Arcade

1st Place
Golf N’ Stuff, 5555 Walker St., Ventura, 644-7131

2nd Place
Ventura Harbor Village, 1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura

3rd Place
Lazertag Extreme, 1775 E. Daily Drive, suite I, Camarillo, 388-0088 (currently relocating to Thousand Oaks)

 

Beach

1st Place
Silverstrand

2nd Place
Pierpont

3rd Place
Hollywood Beach

 

Bike Trail

1st Place
Ventura River trail

2nd Place
Sycamore Canyon

3rd Place
Wildwood

 

Bowling

1st Place
Buena Lanes, 1788 Mesa Verde Ave., Ventura, 656-0666

2nd Place
Ventura Bowling Center, 1888 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 648-3395

3rd Place
Harley’s Camarillo Bowl, 305 Arneill Road, Camarillo, 482-0747
 

Campground

1st Place
McGrath State Beach

2nd Place
Lake Casitas

3rd Place
Emma Wood

 

Car Show

1st Place
Santa Paula Cruise Night

2nd Place
Ventura Nationals

3rd Place
Fillmore July 4th

 

Charity Event

1st Place
Casa Pacifica angels Wine and Food Festival

2nd Place
Relay for Life

3rd Place
Pooch Parade

 

Cultural Event

1st Place
Oxnard Salsa Festival

2nd Place
Casa Pacifica Wine and Food Festival

3rd Place
Westside ArtWalk

 

Golf Course

1st Place
Olivas Links, 3750 Olivas Park Drive, 677-6770

2nd Place
River Ridge, 2401 W. Vineyard Ave., Oxnard, 983-4653

3rd Place
Saticoy Regional Golf Course, 1025 S. Wells Road, Ventura, 647-6678

 

Hiking Trail

1st Place
Arroyo Verde

2nd Place
Two Trees

3rd Place
Wildwood

 

Just for Kids

1st Place
Sky High Sports, 166 N. Aviador St., Camarillo, 484-6300

2nd Place
Pump It Up, 5120 Ralston St., Ventura, 339-9669

3rd Place
The Clubhouse Funzone, 4535 McGrath St., Ventura, 639-0414

 

Local Athlete

1st Place
Mary Osborne

2nd Place
Colin Jenkins

3rd Place
Victor Ortiz

 

Local Sports Team

1st Place
Ventura County Fusion

2nd Place
Ventura County Derby Darlins

3rd Place
Ventura High School Cougars

 

Museum

1st Place
Museum of Ventura County, 100 E. Main St., Ventura, 653-0323

2nd Place
Reagan Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, 522-2977

3rd Place
Gull Wings Children’s Museum, 418 W. Fourth St., Oxnard, 483-3005

 

Overnight Accommodations

1st Place
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, 450 E. Harbor Blvd., Ventura, 648-2100

2nd Place
Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach, 2101 Mandalay Beach Road, Oxnard, 984-2500

3rd Place
Pierpont Inn, 550 Sanjon Road, Ventura, 643-6144

 

Place to Swim

1st Place
Ventura Aquatic Center, 901 S. Kimball Road, Ventura, 654-7511

2nd Place
Ventura Family YMCA, 3760 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 642-2131

3rd Place
Pierpont Racquet Club, 500 San Jon Road, Ventura, 648-5161

 

Skate park

1st Place
Ojai Skate Park, 414 E. Ojai Ave.

2nd Place
Oxnard Skate Park, 3250 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard

3rd Place
Camarillo Skate Park, 1030 Temple Ave., Camarillo

 

Skating Rink

1st Place
Skating Plus, 1720 Mesa Verde Ave., Ventura, 656-2121

2nd Place
Channel Islands Ice Center, 830 Wagon Wheel Road, Oxnard, 988-4440

3rd Place
Iceoplex Ice Skating Rink, 131 West Easy St., Simi Valley, 520-7465

 

Surf School

1st Place
Ventura Makos Surf Camp, 312-0713

2nd Place
Mary Osborne Surf Camps, www.maryosbornesurf.com

3rd Place
Silverstrand Surf School, 985-7867

 

Surf Spot

1st Place
C-Street/Surfers Point

2nd Place
Mondos

3rd Place
Rincon

 

Tennis Court

1st Place
Pierpont Racquet Club, 500 San Jon Rd., Ventura, 648-5161

2nd Place
Camino Real Park, 4199 Dean Drive, Ventura

3rd Place
Libbey Park, Ojai

 

View

1st Place
Serra Cross Park

2nd Place
Two Trees

3rd Place
Ventura Pier

 


EDITOR’S PICKS

 

Best new adventure at the Channel Islands  

Black Rock backpacking and kayaking trip
www.channelislandso.com, 899-4925


Kayakers come ashore at Potato Harbor on Santa Cruz Island.

The serpentine spine of the southeast end of Santa Cruz Island is one of the best hikes around, revealing the unique island flora across volcanic crags along the isthmus of the most topographically diverse isle off the California coast.  From Prisoners Harbor to Scorpion Anchorage, it’s 15 miles of solitude enjoying the epic scenery on the mountainous islet.

Hike through groves of spindly, native island oaks and the most southerly stands of Bishop pines in the U.S.  Share the single-track trails and historic ranching roads with raucous island scrub jays and playful island foxes in the deep canyons and gurgling arroyos. Be one of the few sleeping beneath clusters of twinkling stars at Del Norte Campground with stunning views of the north side of the island.

 
Marvel at Chinese Harbor from above, its glistening waters on the left and the towering sandstone and shale cliffs on the south side revealing the narrowest region of the island while straddling the Pacific.

Soon the ranch roads come to a halt, and the brittle rib of black, ashy-colored volcanic rock offers the only access to the Montanon Ridgeline. Life sprouts out of the black rocks and fissures of these volcanic crags. Some of the island’s many endemic plants are well represented here, a true botanical garden while trekking toward Montanon. Tread lightly around Santa Cruz Island liveforevers, silver lotus and clusters of buckwheat.

From approximately 1,500 feet above sea level on Montanon Ridge, only cawing ravens reach loftier heights. The rest of Santa Cruz fingers its way east, reaching out to narrow Anacapa Island three miles from its tip. The pace quickens on the four-mile descent weaving downward to Scorpion Canyon and its stream of cobble spilling into tranquil Scorpion Anchorage.

Afterward, wash off the trail dust with a kayak trip three miles west to Coche Point and the Mediterranean-like Potato Harbor. Paddle beneath honeycombed cliffs, spelunking the many sea caves along the way. Keep an eye out for black oystercatchers, wandering tattlers, Brandt’s cormorants and peregrine falcons. Eventually, the cacophony of bellowing California sea lions increases, with each stroke of the paddle, signifying arrival at the dreamy natural anchorage.

Only an hour’s ferry ride from the mainland, experiencing the less-traveled regions of Santa Cruz Island feels as if it’s worlds apart.

Channel Islands Outfitters is the only outfitter guiding three-day Black Rock backpacking and kayaking trips exploring the best of the southeast finger of Santa Cruz Island.

— Chuck Graham


Best Halloween-time activity  

Pumpkinliner
Fillmore and Western Railway, 364 Main St. , Fillmore, 524-2546,
Reservations@fwry.com


Kids and adults alike can hop aboard the Pumpkinliner during the weekends throughout October to join in the pumpkin harvest and the festivities of Halloween at Ichabog in Santa Paula.

When I was a child, my favorite part of Halloween was driving way out in the country to some farmer’s pumpkin patch and wandering through what seemed acres of pumpkins to find just the right one for carving into the perfect jack-o-lantern. Sadly nowadays, so many people just go to their local supermarket and throw a pumpkin in their cart, and that’s that. Fortunately for all of us in Ventura County, that old-fashioned option is still available, with the added benefit of not having to drive somewhere to find a pumpkin patch. We can take the train there!

On Saturdays and Sundays (departures at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.) throughout October, the Fillmore and Western Railway operates the “Pumpkinliner,” a vintage train that leaves from the Fillmore train station and travels to a private pumpkin patch, Ichabog, somewhere along the railway on the way toward Santa Paula (and next to the Loose Caboose Garden Center). Kids of all ages can find that perfect pumpkin, enjoy Jolly Jumps, a carousel, arts and crafts booths, barbecue food booth, face painting and lots of Halloween activities.

The Fillmore and Western Railway has many train entertainment options throughout the year (Mystery Train Dinner Theater, Heritage Valley Tours, Christmas Tree Train, the Great Train Robbery to name a few).  But in October it’s all aboard a restored vintage train down the rails to a private pumpkin patch, certainly the very best Ventura County Halloween activity.  The perfect pumpkin awaits your selection.

Tickets prices: $20 for adults; $12 for youth, ages 4-12; $10 for child, ages 2-3.

— JR Grant