Ventura County was formed in 1873 from Santa Barbara County. Early Spanish
settlers described the area as the “land of everlasting summers” and named
the region San Buenaventura, which means good fortune. Native
inhabitants include Chumash Indians.
Ventura County covers an area of 1,873 square miles, including 43 miles of
Located northwest of Los Angeles County, and bordered by Kern County to the
north, Santa Barbara County to the west, and the Pacific Ocean on the
southwest, there are 7.5 miles of shoreline are public beaches and 411 acres
are State beach parks. The Los Padres National Forest accounts for 860
square miles or 46% of the county's land mass on the northern portion of the
county. Elevation ranges from sea level to the highest point on Mount Pinos
at 8,831 feet. Ventura ranks 26th in land size among California’s 58
counties and is the gateway to Channel Islands National Park, one of only
four designated national marine sanctuaries composed of five islands located
a few miles off the Ventura County coast, comprising a 250,000-acre
wilderness preserve/marine sanctuary. Coastal areas offer a Mediterranean
climate with average annual temperatures of 74.2 degrees. Ventura County’s
mountains, valleys and seashore give the area six micro-climates, more than
any other county in the nation.
cities are Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme,
Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and San Buenaventura
(Ventura), the County seat.
The majority of county residents live within incorporated
cities. Small communities found in rural areas of the county are located
adjacent to or surrounded by incorporated cities. There are approximately
86,873 county residents living in the unincorporated area..
Bell Canyon is located eight miles southeast of Simi Valley in an
exclusive residential canyon area reached only from Los Angeles County.
Casitas Springs, Meiners Oaks, Mira Monte and Oak View are
located along the corridor of Highway 33 between the City of Ventura and the
City of Ojai are rural residential areas.
El Rio, Del Norte & Nyeland Acres are located east of Ventura
and adjacent to the northern boundary of the City of Oxnard.
Hollywood Beach and Silver Strand are beach and coastal
communities located four miles southwest of Oxnard, named for movie and
La Conchita is a small beachside community 11 miles northwest of
Ventura along Highway 101 near the Ventura/Santa Barbara county line.
Lake Sherwood is located three miles south of Thousand Oaks,
this rural residential area is characterized by ranches and exclusive homes.
It was named after the filming of the movie “Robin Hood” in the area.
Lockwood Valley is located six miles northwest of Frazier
Mountain in the Los Padres National Forest this is a remote residential
pocket of primarily ranches.
Montalvo is located and totally surrounded by the eastern portion of
Ventura, this residential pocket borders U.S. Highway 101.
Newbury Park – Located south of Camarillo and on the “other side” of the
Conejo Grade, this large residential community is totally surrounded by the
city of Thousand Oaks and borders U.S. Highway 101.
Oak Park is located two miles south of Simi Valley and east of
Thousand Oaks, this is primarily a residential community.
Piru is located to the east of the City of Fillmore in the
Santa Clara River Valley.
Saticoy is located nine miles east of Ventura as a residential
and light industrial uses community.
The Port of Hueneme is the State’s smallest and only
deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco and plays a
significant role in the local economy by serving as the western U.S.
distribution network for many imported vehicles, including: BMW, Volvo,
Mitsubishi and Mazda; more than 200,000 autos imported in 1999 . It is also
a shipping point for agriculture with the largest refrigerated fruit
terminal on the West Coast; primarily bananas and lemons.
The United States Navy has had a presence in Ventura
County since the 1940’s. The Naval Air Station at Point Mugu was founded in
1947; it is home to research, development and test evaluation for weapons
systems. The Naval Construction Battalion Center in Port Hueneme was founded
in 1942 and is one of two bases in the United States dedicated to the
support of the naval construction force, known as the Seabees. The combined
economic impact to the County from these naval operations is about $1.2
billion and represents the largest employer in the region.
Some of the best soil in the nation for agriculture
production is located in Ventura County. Over $1 billion in crop value made
Ventura County 10th in agricultural production among California counties.
Recreational and cultural activities include Los Padres National Forest,
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum located in Simi Valley, the
Fillmore and Western historic railway offering train rides, the San
Buenaventura Mission, the Union Oil Museum in Santa Paula, art galleries
featuring the work of world famous artists in Ojai and a state-of-the-art
Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks offering symphony, ballet and a variety of
quality theatrical performances.
The 12th most populous county in the State of California
includes three community colleges located in Ventura, Oxnard and Moorpark.
California State University Campus (Cal State Channel Islands) in Camarillo,
California Lutheran University, an independent four-year liberal arts and
graduate institution located in Thousand Oaks Branch and satellite campus
operations of California State University Northridge and the University of
California at Santa Barbara are located in Ventura.
Ventura County is served by US Highway 101, Metrolink
commuter trains and Amtrak.