Ventura, or Shisholop in Chumash is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States, incorporated in 1866. It is located northwest of Los Angeles on the California coast. The western portion of the City stretches north along the Ventura River and is characterized by a narrow valley with steeply sloped areas along both sides. The steep slopes of the Ventura foothills abut the northern portion of the community. Much of the eastern portion is on relatively flat alluvial coastal plain lying along the western edge of the Oxnard Plain.
The city is famed for the quality and frequency of the surfing conditions at spots such as Surfer’s Point at Ventura County Fairgrounds. Downtown 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 chili products. Numerous thrift stores contrast with high-end shops and restaurants. Downtown now features numerous restaurants, winebars and the internationally acclaimed Rubicon Theatre Company. One of the most recognizable landmarks in Ventura is “Two Trees” which are two prominent lone trees on a hilltop, visible from most of Ventura. The Ventura Harbor has fishing boats, seafood restaurants and a retail center.
The Westside of the city is a large Subdivision of neighborhoods. The area is home to the first public housing projects. The area is known for a large transient population due to its proximity to the Ventura River. Pierpont Bay (Pierpont) is a residential neighborhood in the one-mile stretch between the Ventura Harbor and San Buenaventura State Beach. Long a hodge-podge of rental dwellings, weekend cottages and vacant lots, it was transformed by successive California real estate booms into a fashionable but eclectic mix of newer large homes and older modest beach cottages, now mostly owner-occupied.
The city hosts five college campuses. Ventura College is a community college, part of the Ventura County Community College District. Public school students from kindergarten through 12th grade attend schools in the Ventura Unified School District.