Ventura’s points of interest vary widely, but here are just a few of the highlights.
Ventura is famed for the quality and frequency of the surfing conditions at spots such as Surfer’s Point at Ventura County Fairgrounds
Downtown Ventura is home to the Mission San Buenaventura, museums, galleries, dining, and shopping. Primary areas of activity include California Street and Main Street between Ventura Avenue and Fir Street. Located in downtown is the historic OrtegaAdobe, once home to the Ortega family, now famous for their chili products. Numerous thrift stores contrast with high-end shops and restaurants. Downtown Ventura is home to Ventura’s ornate city hall with its statue of Junipero Serra. Downtown now features numerous restaurants, wine bars and the internationally acclaimed Rubicon Theatre Company.
Ventura Pier was an active wharf for 64 years. It was built in 1872 at a cost of $45,000 and was the longest wooden Pier in California. In 1914 a ship severed the pier. It was rebuilt to a length of 1,700 ft. by 1917. It was reinforced with steel pilings after 420 ft. of the pier was destroyed by a storm in 1995.
Ventura Visitors Center
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.
Majestic Ventura Theater
Downtown’s Majestic Ventura Theater is an early 20th-century landmark. A venue for concerts, it has seen performances from legendary artists such as The Doors, Pearl Jam, Van Halen, X, Ray Charles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Fugazi, Incubus, Tom Petty, They Might Be Giants, and Johnny Cash, as well as some of the city’s most successful homegrown artists like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Army of Freshmen.
An early-morning fisherman at Ventura Pier, 2008.
One of the most recognizable landmarks in Ventura is “Two Trees” which are 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 trespassers.
In Plaza Park (Chestnut and Santa Clara Streets, downtown) stands one of the nation’s largest Moreton Bay Fig Trees. 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.
The Ventura Harbor has fishing boats, seafood restaurants and a retail center, the Ventura Harbor Village. The Channel Islands National Park Headquarters is also located in 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.
Pierpont Bay (Pierpont) is a residential neighborhood in the one-mile stretch between the 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. Piecemeal development, not overly burdened by planning efforts or regulatory attentions, left Pierpont with widely varying architectural styles, a spotty retail district Seaward Avenue, newer residents’ demands for increased municipal maintenance, and continuing disputes about the proper regulation of the neighborhood’s public beaches. Recently plans have been announced for high-density development on some streets, and state authorities have begun to more actively manage beaches that were mostly self-regulated for eighty years.
The Ventura Fairgrounds during the Ventura County Fair.
Ventura County Fairgrounds
The Ventura County Fairgrounds is the home of the annual Ventura County Fair, and over the years has hosted such acts as Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Smokey Robinson, and All American Rejects, as well as the Vans Warped Tour. It is home to the Ventura Raceway, “The best little dirt track in America”, The Derby Club (offering Horse Racing Live via Satellite), and full service bars and restaurants. The fairgrounds also serves as a Train Station for Amtrak‘s Pacific Surfliner route.
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 feature an eclectic assortment of artists from blues to jazz to country.
Ventura Film Festival
The Ventura Film Festival puts on a yearly red carpet gala event and has hosted some of film’s top celebrities including the 50th Anniversary of the famous film “West Side Story (film)“ and given awards to the Academy Award winning cast of “West Side Story” and a lifetime achievement award to Academy Award winner George Chakiris and Academy Award Nominee Russ Tamblyn. The films Swordfish, Little Miss Sunshine, Chinatown, Erin Brockovich, The Aviator, and The Rock were partly filmed in Ventura, and most of the 2011 release Bellflower was shot in Ventura.
The headquarters of outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia is located downtown. The eco-designer Stewart+Brown has their factory just a few blocks from the ocean. Diaper bag manufacturer Petunia Pickle Bottom is headquartered near downtown Ventura. Ventura is a course in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. It was called ‘Skatestreet Ventura’.
Information coming from the Ventura, CA Wikipedia Page