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San Buenaventura State Beach

This park offers more than just a broad sandy beach stretching for two miles; visitors can picnic, swim, fish, or dine at nearby restaurants. A wide concrete promenade busy with joggers, walkers, and cyclists runs the length of the beach and beyond. Along the way, stop at one of the viewing areas with benches to watch surfers at nearby Surfers Point; on a clear day, you can see the Channel Islands. At the east end of the park is an expansive lawn with trees and picnic tables, some with windscreens. Also within the park is the 1,700-foot Ventura Pier, on which there is a restaurant. The wooden pier is quite bumpy and may be jarring to some wheelchair riders, and its 48"-high railings may impede fishing from a wheelchair.  
State Parks Advisory: Many of California's state parks are reducing hours of operation and limiting access to facilities because of budget cuts. We recommend that you consult State Parks' website and contact the park directly before planning a visit.

Trail/Pathway Details

Beach Promenade

Trailhead: You can access the promenade from several locations along Harbor Boulevard. I started at the eastern end, at the intersection of San Pedro Road and Pierpont Boulevard, from which you can travel west for nearly two miles.

Length: 2-4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Hard

There are several short stretches where the asphalt has buckled, making for a bumpy ride.


A wide paved promenade with marked lanes travels a few hundred yards past dunes before the ocean and Ventura Pier come into view. For the first half-mile you can hear traffic noise from nearby Harbor Boulevard and Highway 101; after that, ocean sounds predominate. Shortly after you pass beneath the pier you come to a steep concrete ramp leading down to the beach. Opposite the ramp is a path that leads up to Harbor Boulevard, where a right turn onto the sidewalk brings you to the pier entrance. Back on the promenade, you shortly come to an inaccessible play area on the beach and an accessible plaza with several restaurants. Here the promenade widens, pedestrian traffic increases, and both palm trees and benches are plentiful. You pass Promenade Park, a narrow grassy area, then Surfers Point Park, where the railings disappear and your view of the ocean is unobstructed. 

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

It's advisable to make a request the morning of the day you plan to use it; call the lifeguard station, (805) 648-3321.

Accessible Parking: Yes

All lots serving the park have accessible spaces. Additional lots are to the north, at Surfers Point Park and the fairgrounds.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

At picnic area, Surfers Point Park, and near beach-equipment rental kiosk

Accessible Picnic Tables: Yes

Tables by the San Pedro Street entrance are on a concrete pad but require travel across grass, which was firm enough for a motorized wheelchair in September.
North of the pier
North of the pier (Bonnie Lewkowicz )

Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • bicycling
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • swimming

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Address: Harbor Blvd., Ventura
Nearest City: Ventura
Phone: (805) 968-1033
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Fees: Parking
Dogs: On leash
Public Transportation: Gold Coast Transit 
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, September 19, 2008
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing