Family fun at VenturaCountyWest

Spending a winter in California certainly has its benefits. There is a lot of outdoor work to enjoy. No better location is VenturaCountyWest (Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura cities about an hour's drive north of Los Angeles). Even if you've already visited California, VenturaCountyWest offers places you've never seen, beaches you've never walked on, and beautiful scenery you've never experienced – all while enjoying a near-ideal climate. Here are some family activities.

The space is filled with bike lanes. Rent bikes on Ventura Main Street at Ventura Bike Depot. The paths are mostly flat. Here's a suggestion: After taking your bikes, head for the Ventura River. You will pass the Ventura County Fair Ground, a bird sanctuary, and then you will find yourself with beautiful ocean views. Choose to stop at the 1700-meter Ventura Pier to eat lunch at Beach House Tacos or travel a little further and hike in a quiet, grassy area on San Buenaventura State Beach. Never crowded, the beach offers two miles of blissful cycling.

VenturaCountyWest has two ports. Rowing and power boats are available for rent at Ventura Harbor. While you're there, be sure to visit the indoor kindergarten with 32 animals in the village arcade. There is an abundance of video and pinball games that provide kids with bustling and homemade foods and other goodies for snack. Since the village is located right in the port of Ventura, you can watch the fishing boats come in with their daily fresh catch.

For an indoor adventure (and when your kids have too much energy), visit Sky High Sports in Camarillo. It is filled with trampolines with super-coated floors and walls. Kids can play trampoline dodge ball and other organized games or … just jump. Sky High also has arcade games and a laser tag.

Whale watching season. In mid-April, whales migrate between the waters of Alaska and Mexico, passing the Channel Islands along the Ventura County coast. Book whale trips from Packers Island from Ventura or Oxnard. As you spot whales, you will probably also see coils and dolphins along the way. Another trip to the ocean is taken near the Channel Islands National Park. Just five kilometers from the coast, these five islands are a natural playground for those who enjoy walking, camping, kayaking, nature walks or just breathing in the fresh ocean air. First timers can fly out to one or all five islands, also via Island Packers.

For a suppressed family outing, save a picnic lunch and take your family on a quiet tour of Channel Islands Harbor Oxnard in an electric boat from Hopper Boat Rentals. Hopper also offers paddles, kayaks and paddles. These are all great ways to see life from the harbor up close.

Where to stay:

The Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard is the only seaside resort in Southern California.

The Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort is an easy stroll to the Ventura Harbor Villa overlooking the harbor sea life and fishing boats.

Residence Inn Camarillo offers free breakfasts, free internet access, and kitchens in every room.

Crowne Plaza – Ventura Beach is the only hotel in VenturaCountyWest directly on the beach and is just two blocks from the Venture Historic Center.