Courtesy of Emily Blake

Daniella Manini is an artist and textile designer at Patagonia. She tells us her secrets for finding the beauty in Ventura

Sunset Staff  – July 12, 2019 | Updated August 27, 2019

Peruvian-born artist Manini surfs, paints, and shops her way through the Southern California beach town. The self-taught creative has a wide-spanning portfolio too—you’re just as likely to see one of her murals in a retail space across the globe as you are to see her artwork on a piece of clothing.

Stay

You’ll want to find a beachside house to rent for the full experience of Ventura’s laid-back lifestyle. Manini loves the design and location of Ventura Coastline’s home rentals. “The best time to rent one of these is from September to November, when school summer vacation and surf camps are over and it’s less crowded,” she says. “The surf won’t be crowded, and the beach is right outside your door—it’s so peaceful.”

Drink

For Manini, mornings are hectic with her young children. She refuels at Prospect Coffee Roasters, a sleek, white-tiled coffeehouse on S Laurel Street. “I usually get an almond-milk latte here, but there’s also a ginger latte and a rotating list of specialty drinks that are pretty good,” she says. In the evenings, she joins the surf crowd at Topa Topa Brewing Co. “You’ll definitely get a buzz after your first beer,” she says. “They always have a food cart parked outside if you’re hungry, and bands play live music too.”

Eat

Courtesy of Daniella Manini

The casual Paradise Pantry is a fail-safe lunch break. “My favorite thing to get here is the Spicy Fish Soup; it’s a specialty here with white wine, saffron, and tomato broth,” Manini says. She also likes the salads and pastrami sandwich.

Do

Ventura is a big surf town. While Manini considers herself a beginner at the sport, she paddles out at Surfers’ Point after checking the waves online. “My husband surfs a lot, and I’ll join him there and at C Street,” she says. “These are locals-heavy surf spots, and I’ll go midmorning, depending on the waves, and he’ll go at lunch.”

Shop

Courtesy of Briana Garcia

Findings Market is all about local artisans. “There’s a community here—shoemakers, chair craftsmen, artists—that’s what brings the store together and makes it so special,” Manini says. For home decor, she checks out Passport Habits. “The owner goes to Morocco throughout the year and brings back unique rugs to sell,” she says. “It’s good inspiration for color, surf-y art, and crystals.”