Ventura is a California coastal city, northwest of Los Angeles. It’s known for its beaches, like San Buenaventura State Beach, with long, wooden Ventura Pier. Surfer’s Point is popular for surfing and windsurfing. Landmarks on downtown’s Main Street include the Mission San Buenaventura, with its 1809 church. Boats depart Ventura Harbor for Channel Islands National Park, a habitat for rare island foxes and scrub jays.
Points of Interest
Downtown Ventura is home to the Mission San Buenaventura, museums, galleries, dining, and shopping. Located in downtown is the historic Ortega Adobe, once home to the Ortega family known for chili products. Downtown Ventura is home to Ventura’s ornate city hall with its statue of Junipero Serra Downtown includes restaurants, wine bars, breweries, and the Rubicon Theatre Company.
The 4,300-square-foot (400 m2) Ventura Visitors Center, at 101 South California Street, has exhibits on the Heritage Valley, Channel Islands National Park, the local arts scene, and maps and brochures about the area.
One of the most recognizable landmarks in Ventura was “Two Trees” – two prominent lone trees on a hilltop, visible from most of Ventura. Access to the hill is private property. Signs at the bottom of the trails and at the trees themselves warn against trespassing.
In early October 2017, one of the trees was destroyed by high winds.
In Plaza Park (Chestnut and Santa Clara streets, downtown) stands a large Moreton Bay fig tree. Across the street, the main post office has murals on interior walls commissioned by the Section of Painting and Sculpture of the U.S. Treasury Department as New Deal art.
Ventura Harbor has fishing boats, seafood restaurants and a retail center, the Ventura Harbor Village. The Channel Islands National Park Headquarters is also located at the harbor, and boats to the Channel Islands depart from there daily.
The Westside of Ventura is a large subdivision of neighborhoods along Ventura Avenue.
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has issued a safe eating advisory for any fish caught in Ventura Harbor to Santa Monica Pier due to elevated levels of mercury and PCBs.
Pierpont Bay (Pierpont) is a residential neighborhood in the one-mile stretch between Ventura Harbor and San Buenaventura State Beach. Reclaimed marshland was subdivided in 1925 and houses were built in fits of development interrupted by years of economic depression, war, and coastal floods (in 1937 and 1962). Long a hodge-podge of rental dwellings, weekend cottages and vacant lots, it was transformed by successive California real estate booms into a fashionable but eclectic mix of newer large homes and older modest beach cottages, now mostly owner-occupied. Pierpont Bay has widely varying architectural styles, a small retail district Seaward Avenue, newer residents’ demands for increased municipal maintenance, and continuing disputes about the proper regulation of the neighborhood’s public beaches.
The Olivas Adobe, one of the early “California Rancho”-styled homes, is operated today as a museum and performing arts venue. Located adjacent to the Olivas Park Golf Course, the home is one of the most visited historic sites on the central Pacific Coast. Living history reenactments, demonstrations of Rancho life and wonderful ghost stories abound. A summer music series of performances held in the old home’s courtyard features an eclectic assortment of artists from blues to jazz to country.
- A J Comstock Fire Museum
- Albinger Archeological Museum