of all, the real name of the city is San Buenaventura. a
title officially bestowed in 1866 -- which is Spanish for
"city of good fortune." The name San
Buenaventura derives from the Catholic mission established
here in 1782 by Father Junipero Serra. The original
mission, chapel, and grounds have all been beautifully
restored and maintained, as has the downtown Old Historic
District that surrounds it.
For obvious reasons,
nobody ever actually uses San Buenaventura, and for all
practical purposes, the city is Ventura.
Even though the city only
takes up 21 square miles, it is the hub of the
county. The city is centrally located 65
miles northwest of Los Angeles and 25 miles southeast of
Santa Barbara via Highway 101 (aka the Ventura
Freeway). It is 364 miles south of San
With a population of
109,000, Ventura is well known for its beaches, shopping,
arts, agriculture and strong economic base, which is
diversified among public and private industry, education,
health care and agriculture.
The most fascinating
statistic that we discovered while researching Ventura was
the fact that the population of the town has quadrupled in
the last two decades. So - in 1980 or so there were
just 22,000 people in the city! That's a testament
to the town's quality as a place to live and work.