What’s 19 miles long, remains largely undiscovered by tourists and figures to be worth a few bucks to the Ventura County economy?
It’s the county’s first Coastal Scenic Drive, officially unveiled Monday by tourism officials.
The route stretches from the Los Angeles County line on Pacific Coast Highway to Ventura’s Main Street, taking in portions of Port Hueneme and Oxnard along the way.
The idea is to entice visitors from simply speeding through the county en route to Santa Barbara or Los Angeles.
“We border the ocean, but we certainly don’t travel beside the ocean,” said Carol Lavender, executive director of the Greater Oxnard & Harbors Tourism Bureau. “That’s one of the reasons we proposed this designation, because it’s a coastal route the visitor doesn’t see unless they get off the beaten path.”
And if people don’t get off the freeway, they won’t spend money, officials reason.
The unbeaten path in this case takes visitors past such picturesque landmarks as Mugu Rock and the San Buenaventura Mission.
Lavender said the drive, which includes stretches of Hueneme Road, Ventura Road, Channel Islands Boulevard and Harbor Boulevard, does not meet state or federal designations for scenery.
But a more scenic route would not help visitors find places to unload the average $80 a day economists estimate vacationers spend.
Distinctive blue signs have been placed along the route, a cooperative effort of the county and cities of Port Hueneme, Oxnard and Ventura.