Sightseeing in Ventura

Select Local Merchants

The walls don’t look the same for long at Red Brick Gallery. Since opening in 2006, the space has featured works by more than 150 different artists, exposing the public to paintings, metal sculptures, woodwork, glass pieces, and more. The gallery almost exclusively seeks the talent of emerging and mid-career artists, with an emphasis on locally commissioned works. “At any given time,” co-founder Jennifer Livia told Food and Home Magazine, “about seventy percent of our art is by local artists.” To bolster the public’s appreciation for art, Red Brick Gallery also teaches students of all ages and skill levels how to paint with acrylics and watercolors, create mosaics, and even take and edit photographs.

315 E Main St
Ventura,
CA
US

Established: Before 1950

Reservations/Appointments: Optional

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Parking: Parking lot

Most Popular Attraction/Offering: An authentic working drill rig from 1890

Recommended Age Group: All Ages

California's natural resources have defined the state's history and evolution, from the gold hiding in the hills to the oil bubbling just under the earth's surface. The California Oil Museum tracks the history of petroleum within California's borders, starting with the fossilization of organic matter. Then, through a series of interactive displays, videos, games, and restored gas station memorabilia, the museum's exhibits peel away the millennia. Visitors can relive the glorious early days of roadsters and highways through the vintage gas pump exhibit, or try their hand at old-fashioned oil siphoning with the restored turn-of-the-century cable tool drilling kit. The museum gives plenty of reasons to return, with rotating exhibits on science and history.

1001 E Main St
Santa Paula,
CA
US

When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.

2120 E Ponderosa Dr
Camarillo,
CA
US

In 1917, the Ranger was a sport-fishing yacht—the first built on the West Coast—that hosted celebrities trying their luck at snagging tuna, swordfish, and other swimmers. Flash forward nearly a century, and the Ranger is now a lure, one of several vintage boats that entice visitors to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Inside a former Naval Reserve building, the museum traces the history of the California Coast seas, from cannons to seaplanes and surfing to the environment. The Munger Theater brings the sea to life with films that could feature maritime history or a trip around the coast, and lectures and other events further enrich the experience.

113 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara,
CA
US

At the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, visitors of all ages delight in newfound knowledge about the community around them, soaking up information from a wealth of permanent collections, artifacts, and art. Guests marvel at beautiful Chumash baskets and stonework, paintings and armor from Spanish settlements, and relics of life in Santa Barbara during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

136 E De La Guerra St.
Santa Barbara,
CA
US

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History seeks to educate its visitors about the world around them through in-depth exhibits on nature, wildlife, and native cultures. A 72-foot blue-whale skeleton stares down and Chumash Indian relics wait for their secrets to be uncovered. Traverse these halls to see everything from outer space, fossils to bears and a nature trail.

211 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara,
CA
US