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The Expansive Beaches of Ventura, CA

Featuring: Marlyss Auster

President & CEO , Visit Ventura

Explore an aquatic wonderland on the shores of Ventura, California.

Marlyss Auster calls this classic California beach community home. Rediscover America asked her about her go-to spots to relax and reconnect with what matters most.


Where is your happy place to get away from it all?

State Beach

State Beach is the closest beach to my house. I love to go there just as the sunrise is beginning, taking in the morning and looking for sea glass. It has a lovely view of the pier, and you can see Channel Islands National Park just off the coast.

State Beach is a quiet place where I go to get connected to Ventura for the day, and set my intentions for where the day will go for me.


What is your favorite thing to see in the morning?

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island is a massive island - five times the size of Manhattan! - just off the coast. The way the sun hits it in the morning, with the clouds and the marine layer, is pretty magical.

"I love the quiet. It's so magical to stroll along the beach and just hear the waves." Marlyss Auster, Visit Ventura

#3 Family-Friendly Harbors

What is the best beach for families?

Harbor Cove Beach

The beach at Harbor Cove is an awesome spot for families. They call it "Mother's Beach" because the way the jetties are laid out creates very gentle currents, making it perfect for families with little ones.


What is your favorite place to explore on a day trip?

Channel Islands National Park

The Channel Islands are incredible. You can go for a hike, or go kayaking through sea caves. It's my outdoor adventure place to go.

You'll probably see dolphins on your way there, and we have whale watching almost year-round. There's nothing like seeing a whale tail, and hearing people gasping while trying to get a picture.

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What is right in your backyard but also on your bucket list?

Santa Rosa Island

Santa Rosa Island is one of the Channel Islands. It takes a little longer to get there, and you can only get there a few times a year because of the conditions. The beach there is supposed to be pristine and absolutely amazing.


What is your favorite thing about life in Ventura?

The Relaxed Vibe

I love to get on a bike, cruise around, and see what happens next. There is a bike path that goes all the way to Santa Barbara. I love to cruise along and see dolphins as my bike tassels are blowing in the wind.

Learn More About Rediscover America

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About the Contributor

Marlyss Auster

President & CEO

About The Contributor

Marlyss inspires others to discover the Ventura that stole her heart. She leads all aspects of strategic planning, brand development and stewardship, marketing, public relations, and visitor center operations.