Ventura's History

Welcome to the City of Ventura, one of America’s most livable communities. Ventura is located between Malibu and Santa Barbara on the blue Pacific Ocean, overlooking Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands.

San Buenaventura was founded in 1782 by Father Junipero Serra, the ninth of the California missions. He named it after the Italian St. Bonaventure, hence the nickname that Ventura is the “city of good fortune.”

Today, Ventura continues to be a tourist destination and seaside community known for its scenic coastline and hillsides, rich culture, revitalized historic Downtown and environmental stewardship.

Family Fun

Ventura is a great place to live or visit with your family all year around. Ventura is known for being a family friendly community with a variety of things for your family to experience. Between the Ventura Harbor Village, the numerous beaches, outdoor activities like hiking, a handful of playgrounds, local restaurants and bars, your stay as a family will be one to remember.

With you can get out and discover the rich history of the Ventura. We make it easy to add fun things to your itinerary. There’s fun attractions in Ventura for everyone.

Endless Shopping

Ventura plays host to a number of great independent shops, local designers, vintage markets, and other shopping destinations you can’t find anywhere else. Grab an ice cream and wander down picturesque Main Street to window-shop at clothing boutiques, antique stores, home and garden shops, art galleries, gift stores and other specialty shops. You can also visit the Pacific View Mall for the larger chain stores.

Make sure to check out’s picks for the best places to spend a day of shopping.

A Beach Town

The ocean is a perfect backdrop to all the fun things to do in here. Ventura’s many beaches which are consistently ranked top in the nation. The beaches are all free to the public, to swim, body surf or hang-ten. Build a sandcastle, rent bikes, relax with a good book, or just bask in the sun – you won’t be disappointed.

With near-perfect weather year-round, and a variety of magnificent settings citywide, Ventura offers a fun and relaxing getaway, for kids and adults, any time of year.