Ventura County, which includes the Oxnard Plain and Santa Clara River Valley, is located on the coast of California, north and west of Los Angeles County. Santa Barbara County is to the northwest. The Santa Clarita Valley is to the east. The county seat is the city of Ventura which was formerly known as San Buenaventura. Ventura County is located within the area known as Southern California. Two of the Channel Islands are in Ventura County. The Naval Base Ventura County is the largest employer in the county. Oxnard, which is the largest city in the county is home to the Channel Islands Harbor.
Serra Cross, also known as the Cross on the Hill or the Grant Park Cross, is a Christian Cross located on a hill in Ventura known as La Loma de la Cruz. The cross is in Serra Cross Park, a one acre privately owned and maintained parcel, located within Grant Park that overlooks Ventura, the Santa Barbara Channel (Pacific Ocean), Anacapa Island and the Santa Cruz Islands. While it has been replaced, the original cross was erected in 1782 which is when Mission San Buenaventura was founded. The cross can be seen from miles away.
Mission San Buenaventura
Today, Mission San Buenaventura, also known as Mission Basilica of San Buenaventura, is a Catholic parish and basilica in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles located near downtown Ventura. Founded in 1792, it was the ninth Spanish mission established in Alta California and the last to be established by Father Junipero Serra as head of the Francisan missions in California. The mission has been designated as a California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A small museum is open to the public.
Ventura County incorporated cities are:
Ventura County unincorporated communities are:
Ventura County is home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library which is in Simi Valley.
The Hope Nature Preserve consisting of 359 acres of prime land is located in the Newbury Park portion of Thousand Oaks in Ventura County.
Ventura County Economic Development Association
The Ventura County Economic Development Association, established in 1949, also known as VCEDA, is a highly recognized regional voice for businesses on issues affecting the economy in Ventura County and California. One of its major objectives is to stimulate the economy through advocacy and positive working relationships with key national, state, and local leaders. VCEDA has more than 160 members in both Ventura County and Los Angeles County.
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, constructed in Simi Valley in 1991 with private with donations, is the largest of the 13 federally operated presidential libraries. There is a permanent exhibit covering the president's life and memorabilia including Air Force One, the aircraft used by the president, and a section of the Berlin Wall. The 243,000 square foot library offers rotating exhibits and speakers. President Reagan and First Lady, Nancy Reagan are both buried on the site of the presidential library. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world visit the library in Ventura County each year.
KVTA Radio – Ventura County
KVTA (1590 AM) is a local radio station broadcasting news and talk radio from Ventura. It serves Ventura County and Santa Barbara County. For several years, Michael Chulak, the owner of Pacific-Realtors.net hosted a radio show on KVTA (1590 AM) featured as: On the Law by Attorney Michael Chulak.
Ventura College, established in 1925, is a public community college in Ventura, California. The 112-acre college has an enrollment exceeding 15,000 students and is part of the Ventura County Community College District. The founder of PacificRealtors.net was a real estate instructor for the college for several years.
Oxnard College, established in 1975, is part of the Ventura County Community College District and serves approximately 7,000 students. Located in Oxnard, the 118-acre campus services mostly students from Oxnard, which is the largest city in Ventura County, and nearby Camarillo and Port Hueneme. The two-year Community College offers Associate of Arts Degrees, Associate of Science Degrees and certificates in 26 different fields. College credits can be transferred to the University of California and all California State Universities.
Ventura College of Law
Ventura College of Law, established in 1969, is now the Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law, with the addition of the Santa Barbara campus in 1975. The law school is a private law school approved by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State of California. The founder of Pacific-Realtors.net, Michael Chulak, is a graduate and passed the State Bar examination in 1998 the first time.
Ventura County Fair
The Ventura County Fair is an annual event held in August of every year at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in the city of Ventura. The fair has been held each year since 1875 (except during World War II) and attracts more than 300,000 visitors each year. The fair includes great carnival rides and games, music, food, demonstrations, all types of exhibitions, livestock, fireworks, contests, and more. It is always a significant economic benefit to businesses located in Ventura, Oxnard, and the surrounding areas.
Saticoy Country Club
Saticoy Country Club is a private golf club located in Ventura County within the unincorporated area of Somis, north of Camarillo and Oxnard, and just east of Ventura. It is the first country club established in Ventura County dating back to 1921. The 18 hole Championship Golf Course was designed by noted architect William P. Bell. Saticoy Country Club offers golf, fitness, swimming, dining, and social activities for its members.
Casa Conejo is an unincorporated area in Ventura County surrounded on all sides by Newbury Park. The Casa Conejo Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) serves residents of Casa Conejo and makes recommendations to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. The Conejo Valley's longest creek, Arroyo Conejo, flows westward through the southern part of Casa Conejo.
El Rio is an unincorporated community in Ventura County with an estimated population of 7,400. It was founded in 1875. El Rio is located between Oxnard and Camarillo. Vineyard Avenue is to the west, North Rose Avenue is to the east, the Ventua (101) Freeway is to the south, and Central Avenue is to the north. El Rio is primarily a residential community.
Somis is an unincorporated area of Ventura County adjacent to and north of Camarillo and just west of Moorpark. It is primarily a residential community with several large estates and ranches, and an estimated population of just over 3,000.
Saticoy, established in 1861, is a small unincorporated community in Ventura County located northeast of Ventura, northwest of Camarillo, and north of Oxnard. The population is estimated at 1,100.
Mira Monte is a small, rural unincorporated community in Ventura County southwest of Ojai and north of Ventura. Lake Casitas is directly to the west and Fillmore is to the east. The population is approximately 1,000.
Los Posas Hills
The Los Posas Hills is a range of hills in Ventura County that are east of Somis, north of the Santa Rosa Valley, and west of Moorpark.
Mandalay Beach Park
Mandalay Beach Park is a 94 acre undeveloped beachfront preserve which is managed by the County of Ventura on behalf of the California State Parks Department. The area is home to the Snowy Plover and Least Tern which are two endangered species of birds. There are no services provided at the park.
San Buenaventura State Beach
San Buenaventura State Beach is a two-mile long sandy state beach located in the City of Ventura at San Pedro Street. The beach is a favorite location for picnics, swimming, surfing, and volleyball. San Buenaventura State beach is the location of the Ventura Pier and is within walking distance of downtown Ventura. The beach is an excellent place from which to view the Channel Islands, the Ventura County coastline, and passing sailboats.
McGrath State Beach
McGrath State Beach Campground
McGrath State Beach is a protected beach and park located in Oxnard just south of Ventura, and consists of two miles of ocean frontage. It is considered by many to be one of the best areas in Southern California for bird watching, fishing, and surfing. Camp sites are available.
County Line Beach, Malibu
County Line Beach is located in Solromar, an unincorporated beach community in Ventura County at the county line with Los Angeles County. While Solromar has a Malibu zip code, it is located northwest of Malibu between Whaler’s Village Condominiums to the east and the Marisol homes to the west. The one-half mile beach is located at the mouth of a canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains that lead to the California Coastal Trail. The beautiful beach is popular with surfers and scuba divers. Wildlife includes whales, dolphins, seals, and several species of birds.
Channel Islands Beach
Channel Islands Beach is an unincorporated community along the coastal edge of the Oxnard Plain in Ventura County, California made up of three neighborhoods: Silver Strand Beach, Hollywood by the Sea, and Hollywood Beach. The 1.3 mile long strip of ocean front property is separated by the mouth of Channel Islands Harbor. Many of the homes have excellent views of the ocean, the harbor, and the Channel Islands.
Faria Beach is an affluent, unincorporated beachfront community in Ventura County located northwest of downtown Ventura. Faria Beach is a 1.32 long beautiful sandy beach that has become a popular surfing spot. The area is beautiful.
The Ventura Botanical Gardens
The Ventura Botanicals is located on 107 acres near Downtown Ventura. There are extensive Mediterranean gardens, South African gardens, and Chilean gardens. Other gardens are in the process of being developed. The site offers excellent views of the Channel Islands and the Santa Monica Mountains.
Solromar is a small, unincorporated beachfront community in Ventura County located west of Leo Carrillo State Park, the Los Angeles-Ventura County line, and Malibu Beach. Solromar is famous for surfing and was mentioned by the Beach Boys in their 1963 classic song, Surfin’ USA.
Emma Wood State Beach
Emma Wood State Beach is a beautiful 112 acre California State Beach in Ventura County established in 1957. The beach borders the estuary at the mouth of the Ventura River in the City of Ventura. Emma Wood State Beach is popular for both surfing and fishing. Dolphins are often seen offshore and the Channel Islands can be seen from the beach.
Ventura County Chinese American Association
The Ventura County Chinese American Association (VCCAA), established in 1970, is a non-profit membership organization headquartered in Camarillo that serves all of Ventura County. The association's goals are to preserve the Chinese cultural heritage, language and customs. The organization sponsors the Ventura County Chinese Historical Society, a dance troupe, a youth group, a Chinese language school, a Kung Fu club and much more.
Ventura County Arts Council
The Ventura County Arts Commission, established in 1982 by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, transferred its plan and programs to the newly formed non-profit, Valley County Arts Council in 1997, which serves all of Ventura County with a wide array of arts programs.
Ventura County Chinese American Association
The Ventura County Chinese American Association (VCCAA) is a non-profit, membership organization founded in 1970 in Camarillo. The association's objectives are to preserve the Chinese cultural heritage, language, and customs. It also promotes participation in education, business, and government so as to foster constructive citizenship, improve general well-being and cultivate an appreciation of dual heritage. VCCAA founded the Ventura County Chinese American Historical Society in 2000 and the Chinese Language School in 1978. The board meets monthly. They have an extensive website.
Ventura County Greek Festival
For more than 30 years the Greek Festival has been sponsored by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Camarillo. The festival is great family fun celebrating Greek culture, food, dancing, music, games, rides, and lots of children’s activities. It is usually held in June of each year.
Museum of Ventura County Research Center
The Museum of Ventura County Research Center houses over 150,000 resources pertaining to the history of Ventura County and the surrounding area. The collection spans the Chumash People, the Mission and Rancho periods, and beyond. The Research Center has a wealth of valuable information. It is located at 100 East Main Street in downtown Ventura.
Calleguas Creek is a perennial stream with its headwaters near the City of Simi Valley. Its tributaries include Conejo Creek, Arroyo Santa Rosa, Revolon Slough, Arroyo Las Posas, and Arroyo Simi. The creek flows through the Oxnard Plain in Ventura County, to the Pacific Ocean. The Calleguas Creek watershed area includes the Bard Lake water supply reservoir area.
Calleguas Creek Site
The Calleguas Creek Site is a 1.4 acre archeological site in Ventura County near Oxnard. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 because it once included as many as five villages occupied by the Chumash People for several thousand years. The site includes burial grounds and has been the source of many historically valuable artifacts. The precise location has not been disclosed to the public in order to avoid private exploitation of the area.
Round Mountain is a 554 foot summit in Ventura County located just east of the Calleguas Creek and immediately west of California State University Channel Islands. Round Mountain is southwest of the much larger Conejo Mountain. The Conejo Valley is to the east of Round Mountain.
Santa Ynez Mountains
The Santa Ynez Mountains is an east-west mountain range in Santa Barbara County that extends eastward to northern Ventura County. The mountain range is contiguous with the Topatopa Mountains to the east and are primarily within the Los Padres National Forest. The highest point, which is unnamed, reaches 4,864 feet. Other mountain peaks are Divide Peak rising to 4,707 feet, Santa Ynez Peak rising to 4,298 feet, and La Cumbre Peak rising to 3,985 feet. The Santa Ynez Mountains run parallel to the Channel Islands which are to the south. The islands are an extension of the Santa Monica Mountains. The first people known to inhabit the Santa Ynez Mountains were the Chumash People, also known as the Chumash Indians, who settled in the area thousands of years before the area was claimed by Spain and later by Mexico.
The Topatopa Mountains are a mountain range in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County. They run east and west and are located north of Ojai, Santa Paula, and Filmore. Several major tributaries of the Santa Clara River, including Sespe Creek and Piru Creek, originate in the Topatopa Mountains. Lake Piru is the only major reservoir located within the mountain range which borders the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Sierra Pelona Mountains.
Sierra Madre Mountains
The Sierra Madre Mountains are a 25-mile long mountain rang in northern Santa Barbara County and northwestern Ventura County in Southern California. MacPherson Peak standing at 5,747 feet in elevation is located within the mountain range. Most of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range is within the Los Padres National Forest which is the northern boundary of the San Rafael Wilderness area. The Sierra Madre Mountains are an essential habitat for the endangered California Condor.
Santa Clara River Valley
The Santa Clara River Valley, also known as Heritage Valley, is mostly a rich agricultural valley in Ventura County bordered by the Topatopa Mountains, Los Padres, National Forest, and Sespe Condor Sanctuary to the north and the Santa Susana Mountains to the south. The valley runs from the boundary of northwestern Los Angeles County and the northern Santa Clarita Valley on the east to the Oxnard Plain on the west. The Santa Clara River Valley contains the communities of Santa Paula, Fillmore, and Piru. The Santa Clara River flows through the Santa Clara River Valley, originating in northwestern Los Angeles County, and then flowing west onto the Oxnard Plain and into the Santa Barbara Channel of the Pacific Ocean.
The Oxnard Plain is a large coastal plain in southwest Ventura County that includes Oxnard, Camarillo, Port Hueneme, Hollywood Beach, Silver Strand Beach, Somis, and Saticoy. The Santa Monica Mountains, the Santa Susana Mountains, and the Topatopa Mountains are to the north, the Santa Barbara Channel (Pacific Ocean) is to the south and west, and the Santa Clara River is to the east and northeast.
Santa Barbara Channel
The Santa Barbara Channel separates the coast of California from the northern Channel Islands. The channel is south of the city of Santa Barbara and west of the Oxnard Plain In Ventura County. The Santa Barbara Channel is the location of numerous major oil fields containing huge reserves which remain unexploited as a result of environmental laws.
The Olivia's Adobe is a Monterey-Sfyle historical, two-story adobe structure built 1837 and expanded inn 1849. The home was built on the north bank of the Santa Clara River in Ventura, California. Olivia's Adobe now owned by the city of Ventura is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is registered as a California Historical Landmark. Docent-led weekend tours are available, and the property is also available for special events.
The Cuyama River is a 118-mile long river that flows through San Luis Obispo County, northern Santa Barbara County and northern Ventura County. The river was named after the Chumash Indian village of Kuyam that once existed. The source of the river is the San Emigdio Mountains, within the Chumash Wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest, at the confluence of Alamo Creek and Dry Canyon Creek. The mouth of the river is the Santa Maria River just east of the city of Santa Maria. Tributaries include Santa Barbara Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Mustang Creek, Pine Creek, Quatal Creek, and the Huasna River
Dick Smith Wilderness
The Dick Smith Wilderness is a wilderness area, established in 1984, in the Los Padres National Forest which is in both Ventura County and Santa Barbara County. It is adjacent to the San Rafael Wilderness which is to the west and the Matillija Wilderness which is to the south. The Sespe Wilderness is to the east and Ojai is to the southwest. The Sisquoc Condor Sanctuary is to the northwest and the Sespe Condor Sanctuary is to the southeast. Madulce Peak, which stands at 6,541 feet, is the highest peak. Wildlife in the Dick Smith Wilderness includes mountain lions, coyotes, black bears, and California Condors.
The Sespe Wilderness is a 219,700 acre wilderness area in the southern Sierra Pelona Mountains and eastern Topatopa Mountains of Southern California. The wilderness area is totally within the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County.
Sespe Condor Sanctuary
The Sespe Condor Sanctuary, established in 1947, is a 53,000-acre wildlife refuge within the Sespe Wilderness in the southern Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County. The sanctuary was established because the California condor, the largest bird in North America, was becoming extinct. The population of condors is now slowly increasing.
Sespe Creek is a 61-mile-long stream in Ventura County that starts in the Potrero Seco in the eastern Sierra Madre Mountains and is formed by more than thirty tributaries before it empties into the Santa Clara River in Fillmore. Thirty-one miles of the stream is within Sespe Wilderness Area and has been designated as a National Wild and Scenic River. The word Sespe is a word taken from the Chumash People who once lived in the area. At least twelve types of fish can be found in Sespe Creek.
Sespe Hot Springs
Sespe Hot Springs consists of a system of thermal hot springs that seep from a hot spring creek located in the mountains near Ojai, California and the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. The hot springs have been used for hundreds of years by the Chumash People, Spanish, and Mexicans before the area became part of the United States. A hot waterfall is located at the springs.
The Ventura River is a 16.5 mile river in Ventura County that was formed by the confluence of the 17.3 Matilija Creek and the North Fork Matilija Creek. The San Antonio Creek joins the Ventura River approximately halfway to the Pacific Ocean, while the Coyote Creek joins the river closer to its mouth at Emma Wood State Beach near the City of Ventura.
The volume of water flowing in the Ventura River, and a major tributary, Coyote Creek, has been reduced by the development of Casitas Dam, which formed Lake Casitas, also known as Casitas Reservoir.
San Buenaventura Mission Aqueduct
The San Buenaventura Mission Aqueduct was seven miles long, stone and mortar, constructed to carry water from the Ventura River to the Mission San Buenaventura in Ventura. It is believed that the aqueduct was built between 1780 and 1790 by the local Chumash Indians working at the direction of the mission. Only a few vestiges of the aqueduct exist today because early settlers used many of the stones to build homes during times when water was plentiful.
Mount Pintos (Mt. Pintos) is a mountain in the Los Padres National Forest and the highest point in Ventura County and the eleventh highest in California. Mt. Pintos was considered to be the center of the world by the Chumash People when they inhabited the area in large numbers. The mountain was known as Iwihinmu in the Chumash language. From the summit, at 8,831 feet, the lights of Bakersfield in Kern County are visible. Hiking trails lead to the summit.
Lake Eleanor is an eight-acre freshwater lake in Ventura County that was formed by the Banning Dam in 1889 near Westlake Village about one mile east of Lake Sherwood and 2.6 miles from Thousand Oaks. The beautiful Conejo Valley Lake is located within the 513-acre Lake Eleanor Open Space and has been designated a Ventura County Historical Landmark and a Thousand Oaks Historical Landmark. The dam and lake are owned by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency. It is regularly stocked with Rainbow Trout, brook trout, striped bass, and crappie.
Mount Clef Ridge
Mount Clef Ridge is a mountain in Thousand Oaks and Ventura County that rises to 1,076 feet above sea level. The mountain is located within the 212 Lacre Mount Clef open space and offers excellent views of the Conejo Valley, the Santa Rosa Valley, Hill Canyon, and the Santa Monica Mountains. Trails leading to the peak are available from Wildwood Regional Park, Newbury Park, and the Santa Rosa Valley. The ridgeline runs from Wildwood Regional Pack to the Norwegian Grade. Wildlife includes deer, mountain lions and coyotes.
San Buenaventura Conservancy for Preservation
The San Buenaventura Conservancy for Preservation, established in 2004, is a nonprofit volunteer organization in Ventura County dedicated to revitalizing historic, archeological, and cultural resources. The organization has a website and is run by a ten-person board. It also provides tours of historic buildings from time to time.
Rancho Las Posas
Rancho Las Poses was a 26,623 acre Mexican land grant made in 1834 covering portions of Ventura County. The land grant extended along the Arroyo Simi in western Simi Valley and the Oxnard Plain, from Moorpark to Camarillo. Rancho Simi bordered it on the east; Rancho Calleguas, the Las Posas Hills, and the Simi Hills on the South; Rancho Santa Clara del Norte and the Arroyo del Las Posas River on the west; and the western Santa Susana Mountains on the north.
Port of Hueneme - Naval Base Ventura County
The Port of Hueneme in Ventura County is the only deep water harbor between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area. The port, which is located in the city of Port Hueneme on the Santa Barbara Channel (Pacific Ocean) serves international shipping and is also an operating facility of Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC). The NBVC is a major mobilization site, deep water port, railhead, and airfield. It employs over 19,000 personnel making it the largest employer in Ventura County.