We are happy to be a source of information on how to travel to Ventura, CA. If we can give advice on travel to/from Ventura in any way, please don't hesitate to ask. We generally prefer to use the travel websites of Kayak, Hotwire, Cheap Tickets, Expedia, or Priceline to get good deals on flights and car rentals. All these websites will email you daily updates on the prices of flights if you would like to do a bit of "fare watching". Kayak seems to have the best overview of flight prices, but it does not include prices for airlines such as Southwest or JetBlue - you need to visit their sites directly for their fares. Here's some of the ways to get to Ventura for the wedding!
If you're planning on flying to our wedding in Ventura, you can fly into either Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) or the Burbank Airport (BUR). There are many other airports in Southern California; however, the ones listed here are the closest and most convenient. Flights into John Wayne Airport (in Orange County) or Long Beach Airport (south of Los Angeles) are fine, they are just a much greater distance from Ventura than LAX, SBA or BUR.
Los Angeles International Airport
LAX is quite a large airport, and has several daily nonstop flights from Philadelphia and most major cities. LAX is located near Marina Del Rey, and is about 1.5 - 2 hr drive away from Ventura, depending on traffic and the route you take. A scenic route going north on Sepulveda Blvd to Lincoln Blvd to Highway 1N (the PCH, or Pacific Coast Highway) takes you through Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu and can give some absolutely breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Highway 1 is often two to four lanes, so it can take a little bit longer than the freeway because of traffic. Alternatively, you can take the 405 freeway north into the San Fernando Valley and then take the 101 north directly to Ventura. Either way you travel, there are many, many interesting sites along the way. From Hollywood to the beaches, there is lots to do in Southern California, but you will most likely need a car. LAX has many car rental companies located within the airport, so car rental should be convenient.
Santa Barbara Airport
This airport is located right off the University of California, Santa Barbara (Christine's alma mater) campus and it serves the local Santa Barbara and Ventura area. There are no direct flights from East Coast cities, and the planes that fly into SBA are generally smaller, turbo prop or "puddle jumper" airplanes, not the large jumbo jets that fly into LAX. Most flights originate in San Francisco, Phoenix, Salt Lake City or Los Angeles. This airport has a much smaller feel, with much friendlier TSA agents, little hassle to board and go through security, but also not much to do in the area while waiting for your plane. It is often more expensive to fly here, but I have occasionally found some bargains. Santa Barbara is about a half-hour to an hour drive north of Ventura. Once you exit the airport, take the 217 to the 101S directly to Ventura. The airport contains several car rental agencies, as well as a nearby bus stop where you can catch a bus to the train station. The Amtrak train goes right down the coast to Ventura, and the Ventura train stop is about one mile from the Pierpont Inn.
Burbank Airport (Bob Hope International Airport)
This airport is located within the San Fernando Valley, just a bit outside of Los Angeles. Burbank is a large airport and has several flights from large cities around the country, although no nonstop flights from Philadelphia. Burbank is located a bit more inland than LAX, and is about 1.5 - 2 hours away from Ventura. From Burbank, take the 5N to the 126W. The 126 dead ends into the 101 freeway; continue onto the 101N, to San Jon Road exit (number 69) and make a left onto Vista Del Mar Dr, coming off the exit. This street dead ends into Harbor Blvd (and the ocean). Make a right onto Harbor and an almost immediate right onto San Jon Road. The Pierpont Inn is located on the right hand side of the road, about 200 feet away. The main entrance to the hotel is located to the right, as you pull into the driveway.
Shuttle Services from the airports
There are shuttle services that will take you from/to LAX, SBA or BUR. Christine's family has most often used Roadrunner Shuttles (805-389-8196), which are generally large vans that pick up several customers on the way to the airport. As such, you generally arrive quite early for your flights, so be sure to bring a book or something for entertainment.
Coming from the South
The Pierpont Inn is located right off the 101 Freeway. From the south, take the 101N to San Jon Road exit (number 69) and make a left onto Vista Del Mar Dr, coming off the exit. This street dead ends into Harbor Blvd (and the ocean). Make a right onto Harbor and an almost immediate right onto San Jon Road. The Pierpont Inn is located on the right hand side of the road, about 200 feet away. The main entrance to the hotel is located to the right, as you pull into the driveway.
Coming from the North
The Pierpont Inn is located right off the 101 Freeway. From the north, take the 101S to the Seaward exit (number 68) and make a right onto Harbor Blvd (which is the first light you hit coming off the exit). Make a right at the light for San Jon Road. The Pierpont Inn is located on the right hand side of the road, about 200 feet away. The main entrance to the hotel is located to the right as you pull into the driveway.
The Amtrak train, running both from the north and the south goes directly through Ventura, and stops at the fairgrounds about a mile north of the Pierpont Inn. The Amtrak stop is quite minimalist, so it is unclear whether cabs might be waiting around the train stop. If walking, walk south toward the Crowne Plaza Hotel. A walkway runs along the beach, which is across the parking lot from the train stop. Follow the path past the Ventura Pier to San Jon Road. Make a left onto San Jon Road. The Pierpont Inn is located on the right hand side of the road, about 200 feet away. The main entrance to the hotel is located to the right, as you pull into the driveway.
Using a taxi as your primary source of travel is not highly recommended. There are several taxi companies within Ventura, however, cabs are not regularly on the street like Philadelphia or New York. Taxi services must be called and often take quite a long time to show up. The fares may also be prohibitively expensive.
There is limited bus service around Ventura County. The bus service is called the Gold Coast Transit, and the fare is $1.35. Both Routes 6 and 16 run near the Pierpont Inn. Route 6 can take you into Oxnard, while Route 16 can take you to downtown Ventura, or up into Ojai.
Swimming to Ventura is not recommended, as the Pacific Ocean is quite large and contains numerous shipping lanes, as well as great white sharks. :)
Ventura is a lovely place to bike, as there are numerous trails to explore. The Pierpont Inn offers bike rentals right at the hotel, and there is a pathway that runs along the beachfront in front of the hotel. One of the most popular is the trail from Ventura to Ojai. You will find numerous people biking, running, walking, or even horse-back riding along this trail on a sunny day. There are several other opportunities for hiking or biking, manyof which can be found here.