Stress and anxiety seem to dissolve in visitors the moment they cross into Ventura’s city limits. More relaxed and budget-friendly than nearby Santa Barbara, Ventura offers a haven to those craving incredible recreation at a reasonable price.
The 9-to-5 crowd deeply appreciates the abundance of options to play in nature after work and on weekends, including hiking in the Los Padres National Forest and kayaking along the nearby Channel Islands. Ventura packs an impressive punch artistically and entertainment-wise, too; live music and performing arts events dot nearly every day of the city’s calendar, especially at the always-popular Majestic Theater. In Ventura, the good life is as accessible as it gets.
A population of approximately 110,000, an average of 39 years old, and a 1-to-1 ratio of women to men characterize the makeup of Ventura. There is a sizable Spanish-speaking percentage within this population, and close to 35% of Ventura hail from Hispanic descent. A plurality of residents (around 40%) work in the fields of education, health, and social services.
Ventura practically erupts with thrilling nightlife. Energetic bars and lounges like Paddy’s, The Tavern, Discovery, and VenTiki Tiki Lounge & Lanai pulse with activity practically every night of the week. Locals often treat themselves to a feast at Rice by Mama Thai before heading out. Athletes love Ventura during sunlit hours, too; everyone from Olympic beach volleyball players to pro rodeo crowd members can be found in their element here.
Insist on living by the shore? Make a point of considering Ventura Beach Keys, always appealing for its miles of uncrowded coastlines. Downtown Ventura is perfect for culture fiends and fans of the city’s Spanish architectural past, as is the very much in-demand Hobson Heights neighborhood. Clearpoint and Ondulando sit slightly above the city and provide sumptuous panoramic views of the ocean, city lights, and nearby mountain ranges.
Anchored by the Ventura Unified School District, Ventura’s educational offerings feature several gems, particularly at the elementary school level. Parents have cited both Mound Elementary School and Portola Elementary School as valuable centers for learning for youngsters. The Ventura Charter School of Arts & Global Education and Foothill Technology High School also garner favorable attention and reviews.
Shopaholics can’t help but indulge in the town’s abundance of thrift stores. Ventura also enjoys a thriving coffee culture, anchored largely by Prospect Coffee.
The city’s prime location right by the Pacific Ocean promotes these assets, draws crowds to its historic downtown area, and has also inspired a sustainability movement through Ventura’s abundant foodie, wine and brewery culture.