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Ventura, California

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Ventura in California.

 

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Ventura (officially the City of San Buenaventura; commonly called San Buenaventura before 1891) is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States, incorporated in 1866. The population was 100,916 at the 2000 census. The April 2010, California Department of Finance estimates the population at 109,946. Ventura is accessible via U.S. Route 101, State Route 33, and State Route 126.

Points of interest

Ventura has some of the best surfing in Southern California, especially Surfer's Point at Ventura County Fairgrounds. Downtown Ventura is home to the Mission San Buenaventura, museums, galleries, dining, and shopping. Primary areas of activity include California Street and Main Street between Ventura Avenue and Fir Street. Located in downtown is the historic Ortega Adobe, once home to the Ortega family, now famous for their chile products. Numerous thrift stores contrast with high-end shops and restaurants. Downtown Ventura is also home to Ventura's ornate city hall building with its signature statue of Junipero Serra. Downtown now features numerous restaurants, winebars and the internationally acclaimed Rubicon Theatre Company.

A 4,300-square-foot (400 m2) Ventura Visitors Center is located at 101 S. California Street, in downtown and features exhibits on the Heritage Valley, Channel Islands National park, local arts scene and maps and guide books on the area.

One of the most recognizable landmarks in Ventura is a site known as two trees. These are two lone trees that stand on a hill and can be seen from most of Ventura.

In Plaza Park (Chestnut and Santa Clara Streets, downtown) one of the nations largest Moreton Bay Fig Trees is marked with an historic plaque. Across the street is the main post office with WPA murals on its interior walls.

The Ventura Harbor is home to fishing industry, seafood restaurants and a shopping village at Ventura Harbor Village; it is famous for shops such as The Glass Touch and restaurants such as Milano's and World Famous Hicees BBQ. Home to two of Ventura Counties favorite blues bands, the legendary Blue Stew and the offspring of that group, Baby Sister. The Channel Islands National Park Headquarters is also located in this harbor, and boats to the Channel Islands depart from there daily.

Pierpont Bay (Pierpont) is the residential neighborhood along the one mile stretch between the Ventura Harbor and San Buenaventura State Beach. Reclaimed marshland was subdivided in 1925 with sluggish sporadic development through years of economic depression, wars, and two coastal floods (in 1937 and 1962). Formerly a hodge-podge of mostly rentals, weekend cottages and vacant lots, each of California's real estate booms brought surges of development and renovation and now Pierpont is mostly owner-occupied with an equal number of large, high-quality homes and older modest beach cottages. A lack of planning has left Pierpont with an apparent identity crisis, with widely varying architectural styles, a poorly implemented commercial area along Seaward Avenue, a noticeable lack of city maintenance, even next to multi-million dollar homes, and continuous conflicts regarding regulation of the neighborhood's public beach areas. Conflicts are likely to increase in the near future, with plans for high-density development along already-crowded streets, and with State officials beginning to exercise authority along beaches that have been mostly self-regulated for the last eighty years.

The Ventura County Fairgrounds is the home of the annual Ventura County Fair, and over the years has hosted such acts as Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Smokey Robinson, and All American Rejects.

The Derby Club at the Ventura County Fairgrounds offers Horse Racing Live via Satellite, and full service bars and restaurants.

The Ventura County Fairgrounds is also the home of Ventura Raceway, "The best little dirt track in America".

The Ventura County Fairgrounds also serves as a Train Station for Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner route

The Vans Warped Tour also stops yearly at the Ventura County Fairgrounds with line ups including bands such as Yellowcard, Pepper and Avenged Sevenfold.

The Olivas Adobe, one of the early California Rancho homes, is operated today as a museum and performing arts venue. Located adjacent to the Olivas Park Golf Course, the home is one of the most visited historic sites on the central coast. Living history reinactments, demonstrations of Rancho life, and wonderful ghost stories abound. A summer music series of performances held in the old home's courtyard feature an eclectic assortment of artists from blues to jazz to country.

Perry Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner had a law practice and did much of his early writing in Downtown Ventura. The building where his law offices were housed, at California and Main Street bears his name on a historical marker.

Many films including Swordfish, Little Miss Sunshine, Chinatown, Erin Brockovich, The Aviator, Swordfish, and The Rock were partly filmed in Ventura. The majority of the 2011 release Bellflower was shot in Ventura.

Downtown Ventura also hosts the Majestic Ventura Theater, a beautiful early century theatre, which is situated about two blocks away from city hall. It serves as a venue for concerts. The theater has seen many bands such as Gregg Allman, John Prine, The Doors, Devo, Van Halen, X, Paramore, She Wants Revenge, Pennywise, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lamb of God, Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Thrice, Avenged Sevenfold, Fugazi, Incubus, Tom Petty, America, They Might Be Giants, and Modest Mouse, as well as successful local artists such as Army of Freshmen, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Gregory Hillman, Bruce Kimmell, Shim Come Quick

The headquarters for outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia is located downtown. There was an organic clothing retailer on Main Street called Korazon Organics (now out of business) and the eco-designer Stewart+Brown has their factory just a few blocks from the ocean. Chic diaper bag manufacturer Petunia Pickle Bottom is headquartered near downtown Ventura. Ventura is a course in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. It was called 'Skatestreet Ventura'.

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