through the free children’s maze. Then, take a hayride around the ranch for just $2 per person. Starting October 13th, Boccali’s hours extend from 10 am until 9 pm. That’s also when the pumpkin patch turns “haunted”. But only from 7 pm to 9 pm every Friday and Saturday until the end of the month.

Santa Paula Pumpkin Patch

Who: Santa Paula Rotary Pumpkin Patch
Where: Limoneira Ranch (12471 Foothill Rd)
Hours: Every Sat & Sun thru Oct 29th, 10 am to 5 pm
Admission: $5 per person (ages 2 & under FREE), Corn Maze $10 per person
Contact: Limoneira Ranch (888) 522-1884

Activities include hayrides, hay maze, and hay pyramids. Watch a pumpkin take flight for $5 at the pumpkin chucker. Ride a pony or get your face painted for $6. Make your way through the corn maze for $10. Live music performed all day. See large and small farm animals. Visit the country store for something special. When you get hungry, pick up some tasty food.

Ventura Pumpkin Patches

Who: Big Wave Dave’s Pumpkin Patch
Where: 4075 Telegraph Rd
Hours: 10 am to 9 am 7 days a week thru Oct 31st
Admission: FREE
Contact: Big Wave Dave’s (805) 218-0282

In addition to the hundreds of pumpkins of all sizes for sale, kids can try their hand at dozens of fun games.

Who: Great Pacific Pumpkins
Where: 5100 Olivas Park Dr
Hours: 9 am to 6 pm 7 days a week thru Oct 31st
Contact: Great Pacific Pumpkins (805) 644-1235

Who: McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch
Where: 5156 McGrath St
Hours: 9 am to 6 pm 7 days a week through Oct 31st
Admission: FREE
Contact: McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch (805) 658-9972

Wholesale pumpkins and gourds every day. On the weekends, enjoy delicious barbecue provided for sale by It’s in the Sauce. Also, grab some baked goods for dessert every weekend as well.

Who: Prancer’s Pumpkin Village
Where: 3075 Johnson Dr
Hours: 10 am to 9 pm 7 days a week
Contact: Prancer’s Village Contact Form

There’s pony rides, jumpers, face painting and a petting zoo for the kids. Make your way through the hay maze. Ride the mechanical bull. Or take a hayride. So much fun!

Are your favorite 2017 Ventura County Pumpkin Patches listed above? If not, let us know where you like to get your pumpkins from.

Featured Listing

164 Oak St, Camarillo, CA

For more information on this and other Ventura County homes for sale, please visit our Featured Listings page.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

2017 Ventura Food and Wine Experience with Martha Stewart

Do you enjoy sipping a fine glass of wine while eating delicious food prepared by some of today’s most talented chefs? Then you’re going to want to get your tickets right now for the 2017 Ventura Food and Wine Experience. This year, visitors have the chance to actually meet Martha Stewart live and in person.

Meet talented chefs from all over Southern California at the 2017 Ventura Food and Wine Experience. Special guests: Duff Goldman and Martha Stewart.

What: 2017 Ventura Food and Wine Experience
Where: Olivas Adobe (4200 Olivas Park Dr)
When: Sunday, October 1st, 1 pm to 4 pm
Admission: $85 to $325
Contact: Ventura County Star email update sign-up

2017 Ventura Food and Wine Experience

So many extremely talented chefs live right here in the Ventura area. Luckily for us, they’ve agreed to come to the 2017 Ventura Food and Wine Experience to showcase their talents for you. Some of the chefs featured at this exclusive event include Alex Montoya from The Cave Ventura, Gabe Garcia from Tierra Sur at Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, Salvador Austen from The Pierpont Inn in Ventura and Michelle Kinney from La Dolce Vita in Oxnard. But those are only a few scheduled for the day. Duff Goldman, owner of Baltimore’s Charm City Cakes and Food Network personality, will also be at the event for a meet and greet with guests. And, of course, the legendary Martha Stewart makes an appearance as well.

At the 2017 Ventura Food and Wine Experience, guests sample food, wine, beer and more from several local wineries, breweries, bakeries, restaurants and personal chefs. Indulge in a cooking demonstration or two. Learn the latest techniques in culinary excellence from those in the know. This event is jam-packed with tons of things any foodie would be thrilled to experience.

Tickets for 2017 Ventura Food and Wine Experience

Since alcoholic beverages will be served at the 2017 Ventura Food and Wine Experience, you must be at least 21 years old to enter. Choose from four different options for your total experience. First, the Grand Tasting costs $85 per person. Guests enjoy unlimited samplings, live demonstrations and access to guest panels. Next, the VIP Grand Tasting runs $120 per person. With the VIP package, guests get in one hour earlier than everyone else (12 pm). That means an early jump on food, wine, beer and spirit tasting. After that, the Duff Goldman VIP Grand Tasting costs $180 per person. You receive everything included in the regular VIP Grand Tasting as well as a signed cookbook and personal meet and greet and with Duff Goldman himself. Finally, for $325 each, meet Martha Stewart as she signs copies of her latest cookbook Slow Cooker. In addition to the cookbook signing, guests partake in a sampling of Martha Stewart Wine Co wine selections and take home a swag bag filled with Martha Stewart goodies. To purchase tickets, visit the Ventura Food and Wine Experience box office online here.

Everyone can have a good time and still be responsible. Arrange a designated driver before you head out. Or, call a cab, Uber or Lyft to pick you up and take you back home. Whatever choice you make, just stay safe and keep others safe around you. Cheers and bon appetit!

Featured Listing

1810 Marisol Drive - Ventura, CA

For more information on this and other Ventura County homes for sale, please visit our Featured Listings page.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists