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A family vacation in Southern California without the crowds

If you live in Southern California, you know that summer brings a lot of visitors from all over the country and around the world. That means it’s hard to go anywhere without running into a lot of people and traffic – the two main ingredients that make kids (and parents) capricious. .

It seems to be one place that has retained its relaxed California charm and has a lot of fun tailored for children, Ventura, especially the three cities known as VenturaCountyWest (Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura). Located on Highway 101 north of Los Angeles, VenturaCountyWest offers uncrowded beaches (with free parking), ocean adventures and a host of easy-to-reach children’s summer activities. Here are a few to check out.

Channel Islands National Park

Take a boat trip to the Channel Islands National Park from either the port of Venture or the Channel Islands (Oxnard). The islands are only 18 kilometers off the coast of Ventura County. Along the way you can see dolphins, seals, pelicans and other wildlife. Hiking, overnight stays, kayaking are available upon arrival at the shore. Tours are booked through Island Packers, http://www.islandpackers.com/.

Ventura Harbor Village

Ventura Harbor Village features an arcade with an old-fashioned indoor carousel, an arcade, and a candy store with more than 20 types of candy (fresh daily). Families can rent oars and electric boats to tour the quiet harbor canals. Return to the coast, plan to eat in one of the casual restaurants on the side of freshly caught seafood. http://www.venturaharborvillage.com.

Ventura County Fairgrounds

“Midget” cars, motorcycles and all kinds of other racing vehicles go out on the track almost every weekend at the Ventura County Fair in Ventura. It’s all fun while cheering for your favorite driver.

Children’s Museum of Seagull Wings

This children’s museum in Oxnard is very inconspicuous from the outside, but when they go inside, the eight and below will have so much to do and see that they won’t know where to start. They can disguise themselves as firefighters, doctors, or pretend to be astronauts landing on the moon in the Apollo spacecraft. There are snakes to keep, treasure to be found in the geological excavation, and a multitude of Legos to build whatever they want. Children can try their hand at rock climbing or let their imagination run wild while in the driver’s seat in a real car.

Sky High Sports

You won’t find a large sign announcing Sky High Sports Camarillo off the highway. It is located in an industrial park – it must be – the place is huge. It is filled with trampolines with super padded floors and walls. Kids can play trampoline dodge ball and other organized games or … just jump. Everything under control. Sky High also has a laser mark. Kids will surely come out sweaty and tired – the perfect way to spend the afternoon.