If you’re sick of the bustle and metropolitan chaos of Los Angeles, and you’re in the mood for some quality, local food and shopping, you need to check out Ventura, CA. Set on the coast just over an hour north of LA, and known for its quirky, local shops, Ventura is the perfect city for people who love to shop for local goods at places like clothing boutiques, antique stores, farmers markets, art galleries and surf shops. So, when you’re not at the beach or enjoying one of the town’s many seafront restaurants, you can easily spend the whole day shopping. Here are a few local spots in Ventura you should be sure to check out.

1. Calico Cat Bookshop

Located on East Main St., in the heart of Ventura, the Calico Cat Bookshop is a small, independent bookshop that has been a staple of downtown Ventura since 1975. Its owners pride themselves on their collection of quality, used and rare books, and have a wide range of signed first editions and collectable books for the true literary enthusiasts.

2. Ahoi! Surfcrafts

The second you set foot in Ventura, you’re immediately struck by the city’s beachy vibe. Surf shops like Ahoi! Surfcrafts really help set the tone, and beach lovers and surfers alike will feel right at home here. Ahoi! Surfcrafts specializes in handcrafted surfing merch; whether it’s a handplane, paipo board, or surf board, they can customize any product to suit the specific needs of the customer.

3. Antique & Vintage Stove Shop

You might not have come to Ventura looking for a stove, but you may find yourself leaving with one. Located in the heart of Ventura, the Antique and Vintage Stove Shop specializes in the sale, service, and restoration of classic American stoves. Their restored, vintage stoves range from the 1920s to the 1960s. Even if you’re not in the market to buy, why not spend an hour admiring some antique craftsmanship?

4. Seniors Craft Shoppe

If you’re looking for some truly locally-made wares, you have to check out the Seniors Craft Shoppe; they stock one-of-a-kind items handcrafted by local senior citizens. The shop first opened thirty years ago in the same downtown location and is owned by a non-profit organization.

5. Ventura County Potters’ Guild Gallery

For unique ceramics, look no further than the Potters’ Guild Gallery, where you’ll find sculptural and functional ceramics made by local artists. The guild is a non-profit formed to advocate art in the community, and give local potters a forum for sharing their experiences.

6. Farmers Markets

There is no shortage of farmers markets in Ventura. One of our favorite ones is the East Ventura Certified Farmers Market, located on Telephone Rd. You’ll have your pick of local produce, flowers, organic meats, artisan breads and even coffee and tea. Their focus is on providing eco-friendly, local, organic foods to the community.

7. Concrete Jungle & Surf Brewery

It’s not just the surf shops keeping Ventura’s surfing tradition alive. Less than five miles from Surfer’s Point, the Surf Brewery is the first packaging craft brewery in Ventura. It was founded with the goal of combining two of its owners greatest passions: surfing and beer. The brewery is open six days a week, has seating for seventy-five people, features gourmet, local food trucks every night, and live music every Saturday night.