OK, Casanovas, think you're a good catch? Set your smooth moves in motion with a legendary aphrodisiac favored by the original Latin lover himself. (The real) Casanova breakfasted on 50 oysters a day to prepare himself for his arduous amours. Lucky for you, rousing a romantic mood is made easier with a simple pairing: a bike ride followed by an oyster feast. The setting: San Buenaventura State Beach
in Ventura. The ride: a 4-mile (round-trip) ramble on a beachfront bike path leading to the Ventura River Estuary. This easy route heads north along sand dunes to the Ventura Pier. From there, pedal across the Ventura Promenade and around a cove of white sand. Glide through the sea breeze along this popular surf beach to arrive at the estuary, where feathered friends like ducks and egrets enjoy their own watersport. Time to shift gears, coast back, and find the J-spot! The Jolly Oyster
is found right inside San Buenaventura State Beach next to the bike path and a picnic area, and serves up ready-to-grill Manila clams and Kumamoto and Pacific oysters. Give the oysters, and your date, the proper treatment by bringing your own bread, salad, and wine (yes, you can bring alcohol into the park). You can buy BBQ supplies from The Jolly Oyster, including a ready-made Jolly Pack containing seasonings and shucking and cutting knives, plus a tablecloth. Grill 'em up on the beachfront and slurp 'em down. Here’s to being one shell of a Casanova!TIP:
The bike rental stand next to The Jolly Oyster is closed for the season (it's open in summer). Wheel Fun Rentals
on the Ventura Pier is the closest bike rental shop. It even rents tandem cruisers!Take US 101 to the Seaward Ave. exit in Ventura and head west. Make the second right on Pierpont Blvd. and drive a quarter mile to the entrance of San Buenaventura State Beach. Pull into the park and pay a $10 day-use fee (or find free parking outside the park). Proceed around the park to a large parking lot next to the bright blue stand for The Jolly Oyster bordering the bike path. Bike northwest along the beach for 2 miles to the estuary and turn around. The Jolly Oyster is open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oysters are $1 each and clams are $6 per pound. Dog-friendly on the bike path and in the picnic area, but not the beach.