"San Buenaventura or Just Plain Ventura" Top 5 Page for this destination Ventura by keida84

Ventura Travel Guide: 154 reviews and 363 photos

San Buenaventura

I lived in San Buenaventura for 8 years and if you had to write "San Buenaventura" on your return address you would understand why it has been shortened to "Ventura." The truth be told it was actually shortened because "San Buenaventura" would not fit on the railroad timetables.

Ventura was founded by the Chumash Indians nearly 1500 years ago. It was known as "Shisholop".

Ventura takes it name from the popular Mission San Beunaventura, named for Saint Bonaventure. The mission was founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1782.

Legend has it that following the great Santa Barbara earthquake in 1812 a tsunami rolled through the channel with the water reaching the steps of the mission.

Ventura has remained fairly isolated from the rest of California in part due to the 2 rivers, The Ventura and the Santa Clara. It wasn't until the 1920's when oil was dsicovered and the Ventura Oil Fields were among the most productive in the nation. Owners such as Hobson Oil and Union oil added a lot of money to the city coffers.

When the freeway came through did Ventura see any real growth in population, in the last 20 years the population has doubled.

Erle Stanley Gardner wrote the "Perry Mason" novels in the 1950's. in the historic section of downtown Ventura.

There are many things to do, places to see, scenery to be enjoyed. In August, The Ventura County Fair comes to Seaside park, The Ventura Harbor is open year round with many shops, restaurants and marina. There is the Sheraton Four Points Hotel which has a "Boatel" for those visiting by boat. Beach bike trails that connect Ventura beaches with the town of Ojai.

Close to the harbor is the Olivas Adobe Historical Park. Great summer concerts under the stars, silent movies and come Halloween, candlelight tours of this haunted house.

The historic downtown district of Ventura is not to be missed. For those who like architecture the Bank of Italy Building is found on the corner of Oak and Main Streets. It was "blown up" in the John Travolta movie, "Swordfish", there are "Ghost Tours" led by noted ghost hunter, Richard Senate. The Albinger Archaeological Museum & the Ventura County Museum of Art.

Ventura County Fair

Every August the Ventura County Fair comes to Seaside Park in Ventura. I have always enjoyed the fair and look forward to it every year. There is a lot to do and see; of course there are the requisite carnival rides, every year they seem to get a little more "over the top" than in previous years. The "carnies" hawking their carnival games as young teen-age men step up to throw a basketball through a crooked hoop in hopes of winning a GIANT stuffed animal for their lady fair. Invariably, one guy does win it and then is seen carrying this thing around all day long!!

We have our favorite thing to do. Kris likes the exhibition halls where the shopping is held. I like the photography (I never agree with the judges of these exhibits). There are some very talented people in this world and a good majority of them are in Ventura County.
The Gardens and landscaping exhibit is always a fond favorite--it amazes me that people come to put up these elaborate displays--replete with waterfalls and ponds, concrete stepping stones and walkways.

Fair food is fun to eat and we are glad we did a lot of walking to burn it off!! Wurst with sauerkraut for Kris, hot dog for me. The cinnamon rolls were to die for, Kris had one not me. Cotton candy (floss) and salt water taffy rounded out the nutritional portion of the day's menu!!

Driving in California

California is a BIG state with A LOT of traffic so make sure you plan accordingly what seems to be a relatively short distance can actually take a very long time to get where you are going because of the traffic.

Ventura to LAX:
43.3 miles 69.68 km
1 1/4 hours clear traffic

Ventura to San Diego:
157.19 miles 252.97 km
3 1/2 hours clear traffic

Ventura to San Francisco:
306 miles 492.45 km
9 hours clear traffic

Amtrak Train: 1 800-872-7245
Metro Link 1 800-371-5465
Yellow Cab: 659-6900 (Ventura)
483-2444 (Oxnard)

Ventura: 805-648-2075
Oxnard: 805 385 7545

Ventura County Airporter 805 650 6600
Roadrunner shuttles: 800-247-7919

Police, Fire, Ambulance: Dial 911

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Clean air, friendly people, lots to see and do
  • Cons:Traffic, overcrowding and poor public transportation
  • In a nutshell:Red skies at night make for a beautiful Ventura sunset
  • Last visit to Ventura: May 2007
  • Intro Updated May 13, 2007
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Reviews (30)

Comments (36)

  • Jan 12, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Great post! I really want to go to Ventura county sometime. I hear they have great Indian food! I just love curry, it's so delicious!


  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo
    May 13, 2009 at 12:01 AM

    Hi Kat, How's my neighbor to the west doing? I was up looking around at the homes near the beach in your neck of the woods. Ate at Brophy Bros. above the Carousel. Larry

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    Loved Ventura. Thanks for showing us this lovely place. Especially enjoyed visiting the Mission. xxx Lori

  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2008 at 7:39 PM

    Hi Kat! I'm originally from Oxnard/Ventura, so your page brought back many memories for me. Thanks so much!

  • Jun 24, 2007 at 7:44 AM

    Not only has Frankys Place kept their old vegetarian and vegan items. They've won the "Best Vegetarian Items" in the Star Reader's Poll for the past 2 yrs. And they now have live music & dancing on weekends and a full bar with 2 Prime Rib dinners for $35.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2007 at 12:15 PM

    Hi, Kat! Thanx for your interesting stories and your feedback! Always!

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2006 at 8:28 AM

    Nice page, thanks for the helpful tips.

  • Katmosphere's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2006 at 6:47 PM

    Well, it was his first birthday that I didn't get to spend with him :( He just moved to Atlanta for a job!! How was yours??

  • kymbanm's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2006 at 11:19 AM

    My little avian is so stressed from me not being 'right' that he's severly plucked himself .... and yup ... He sensed your new lessons for your new friend.

  • spgood301's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2006 at 2:23 PM

    The fringe benefits sound great. Sign me up!

keida84 Used To Live Here!


“Travel far and wide, travel close and near...no excuses anymore,,,just do it and be happy.”

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