The small coastal town of Ventura is located about 1 hour north of Los Angeles and is an affordable destination, especially for families. Off the coast, you will find the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, which is often called the Galapagos of North America. Here you can go whale watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking.
From the Ventura Pier you can get to San Buenaventura State Beach, where, unlike other beaches, you can enjoy a drink on the water at sunset (there is great wine grown nearby!). Free parking for your roadsurfer is available in Ventura itself, and it’s a quick walk from downtown to the pier.
Naturally, the coastline in the area is great for surfing. If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can hike to Smugglers Cove, a 7.5-mile loop trail that is considered one of the most beautiful in the state.