Ventura Downtown

All along the coast of California, travelers find communities that each exhibit their own charm and ambience.  Ventura is no exception and, in fact, is often cited as a stand alone experience that epitomizes the California of days gone bye, while simultaneously providing amenities found in much more urban settings.

More than 1,500 years ago, Ventura began as the Chumash Village Shisholop. It takes its modern name from Mission San Buenaventura, founded by Franciscan friars under the Spanish crown in 1782. After a brief period of Mexican rule, Ventura became a bustling frontier town following California statehood in 1850. The discovery of oil hastened the area’s growth, and by 1925, the Ventura Avenue oil field was among the most productive in the nation. The Perry Mason novels by Erle Stanley Gardner, a young Ventura lawyer, gained worldwide popularity in the 1950s.

As you explore the downtown or tour the scenic back-country, you’ll find much of the area’s history still evident in its traditional buildings and landscape.

Visitors to Ventura enjoy the abundant arts and cultural activities, outdoor adventures and the rich fusion of agricultural abundance and ocean side proximity that make it a chef’s paradise.

Shopping

From Downtown’s unique boutiques to the full spectrum of modern retailers available at the Pacific View Mall to the many antique stores found throughout the city, Ventura is truly a shopper’s paradise. Nearby outlet stores are perfect for bargain hunting as are the thrift stores found in midtown and downtown Ventura. Many clothiers offer organic fabrics in keeping with the likes of Ventura’s independently minded residents that pride themselves on preserving the beauty that surrounds them.

Ventura is home to top outdoor retailers like Patagonia and WetSand, so be sure to check out their company stores during your visit.

Art & Culture

Hundreds of Artists make their home in Ventura.  From painters and sculptors to dancers and musicians, its hard to go anywhere in town without finding either an artist at work or a display of creative efforts ongoing.  Ventura’s rich and diverse cultural scene includes a busy arts calendar filled with music, theater, dance, art exhibits, festivals, and crafts shows every month of the year. After dark, visitors can choose from nightclubs, bookstores and coffee houses with live entertainment, dancing, and much more.

Ventura’s heritage is rich and so historic sites are found in all parts of the city including the Olivas Adobe Historical Park, Ortega Adobe and the Mission San Buenaventura.  Often you will find performers providing entertainment in one of many historic churches or public buildings in Ventura, so whether you consider yourself to be a cultural tourist or not, you will enjoy the rich tapestry of Arts and Culture found throughout the city.

Ventura community information from Ventura City Website.

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