Choose from five public golf courses with spectacular ocean and mountain views in the cities of VenturaCountyWest–Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura. All are about an hour’s drive north from Los Angeles, but feel a million miles away, especially when paired with local pubs and restaurant offerings.
Get into town early for a hearty breakfast at Pete’s Breakfast House Restaurant, known for its buttermilk pancakes and homemade strawberry jam. Take in a morning round of golf at Olivas Links, an 18-hole championship golf facility designed by Forrest Richardson. Voted the “Best Municipal Golf Course in the Nation” for the last three years by Golf Week, this 6,818-yard course features a rolling links-style layout defined by seaside grasses and natural habitat. You could choose, however, to play at the adjoining course, Buenaventura. At just over 6,000 yards to a par of 70, it emphasizes course management and is a shot maker’s delight. With classic 1930s-era shapes and designs, the course is a step back in time. It will be a hard choice to make.
For lunch, relax at the Aqua Beachfront Bar. Located in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and as the name implies, it’s right on the beach. The afternoon is yours to catch some sun on the sand or maybe rent a bike for a ride along the beach bike path. In the evening, go to the Greek at the Harbor for the finest Mediterranean food. Then, catch a standup routine at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club.
Another early day begins with breakfast at Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut, about a block from the beach in Oxnard, then to one of two beautiful courses at River Ridge. The Vineyard offers magnificent ocean panoramic views while Victoria Lakes boasts beautiful water features, bent/poa grass greens and Greg Norman hybrid Bermuda tees and fairways.
A perfect side trip after golf is to the Mullin Automotive Museum. It celebrates the Art Deco movement in motoring design and is open two Saturdays a month when you can see award-winning Bugattis, Voisins, Dealges and other French cars from the 1920s to 40s. In the evening, Mexican seafood, homemade tortillas and tasty margaritas are on the menu at Cabo Seafood & Grill.
Camarillo. Choose from one of two terrific courses to finish out your golfing getaway. Sterling Hills in Camarillo is surrounded by lush avocado and citrus groves. This 18-hole championship golf course includes natural features that take advantage of the natural topography. Camarillo Springs is at the base of Conejo Mountain just off the 101 freeway. Designed by Ted Robinson, its views include towering rock formations and gentle natural springs.
Before heading home, top off your weekend with a “blarney burger” and one of 14 beers on tap at Brendan’s Irish Pub in Camarillo. A relatively new restaurant, it’s owned and operated by two Irishman who have created a setting comparable to the best pubs in Ireland.