Ventura, California, is an eclectic and thriving coastal town 63 miles north of Los Angeles and just 30 miles south of Santa Barbara. Cruise down Main Street and imagine what life may have been like back in 1792 when Franciscan friars founded the town, naming it San Buenaventura – after the saint of good fortune. Main Street was once The Camino Real – The Kings Highway – the original trail that connected the California missions. You may feel like you’ve gone back in time as you explore Main Street’s Spanish styled buildings and especially the beautiful San Buenaventura Mission.

Today, Ventura draws new residents to all the things that tourists love – the clean natural environment, ideal weather, golden rolling hills, sweeping ocean views, beautiful beaches, friendly people, walkability, and the laid back vibe. But Ventura isn’t just beautiful beaches and Spanish mission history. The city offers high-quality economic opportunities. The economy reflects a tapestry of locally-owned, traditional, and high-tech businesses in a strong economy.

Moving can be stressful and complicated, especially if  you’re coming from another state. Fortunately, Ventura has many licensed and insured moving companies that can help you make the transition. When you decide to move to Ventura you’ll be singing its praises – just like in the 70s song, ‘Ventura Highway’:  “Ventura Highway in the sunshine, where the days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine. You’re gonna go, I know.”

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Living in Ventura, CA: What to Know Before Moving to Ventura

About 107,186 people live in the City of Ventura, but the metro area has about 850,000 residents with a diverse population of about 43% White, 43% Hispanic, and 7% Asian. Also geographically diverse, Ventura features beautiful coastline and beaches; agricultural; small industrial and commercial; and residential areas backed by undeveloped mountains.

Pros and Cons

Moving to Ventura is a fairly easy decision. Who wouldn’t want to live in an ideal climate right on the Pacific Ocean, but without the metropolitan crush and cost of San Diego, Los Angeles, or San Francisco? It’s easy to come up with a long list of advantages to living and working in Ventura, but a challenge to come up with as many disadvantages.


  • Ideal climate
  • High-quality job options
  • Beautiful natural environment
  • Historic downtown
  • Location on the Pacific Ocean
  • Foodie, wine, and brewery scene featuring sustainably-raised locally sourced products


  • High housing costs
  • High taxes
  • Growth
  • Limited public transportation

Is Ventura, CA a Nice Place to Live?

Ventura is a beautiful place to live and is a lively town where the climate is always great, nature trails and parks abound, and job opportunities are diverse and plentiful across different industries. Considered one of the best small towns in America, Ventura offers many of the same amenities as a big city but without heavy traffic or high crime rates. It also has a strong foodie scene, with many restaurants and bars serving up the state’s best organic produce, craft beer, and wines. There are lovely parks, beaches, and rolling hills within just a few minutes of downtown, so there are always opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Tax Rates

  • Sales tax: You’ll pay 7.75% on retail sales compared to the US average of 7.3%. The Ventura sales tax is the result of a 6% state rate, a 0.25% county rate, a city rate of 0.5%, and a special rate of 1%.
  • State income tax:  The average California state income tax rate is 9.3%, more than two times the US average of 4.6%.
  • Property tax: Ventura County assesses a 1.1653% rate on a property’s assessed value. On a home valued at $423,409, the annual property tax bill would be $4,852.

Housing Market

According to, the median home price is $601,400. Home appreciation increased 1.5% in 2018-19 and is forecast for a very slight increase of 0.1% for 2020. According to, the market temperature is cool, making 2019-2020 a good time to buy a property.

In Ventura, you’ll be able to choose from a huge range of housing types – from mobile homes, condos, apartments, townhouses, single-family homes, and large properties with homes covering over 5,000 square feet. About 64% of Ventura residents own their homes. The median rent price in the city is $2,700, compared to almost $3,000 in the metro area.

If you’re hoping to keep housing costs low, consider one of the attractive mobile home parks scattered around the city. A mobile home can be a terrific way to enter the housing market.

Cost of Living

Living in Ventura will cost more than most other cities in California or the US. The average US cost of living index is 100. In comparison, the Ventura cost of living index is 171/100 – 71% higher than the US average, and the California cost of living average index is 168.6/100. The most expensive costs you’ll face are housing at 319.7/100, transportation at 123.8/100, and miscellaneous (repairs, taxes, eating out, clothing, etc.) expenses at 105.2/100. Fortunately, some costs are lower than average such as groceries 98.1/100, health 93.2/100, and utilities 95.4.

If you decide to buy a home and can put down a hefty down payment, your housing costs will be more manageable compared to many other California beachside cities such as Santa Monica or Malibu where groceries are 2.3% higher, housing is 12.3% higher, utilities are 3% higher, transportation is 61.5% higher, and health costs are 8.6% higher.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of two adults and two children living a moderate lifestyle will need a monthly income of $8,772 to live in the Ventura metro area. They can count on needing at least $1,739 for housing, $860 for food, $1,290 for childcare, $1,390 for transportation, $1,109 for health care, $1,336 for taxes, and $1,049 for ‘other necessities’.

Although you’ll be paying more for Ventura housing, you’ll be bringing in more income. The Ventura median household income is $81,972 compared to the US median of $57,652. However, over 40% of Ventura County residents earn between $100,000 to $200,000 per year.

Weather and Natural Disasters

Even though temperatures are mild with little fluctuation in Ventura’s Mediterranean climate, Pacific Ocean breezes moderate the temperatures even more so that Ventura has an ideal climate. August is the toastiest month – perfect beach weather – with average highs of 83 degrees F. The coldest months are December and January with average highs of 66 and average lows of 45. You’ll feel far less humidity compared to the south or east coast even though Ventura is right on the coast. gives Ventura a 9/10 comfort index – pretty comfy compared to the US average of 7/10.

The rainy season is from November through March, and the average annual rainfall is just short of 15″. Will you see any snow? During one or two winter storms, the mountain peaks behind the city will turn white, but it would be exceptionally rare to see snow in the city.

In 2017, one of the area’s most damaging wildfires raged in the hills behind Ventura. Hot Santa Ana winds, mainly in the fall, can spark disastrous fires. Ventura’s Ready Ventura County plan encourages residents to create an emergency supply kit, and their website includes detailed information about natural disaster threats that include drought, wildfires, floods, Santa Ana winds, tsunami, and earthquakes.

Economy and Job Market

Ventura’s economy is healthy and strong. The unemployment rate is 3.2%, slightly lower than the 3.9% US average. Job growth in 2019 is up 1.04% and future job growth over 10 years is predicted to be 27.74% compared to the US predicted rate of 33.51%.

Major industries include:

  • healthcare, the city’s largest employer
  • agriculture, particularly strawberries, raspberries, citrus and a growing ‘farm to fork’ movement
  • manufacturing, especially the production of oil, medical, transportation, construction, and electronic supplies
  • retail, with consumer spending critical to Ventura’s economy
  • technology, with a major focus on sustainability, alternative energy, conservation and communication
  • hospitality, travel, and tourism, with tourists drawn to the beaches to surf, swim, beachcomb or play in the ocean, explore the mission history of the area or savor the local food, wine, and brews

The top five major employers are the County of Ventura, Ventura Unified School District, Community Memorial Health System, Ventura College, and Employer’s Depot. The prestigious Patagonia outdoor gear and clothing manufacturer and retailer, famously known for their environmental and business sustainability practices, is headquartered in Ventura.

Ventura Ventures Technology Center was created in 2009 by the City of Ventura as an economic stimulus to promote jobs, job growth, and create local companies in the area. As you start job hunting, be sure to fine-tune your resume. Most employers will want to see it in pdf format. Use online job search sites to get an idea of the types of jobs that meet your qualifications, send your resume, and polish up your interviewing skills.

Traffic and Transportation

US 101, also known as CA Route 1, is the main north-south highway through town, linking Ventura with Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, and the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area to the south and Santa Barbara to the north. Given that Hwy 101 is the only north-south artery along the California coast, it gets heavy traffic year-round and especially during holidays and summer vacation. CA Route 126 runs east through the Santa Clarita Valley, eventually connecting with US 5, a major north-south freeway linking central northern and southern California. CA Route 33, offering an option to see classic California back roads, runs north to Ojai and some small towns in the backcountry.

If your job requires a commute, plan on an average one-way trip of about 26.6 minutes – just a fraction over the 26.4 minutes US average. 11.5% of residents carpool and 78% drive on their own to get to and from work. Public transit has a long way to go in Ventura. Gold Coast Transit and VCTC Intercity are intercity and commuter bus services. The Harbor Trolley, a free service, loops around from the Ventura Harbor to downtown. Linking to Los Angeles Union Station, the Ventura County Line of Metrolink is accessible at the East Ventura Station.

Although public transportation is limited, it’s easy to walk and bike around central Ventura. If you’re lucky enough to land a job right in the city, chances are you’ll be able to walk or bike to work. rates Ventura 82/100 for walkability and 77/100 for bikeability.

The Amtrak station is downtown at Harbor Blvd and Figueroa St. The Amtrak Surfliner takes you past some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in California; head south through Los Angeles to San Diego or north to Oakland. The closest international airport is in Los Angeles (LAX), 68 miles south of Ventura. Regional and direct international flights can take you anywhere in the world.

What To Do

From exploring the city’s fascinating mission history to camping on the sand, Ventura has a huge variety of things to do. Nightlife, wine bars, breweries, charming sidewalk cafes, boutique shopping, historic home tours, harbor cruises – the list of things to keep you entertained is almost endless.

  • Entertainment and nightlife: Some amazing acts have come and gone in Ventura over the years. The beautiful Majestic Ventura Theater has been a famous venue for concerts from The Doors, Pearl Jam, Van Halen, Ray Charles, Tom Petty, and Johnny Cash. Check out their calendar for upcoming fun. The Ventura County Fairgrounds has been a historically famous venue for acts like The Grateful Dead, Smokey Robinson, and Jimi Hendrix. The excitement continues year-round with garden, crafts, dog, hot rod, and RV shows; weekly swap meets; auto races at the fairgrounds raceway; and even seaside highland games.
  • Sports: You won’t find the typical pro sports in Ventura, but hey, you’re in prime beach country. Surfers’ Point is the site of the annual surf and paddle surf competitions, and you can check the live surf report and forecast at Rodeo at the beach? Yep! The PRCA Pro Rodeo happens every August at the Ventura County Fair fairgrounds.
  • Parks: There’s no shortage of green space in Ventura. You can play in about 40 city and county parks, from the Ventura Botanical Gardens and Grant Park to beachside parks like Seaside Park. Many day-parks feature softball fields, tennis courts, dog parks, hiking trails, and frisbee courses. Others are designed for overnight beach camping with BBQs, picnic tables, and tent or RV sites. One of the most popular camping parks is at San Buenaventura State Beach. Geo-hikes, sponsored by the Geologic Maps Foundation, are a fascinating way to learn about Ventura’s geology while you get some invigorating exercise.
  • Ocean fun: Ventura Harbor Village Marina features 35 shops, galleries, and restaurants along its colorful and vibrant promenade. In addition to being home to the Ventura commercial fishing fleet and private yachts, you can participate in fun waterfront activities such as harbor cruises, dive and fishing boat excursions, or rent a kayak or paddleboard. Charter boats depart daily for the Channel Islands National Park, headquartered at the harbor. Fishing from the 1,600-foot long pier is a popular pastime, and while we’re talking about ocean-oriented things to do, sunning and playing in the waves along Ventura’s beautiful beaches never gets old.
  • Cultural fun: Historic downtown features a range of outdoor cafes, coffee houses, restaurants, boutiques, spas, salons, antique stores, art galleries, museums, and historic buildings. The Olivas Adobe is used today as a performing arts venue and museum. A must-see is the restored San Buenaventura Mission on E Main St.
  • Food, wine, and brew fun: Just touching the tippy top of the outstanding food and drink iceberg, the following are worthy: Brophy Brothers, at the harbor, has been Ventura’s #1 favorite seafood restaurant for years. Cafe Zack, housed in a 1930s cottage, is super-popular with locals, and Paradise Pantry is just that – a paradise of quality locally-sourced food and a gourmet market. California wines are primo, and you’ll taste some of the best on the Ventura County Wine Trail. While you’re nosing around historical downtown, stop in at Anacapa Brewing Company on E Main Street to quench your thirst for house-brewed ales and lagers.

Schools and Universities

Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) provides education K-12 and includes 18 elementary schools, five middle schools, and five high schools. VUSD provides ‘Schools of Choice,’ allowing parents to enroll their children in their school of choice as long as the school isn’t above enrollment capacity.

Compared to the US average of $12,383, Ventura County spends $10,481 per student. The student-teacher ratio is high at 26 students to one teacher compared to the US average of about 17 students per teacher. The Ventura high school graduation rate of 84% is higher than the Us average of 82.5%.

If you’re planning post-secondary education, Ventura offers several options: The Southern California Institute of Law, Santa Barbara Business College, Ventura College and Ventura College of Law all have campuses in Ventura. The California State University Channel Islands campus sits in Ventura County.


Crime in Ventura is lower than US averages. On a ranking of 1 for low crime and 100 for high crime, Ventura violent crime is 16.6 compared to the US average of 22.7. Property crime in Ventura ranks 30.2 compared to the US average of 35.4.

Utility Providers

Use the handy phone numbers or links to go to your utility providers’ start service pages and plan to get your new accounts set up well in advance of your move. All providers will require a phone number, so try to get your new phone number set up before you open your new utility accounts.

  • Electricity: Southern California Edison, 800.655.4555, is the power provider in Ventura. Go to their ‘turn your service on and off’ page to set up service at your new address. To get started, you’ll need your driver’s license or ID and social security number.
  • Water and sewer: The City of Ventura handles water and sewer services. Service can only be set up by phone. Call 805.667.6500 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The office closes alternate Fridays and weekends.
  • Gas: SoCal Gas Company, 877.238.0092, provides residential gas service. Start, move, or transfer your service here.
  • Waste: The City of Ventura contracts with Harrison & Sons for waste removal. Call them at 805.647.1414 or fill out their online form to request services. Once your form is submitted, you’ll be contacted by phone or email to arrange your service.
  • Cable, phone, and internet: Confirm that your address is in their service area, and ask about speeds and service levels before committing to cable or internet. The three major providers in Ventura are:
    1. Spectrum, 800.892.2253, offering cable TV, internet, and home phone. Enter your new address on their website to find the best service and package pricing.
    2. AT&T U-verse, 800.288.2020, provides Direct TV, streaming, and bundles. Check availability for your new Ventura address.
    3. Verizon, 800.837.4966, offers TV, internet, phone, and special deals. Learn more here.
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Best Neighborhoods in Ventura, CA

You’ll have a lot of choices when trying to decide among Ventura neighborhoods. You may be looking for the buzz of seaside activity and entertainment, prefer the exciting historical vibe of downtown or want to live in a hillside home with ocean views. The numbers behind the school names reflect their rating.


Just south of downtown, Midtown is bordered by S Mills Rd on the north and Hwy 101 on the south. With its mix of residences, businesses, and historical sites, the Midtown neighborhood has a vibrant urban vibe.

Homes vary between condos, apartments, two to three-bedroom one-story ranch-style, California cottages, and vintage Craftsman styles. Home values have risen 1.3% in 2019 but aren’t expected to rise in 2020. Although the median home value is well under $700,000, the median list price as of summer 2019, is $715,000.

  • Population: 5,898
  • Median home value: $674,300
  • Median rent: $2,749
  • Schools: Lincoln Elementary School 4/10, Loma Vista Elementary School 7/10, Will Rogers Elementary School 3/10, Golden Valley Charter School K-12 5/10, Anacapa Middle School 5/10, Ventura High School 6/10

Considering the City of Ventura is a smaller sized city, the variety of amenities in Midtown will amaze you. The Pacific View Mall, Community Memorial Hospital, and Ventura County Medical Center are probably the best-known landmarks of this diverse neighborhood. But you’ll find so much more – Ahoi! Surfcrafts, Abednego Book Shoppe, Barrel 33, Bierbrats, Midtown Cafe, the Art Gallery of Grace and Lee Hodges Studio, Salzer’s Records, Olivas Adobe Historical Park, and the Buenaventura Golf Course are just a few of the many amenities in Midtown. You’ll probably be able to walk to most locations, but if you can’t, just about anything you want to do will be a short drive from home.

Something to try: On the first Sunday of each month, tour the Dudley House Museum and History Center, one of the few authentically restored Victorian farmhouses in Ventura County.

Pierpont | South Seaward

The Pierpont neighborhood is just west of Hwy 101 and downtown. The borders are E Harbor Blvd to the east, Peninsula Street on the south, the Pacific Ocean on the west, and San Pedro St on the north. Pierpont Blvd bisects the neighborhood, running parallel to Hwy 101.

High end two to three-bedroom homes are densely packed on small lots, and even though the neighborhood is right on the coast, the area has shopping, restaurants, beach access, and a bike path. Some homes are beachfront, and some have private boat slips so you can be out on the high seas in a flash. The homes between Pierpont Blvd and the sand range in price from one million to just under four million dollars, however the asking price for homes decreased 2.7% in early 2019.:

  • Population: 2,532
  • Median list price: $1.27 million
  • Rental price range: $2,095 to $4,700
  • Schools: Pierpont Elementary School 7/10, Cabrillo Middle School 7/10, Ventura High School 6/10

The neighborhood features a wide variety of amenities such as Seaward Surf and Sport, Spasso Cucina Italiana, Lucky Thai Cuisine, and a few inns and hotels for your guests who are overstaying their welcome but don’t want to leave Ventura. Along E Harbor Blvd you’ll find gas stations, hotels, and fast-food places that cater to travelers on Hwy 101.

Something to try: Sidle over to Seaside Surf and Sport. Rent a board. Buy some sunscreen and slather it on. Hit the waves.

Ventura Keys

The Ventura Keys is a small neighborhood located directly north of the Ventura Harbor just a mile from downtown and features single-family residences. Peninsula St creates the northern boundary, E. Harbor Blvd on the east, the Arundell Barranca waterway on the south, and the breathtaking Pacific Ocean on the west. You won’t find apartment buildings or mobile home parks in Ventura Keys.

The 400 homes that are off the water tend to be smaller single story two-bedroom residences, and the 300 on the water are grander two-story houses with decks and boat docks. The Ventura Keys was developed in the 1960s, so home pricing is based on whether the home has been renovated or not. The Ventura Keys Homeowners Association (VKA), a voluntary organization, charges a minimum fee of $100 per year to maintain facilities and keep property values high. Although the dues are voluntary, if not paid, a homeowner can’t use the VKA tennis, volleyball, or basketball courts; the private beaches; playgrounds; nor the dock.

  • Population: 2,470
  • Median list price: $625,000
  • Rental price range: $2,100 to $10,000
  • Schools: 7/10 Pierpont Elementary School 7/10, Cabrillo Middle School 7/10, Ventura High School 6/10

Families relax at private Little Beach or Big Beach where kids can safely play on the sand, and Marina Park is a lovely green space between the Keys and the harbor mouth. A tradition that Keys residents love is that boaters who enter or exit through the waterways never pass without getting a friendly wave from homeowners watching from above. Christmas is especially beautiful and special in the Keys when just about every boat and home is decked out with an array of colorful lights.

Something to try: Take a leisurely drive among the Ventura Keys; stop and chat with a few friendly residents to get a sense of the neighborhood.

East End

If you’re hoping to live in a Ventura neighborhood that isn’t influenced by tourism, check out the East End. Just a few miles east of downtown and the coast, East End is roughly between the Santa Clara River on the south, the city of Santa Paula on the east, Foothill Rd on the north, and Hwy 101 on the west.

Residences in this urban residential community are typically one story two to three-bedroom ranch styles, townhomes, mobile homes, apartments, condos, and more recently built two-story homes. But along Foothill Rd, estate type homes on beautiful oak-studded properties with ocean views will feature five and six bedrooms. East End is considered somewhat walkable with a 63/100 ranking from and bikeable with a rating of 60/100.

  • Population: 2,238
  • Median list price: $725,000
  • Median rent price: $2,670
  • Schools: Loma Vista Elementary School 7/10, Lincoln Elementary School 4/10, Will Rogers Elementary School 3/10, Poinsettia Elementary School 7/10, Balboa Middle School 6/10, Buena High School 6/10

You’ll find some of Ventura’s major office buildings, small specialty shops, grocery stores, coffee shops, and larger stores in East End. Ventura College is on the western border of the neighborhood along with the Ventura County Government Center. Additional perks of living in East End are the 100-acre community park, the popular Ventura Aquatic Center, and Saticoy Regional Golf Course.

Something to try: Stop in for an espresso at cozy Simone’s Coffee & Tea where chances are, you may meet a new neighbor.

Ventura Harbor Village

Away from the constant hum of Hwy 101, this unique neighborhood is bordered by the beautiful Pacific Ocean on the west, Seafarer St on the north, E Harbor Blvd on the east, and the Santa Clarita River mouth on the south.

It’s surprising, given the proximity to the ocean, that a modest home in Ventura Harbor Village lists for $440,000 and several mobile home parks make living here extremely affordable. The Ventura Harbor attracts people from all over California who keep their boats at the harbor. Many rentals are short-term vacation rentals, which often boost the price of long-term rentals. Waterfront homes are typically two-story three to four bedrooms with decks and docks.

With views out to the Channel Islands and back toward the mountains, you may imagine you’re visiting the Italian Riviera when you’re hanging out in Ventura Harbor Village. You can sail out to the islands in your own yacht, or take sailing lessons. Lots of attractions beckon tourists and locals who love the activity by the sea – browse art galleries and boutiques, sit down to some of the freshest locally-caught seafood, then try to decide among 40 flavors of ice cream. Try Baja Bay Surf and Taco, Barefoot Boutique, Boatyard Pub, Channel Islands Kayak Center, or Fishermen’s Market to take home some locally caught seafood if you prefer to grill at home or on the sand.

  • Population: 2,843
  • Median list price: $440,000
  • Median rent price: $2,700
  • Schools: Pierpont Elementary School 7/10, Cabrillo Middle School 7/10, Ventura High School 6/10

Something to try: Are you curious about the sea life that roams under and above the Pacific Ocean? Visit the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at the Channel Islands National Park and find out interesting details that may surprise you.


Historical downtown Ventura is bordered by Hwy 101 on the west, Ash St on the south, Poli St on the east, and Hwy 33 on the north. E Main Street, which runs parallel to Hwy 101, is where you’ll find the Ortega Adobe, Museum of Ventura County, Mission Park, Eastwood Park, the Albinger Museum, the San Buenaventura Mission, the Rubicon Theatre, and Memorial Park.

Your choice of home types will vary from contemporary condos, modern apartments, classic California bungalows, and larger two-story three to four-bedroom homes with views. As of summer, 2019, Zillow reports the housing market is ‘very hot’ in downtown Ventura where 26% of residents own their homes.

The City of Ventura welcomes new business, so if you’re dreaming of starting your own company, the Downtown Ventura Partners will guide and support your venture. Your new business could rub elbows with some very successful enterprises such as Grapes and Hops, Jockamo Records, Palm & Boy Coffee and Acai, Patagonia Ventura’s Great Pacific Iron Works, and The Majestic Ventura Theater.

  • Population: 6,370
  • Median home value: $676,900
  • Median rent price: $2,738
  • Schools: Lincoln Elementary School 4/10, Cabrillo Middle School 7/10, Ventura High School 6/10

New residents are not only attracted to the convenience of living in downtown but are drawn to the high quality laid back urban vibe. Among palm tree-lined streets, downtown hums with friendly people, family-owned stores, boutiques, historic homes, museums, a vibrant foodie and music scene, California history – truly far too much to mention here. Take a look at visitventura to get an idea of all that downtown living can offer you.

Something to try: Head out on foot or rent an eBike to explore all the historic downtown sites.

College Area

The College Area is north of Hwy 126, between the Pacific View Mall and Victoria Avenue. Considered the educational hub of the city, the neighborhood includes two high schools, the University of California at Santa Barbara Ventura Campus, and Ventura College. The area also has important recreational and cultural facilities associated with Ventura College including drama, arts, music, and lectures in its theater and galleries.

Mobile homes, condos, townhomes, single-family bungalows, mid-century modern styles, contemporary and two-story ranch are just some of the choices of homes you’ll have it you choose to live in the College Area. Many homes have ocean or mountain views, and 79% of residents are homeowners.

  • Population: 3,297
  • Median list price: $699,000
  • Median rent price: $2,300
  • Schools: Elmhurst Elementary School 3/10, Poinsettia Elementary School 7/10, Loma Vista Elementary School 7/10, Foothill Technology High School 9/10, Buena High School 6/10

Adjacent to the Ventura College campus, the 1892 Dudley House features a living history museum. Just like bees, plant lovers swarm to the Dudley House lavender garden with over 100 varieties of lavender that flower in the spring and early summer. Two regional parks, Arroyo Verde and Camino Real, provide a huge variety of activities from hiking, picnicking, and sports. Cafe Ficelle serves comfort food, happy hour drinks, and features live performances.

Something to try: Pack a picnic and head up to Arroyo Verde Park. Throw down your blanket and enjoy the beautiful ocean views.


Tucked in between the Pacific Ocean, the Ventura River, and the Ventura Hills along Hwy 33, the Westside is known by locals as ‘The Avenue.’ Ventura’s pioneer families originally settled this diverse neighborhood, building the city around citrus, apricot, and walnut orchards. The trailhead of the Ventura River Trail, which connects Ventura to the eclectic town of Ojai, is located in the Westside.

Home styles range from condos, apartments, mobile homes, vintage California cottages, and two-bedroom single-story ranch styles, to new three and four-bedroom construction in Tuscan and Craftsman styles. If living in a neighborhood where residents advocate for continual community improvement appeals to you, check out the Westside Community Council. The group consists of volunteers dedicated to improving the Westside quality of life; they host monthly meetings open to the community.

  • Population: 14,000+
  • Median list price: $498,000
  • Median rent price: $2,350
  • Schools: Sheridan Way Elementary School 3/10, EP Foster Elementary School 5/10, Ventura Charter School of Arts and Global Education 7/10, Cabrillo Middle School 5/10, Ventura High School 6/10.

The Bell Arts Factory, a non-profit community-based organization, is housed in a beautiful historic building that provides studio space for over 30 artists. The organization helped fuel the bohemian art renaissance in the Westside. Other amenities in the neighborhood include Merlich Art Glass, Stoneworks Studios, Vita Art Center, plus some calorie-worthy taquerias: Taqueria Cuernavaca and Taqueria Tepatitlan.

Something to try: Walk or cycle the Ventura River Trail, a “rail-trail” designed to connect residents in city neighborhoods.

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Patricia McBratney

Between working as a clinical educational therapist and flipping houses, Patty’s lifelong love of horses found her riding the remote... Read More