Located along the sunny California coast and iconic Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura has been a stop-off for generations of road trips and adventurers of every kind. The 2019 edition of the Amgen Tour of California and Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM is yet another mass attracted to the city’s admirable climate and unparalleled scenery. The historic El Camino Real made the area a destination by 1782 when Junipero Serra founded the last of his nine missions and named it San Buenaventura. The restored Mission lies at the base of these of the scenic Topatopa Mountains and now forms the keystone of downtown Ventura.
The ocean and hills collide at Ventura’s perfectly sited downtown. In 2018, the Amgen Tour of California started Stage 2 at the city’s iconic pier. In 2019, both the men and women’s race will finish stages at the equally glorious Ventura County Fairgrounds. Only steps to downtown, both locations allow fans to leave their cars behind and experience California the way it was meant to be experienced, the relaxed way. If an ocean adventure sounds enticing, hop aboard the free trolley to Ventura’s Harbor to rent boats, paddle boards, or to simply enjoy world-class seafood. For a longer excursion, ferry out to Channel Islands National Park for whale watching, hiking, and an unforgettable day trip. Located some eighteen miles offshore, this group of five islands and surrounding marine sanctuary offer untouched ecosystems that have garnered comparisons as North America’s Galapagos.
With 300 days of sunshine, there are so many natural ways to catch Ventura’s infectious vibe. Hike up to the mountains or cast a line off the city’s quarter-mile historic pier. But to experience the epitome of Ventura’s California lifestyle, you need to grab a board and hit the waves. In 2017, Surfer Magazine named Ventura the 8th best surf town in America, characterizing it as “a surf all day, grab a burrito or burger kinda joint.” Watch the break at Surfer’s Point as it rolls towards the Pier and puts on a show that’s sure to excite.
These same attributes also create a natural draw for cyclists on multiday rides or local day trips along the coast or in the mountains. The city has worked hard to build a cycling-friendly environment and lifestyle over the years, culminating with recent visits by the Amgen Tour of California. This year puts Ventura front and center with an Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM Stage 1 start and finish - the first ever in Southern California - and a men’s race Stage 5 finish. These are electrifying moments for the race and the City of Ventura as they continue a match made in cycling heaven.