Camping in Ventura: The Not-So-Great Outdoors

— by Caroline on Crack

Gather around the campfire 

Once in awhile every Angeleno should steal away from the city to just unplug and get away from it all even if only for the weekend. I understand. It’s hard for me to do, too, especially since there’s nothing I love more than sitting in front of the computer all day, surfing the Net and IMing friends. Sad, I know. But this past weekend I tore myself away from the monitor and went camping up at McGrath State Beach in Ventura.

Located north of Oxnard, this campground seemed to only offer one fabulous expanse of beach and not much else. There’s one nature trail but since that was located way on the other side of the park, I didn’t bother. Instead me and 15 other people (most of them strangers since they are Dre’s friends) spent the better part of the weekend lying out at the beach, inventing a game of basefrisbee (baseball/frisbee), building X-rated sand sculptures, playing naughty drinking games around the campfire, and throwing a steak cooking competition.

This wasn’t the wholesome family vacation I grew up with…not that that’s a bad thing. But, like I said, there wasn’t much else to do at McGrath. Oh yeah, and I took a lot of naps. Many, many naps. Who knew that camping was so exhausting?

A campsite at McGrath is $30 a day to reserve and each one allows up to 8 people and three cars. Fortunately the restrooms equipped with plumbing and showers were just a short walk from our site. Unfortunately, an inlet of stagnant water lying near the beach and smelling of sulphur was also a short walk away from our camp. So the scent of rotten eggs would always waft into our campground.

The wildlife consisted of these bastard squirrels who tore into my plastic bucket of dark chocolate chip and almond cookies and nearly ran off with a spatula that was dripping with au jus. There were also the coyotes that ran around on the dunes at night and the huge seagulls that had at the spoils from the previous night’s party left sitting out on the picnic table.

But despite the inconveniences of “roughing it” I still had a lot of fun. Who wouldn’t enjoy doing nothing but drink all day and only using their brain power to think up embarrassing “Truth” questions and ego-shattering “Dares”?

901 San Pedro Street
Ventura, California 93001
Reservations: (800) 444-7275