Criminally underrated, Ventura is an essential stop on any coastal California road trip. Less starry – and infinitely more affordable – than neighboring Malibu, it’s a living, breathing surf town, characterized by thrift stores, tattoo parlors, hipster baristas and food trucks. Get down to local level at one of these top-value stays near the beach, using it as a base for surf lessons, dramatic coast and canyon hikes or grazing your way around the many brilliant taco joints and alehouses in town.
California is home to some of the most cinematic motels in the world and this sweet two-story number has the neon sign and bargain rates of your dreams. Inside this cheap Ventura motel, rooms are surprisingly high quality, with glossy wallpaper, dark woods and prettily tiled kitchenettes, whilst the location is spot-on for foodies and shoppers; close to buzzy Main Street and right on cafe-stacked East Thompson Boulevard.
This one has the body of a business hotel but the soul of a warmly welcoming inn. Generously sized rooms and a grab-and-go breakfast of pastries, fruit and coffee make you feel right at home. The outdoor pool at this cheap hotel in Ventura is small and you get a bit of motorway roar, but it’s super central and walkable to the vast, sandy Ventura Beach as well as sociable Downtown.
Sitting out on your seaview balcony at this handsome blue clapboard inn, you really feel the low-key atmosphere of Ventura Beach. It’s right on the sands and all rooms face the sea – perfect for evening beach walks as well as setting off on one of the many coastal hiking trails in the area. Rooms at this cheap hotel in Ventura are snug and chintzy, with floral wallpaper and fireplaces, but it all adds to the old-fashioned charm of the place; and a free continental breakfast sets you up for the drive onward.
Just off the highway and without a pool, the Comfort Inn is more of a brief, handy crashpad than a resort to linger and lounge at, but there’s no denying the location: less than 10 minutes’ walk from the beach and a short cab ride to Downtown’s restaurants and shopping. The rooms at this Ventura cheap hotel are surprisingly polished too, with glossy woods, crisp white bedding, golden decor and flatscreen TVs. Kettles, fridges and microwaves in rooms also save a buck or two on catering.
Set in verdant gardens right by the water, this chunky lodge with its selection of craftsman-style cottages looks more like a country retreat than a coastal city base. The coast-facing lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows, filling your view with Pacific rollers, while rooms feel toasty and welcoming – book a cottage for added wood beams, sofas and fireplaces. The small pool lacks a bit of glamour but the shopping and dining hub of Downtown is just a 20-minute walk away.
If you want affordable rates but infinite cool points, this trailer park with a twist is the place to be. The owners of this budget-friendly hotel in Ventura have gutted and polished up a dozen or so vintage 1950s trailers and fitted them out with retro interiors, fridges and swanky Frette bedding; while communal lawns, a fire pit and barbecue encourage mingling with your fellow guests. Free bikes send you off on coastal adventures and you can even choose your trailer based on quirky names such as Aluminaughty or Root Beer Float, or bring your own campervan and pay for a pitch.
Light, bright contemporary rooms in Pacific blue and dove gray characterize this reliable, modern base in Ventura. Families love the huge pool, direct access to the sands and cheery Mexican cantina, while a breezy beachfront bar serves Mai Tais to blissed-out couples. The location, slightly to the west of town near sporty Surfer’s Point, is just as handy for the main city beach as it is for setting off on coastal walks towards Santa Barbara.
This dramatically situated cheap hotel in Ventura on the rocks has an old-fashioned look and feel – many road trippers break journeys here for a slap-up seafood lunch at its venerable old restaurant, Shoals, but only the savviest book a room to make the most of those Californian wines. Situated slightly up the coast from Ventura, towards Santa Barbara, you can dip into the town and surf scene, but we predict you’ll spend much of your time chilling by the ocean-sprayed outdoor pool.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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