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Ventura, California
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Wendy
Ventura, CA

Overall, a nice place to live. - 8/22/2013

I have lived here almost my whole life. The climate is mild - a lot of sun compared to many places; however, I personally don't care for the 2-3 months of fog in the summer and would love to go someplace where there are more disctinct seasons, with a hotter summer. The summer fog (which usually starts in June and everyone calls "June gloom") usually breaks up around noon more or less each day, but it will be windy at the same time and the wind will blow it back a couple of hours later. Fall is the warmest time of year. Winter is a little chilly (to me), but usually sunny. Winter also offers the clearest and cleanest views of the Channel Islands off the coast. Spring can get foggy as well, and rather windy. There are many outdoor activities, since there is the beach (including the harbor w/shops & restaurants and the Channel Is. Nat. Park Visitor Center, and farther north there is the pier, playground area and promenade for walking/biking), the Channel Islands and also the mountains surrounding the area. Hiking is available in nearby Ojai and Thousand Oaks (Santa Monica Mountains). There is also some farmland interspersed between the neighborhoods, so tons of locally grown produce is available (however, I wish there were more organic farms, as there seems to be a lot of spraying here and in the nearby cities of Oxnard and Camarillo.) It does feel rather crowded here(to me). I do feel safe where we live, which is on the east side of town; however, the west side and downtown area has more crime and a sizeable homeless population. Overall, I would say that it has been a nice place to grow up and begin raising my own family.

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Skip
Ventura, CA

A Mixed Bag... - 1/10/2012

I relocated to Ventura about a year and a half ago for a job after having spent over ten years living in the Los Angeles area. So first I will give the good. The weather, as other have stated is purely awesome. While it's true that we do get a lot of fog in the Spring and Summer I would take this any day over 90 plus degree days in Los Angeles and the fact is that many coastal areas in Southern California are very similar. And although I am not a beach person I would definitely say the beaches in Ventura are very nice. Unlike LA beaches it is never very difficult to find parking and the crowds are way better than they are in Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach. Another positive, again in comparison to most areas in Southern California, is that Ventura is quite bit cheaper than most decent places to live in Southern California. In Ventura is it possible to purchase a three, or even four bedroom house, for between $350K-$450K in a good area. You will not be living four blocks from the beach but you will most certainly be living in a great area to raise a family. One last positive is the location of Ventura. While Ventura doesn't have all of the action of Los Angeles the fact is that you are located within thirty minutes of Santa Barbara to the North and Thousand Oaks to the South. Santa Barbara is great for a quick weekend getaway, where you might even see a celebrity or two;-), and Thousand Oaks is great if your are looking for your "suburban mall fix." I also should mention Camarillo, even closer than Thousand Oaks, has a pretty decent Outlet mall. The main "negatives" I see with Ventura I can sum up pretty quickly. First, the population in general seems to skew a bit older. I say this being almost 42 so I am not exactly a young one but I do miss the young hip feeling of LA. Secondly, there seems to be somewhat of a conservative vibe as well. I am a complete liberal and LA obviously skews more this direction. My final issue, which some may perceive as a positive, is that even though Ventura is not what I would call necessarily a small town there are a lot of natives here and it seems a bit hard to break into on the social front. Overall I would say Ventura has more positives than negatives compared to other areas in Southern California if you can make it work.

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Bob
Ventura, CA

Best Climate in US - 7/5/2011

Coming from the Mid-West I really dislike very hot weather. However, after living a few years in Ventura I have to say this area has the very best climate I've ever experienced. When it's hot in LA it always cooler in Ventura due to the winds off of the ocean. Absolutely a great place climate wise, however you do pay extra for the nice weather.

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kerry
Ballwin, MO

A real gem - 1/19/2011

I lived in Ojai for 18 years--which is located about 10 miles inland of Ventura, and I used to go to Ventura all of the time. The beaches are wonderful, the climate is second to none. The downtown shopping district (Main St.) has seen some real revitalization over the past few years. I now live out of state, but come back to Ventura every summer for a week and look forward to a time when I can afford to live in the area again. The parks are simply OK, as some are vandalized, but the Marina is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. The city is very bike friendly and the people are friendly as well. The crime rate is well below the national average, but housing is--well--too rich for my blood at the moment. What makes Ventura so great is that you are close to Santa Barbara and LA, as well as mountains. You are close to everything! Ventura is the place to be if you enjoy being outdoors--plenty of tennis, cycling, golf, and surf for a lifetime. If you want quality museums and theatre, then it would be better to live closer to a big city.

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Bp
Vivian, LA

Misguaded by incompetent urban planning - 1/17/2011

Ventura is my home town, but I could not afford to live there as the cost of housing and taxes made it unfeasible. Ventura has a little great historic architecture left from the early 1900s, and I emphasize little. With some research one can find so much lost heritage, destroyed for the sake of commercialism and a misguided failed attempt to modernize the city in the 1950s. The downtown is an eclectic mess of old business made to look new thus neither accomplishing a modern nor old character. Ventura lost the one attribute that could have made it different than all the other Southern California communities, a real history exemplified by classic Victorian homes and businesses. With the exception of City Hall, the Bard (former) Hospital and two old (former) bank buildings, I dare anybody to take a picture of Ventura which could be featured on a tourist brochure. The city is vastly homogeneous with common utilitarian buildings, franchised restaurants, uninspired residential units and ubiquitous neo Spanish strip malls. It is my understanding that there has been a recent arts movement that it is vastly modern, a style that is ephemeral and should be relegated to ash heap of history in the future. Another negative is that there is a history of perpetual drought and water rationing. The wilderness consists of scrub brush, brown most of the year and the wild fires coat the city in ash which is an annoying health hazard. There is a wind called the Santa Ana that is hot and dry, it makes life miserable for a month.

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Sandra
Ventura, CA

The town with no rules - 12/11/2010

I would love to give Ventura a great rating, but that's not possible. I've lived in Ventura for 43 years. Ventura used to be a sleepy beach town with wonderful weather. It is now a very loud & crowded beach town with wonderful weather. Truly, the weather is the best thing about Ventura. If you can find a house that is away from any main streets or the freeway, you will be able to enjoy the weather aspect and not have to deal with as much noise. However, even in the million dollar+ view homes on the hill, you will hear motorcycles with illegal exhaust pipes ripping thru town day & night - and nothing is done to stop it. I've insulated my house 4 times and replaced all the windows, yet I still cannot sleep thru the night. This is really a shame.

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Karen
Ventura, CA

A beach community - 10/23/2010

Living in Ventura CA..a beautiful city actually, lots of old stuff too..looking for a place to get away from CA politics however, maybe with not as much regulation and taxes on everything, needing a change.

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annie
Ventura, CA

year round baseball - 5/9/2010

overall, it's been a good experience for our family. we're from the Pacific NW (rain 9 months of the year - ick, no thank you!) and THAT is depressing as hell. Ventura is beautiful. when we first moved here, it was MUCH more expensive. the prices have come down considerably, bubble has burst, people have chilled out as far as thinking they are sitting on gold in real estate. please - get real. (thank goodness) still, we'll be heading to Arizona with the kids when they're ready...prices are just too tempting and it's much more conservative although it's not nearly as liberal as nearby Santa Barba. All in all, I think you get out of it what you put into it and there ARE activities for kids if your kids are willing to put the effort into it - mine play ball year round, active in academics, husband coaches both kids, we do beach things, occasionally camp, do church things and do day trips, weekend outings. it's a good place to have a family.

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suckit
Ventura, CA

Nice beach town - 1/1/2009

undiscovered gem

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Scott

Ideal for singles, not great for kids - 11/30/2008

Ventura is a fantastic town if you're single or retired with the kids gone. It's got the best weather on the planet, a great downtown, incredible restaurants, wonderful beaches and a nice arts scene. But if you have kids, as we now do, it's not as great. There's a white trash contingent and the accompanying meth and crime scene, and the schools aren't that great. The area is more conservative than you would expect, and as in much of California, it's hard to know your neighbors. Not a kid-friendly locale, which is why we're leaving soon.

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Karen
Ventura, CA

Beach Town - 5/22/2008

Ventura is a beautiful beach town located mid way between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. The cost of living is expensive, but you are paying for the excellent weather. I was born and raised here and have seen many changes over the past 50 years. My only complaints are the cost of living and the congestion from so many people moving here.

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Justin
Palmdale, CA

Housing prices laughable - 10/3/2007

I was born and raised in Ventura. I love the place, but I can not afford to live there. Even if I wanted to live on the Westside of town, the rent is out of this world. I was paying $1150 for a old two bedroom condo. My girlfriend and me packed up our son and moved to Denver where I was able to get a nice two bedroom apt with w/d for $565. Buying a house there is too much. For me to get a house, I will have to wait until both my parents die and I take thier house. Otherwise, forget it.

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maureen
Ventura, CA

the ocean is expensive - 10/3/2007

It is very expensive to live in a beach community in CA. I often think we pay a great deal for the weather we have. It is lovely and sunny very often. Weather is rarely a factor when planning an event or an outing. Yet housing costs are so inflated that it is difficult for folks unless there are two incomes or one income over $100K ...

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Bob
Venice, CA

Venice - 3/17/2007

Cool place with lots of weird eclectic people

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Cody
Ventura, CA

A nice place to live, but way too expensive. - 10/5/2006

I've lived my whole life here (22 years) and Ventura is a great place to live if you can afford it. I feel my money could go to better things than the outrageous rent here. If you love the beach this is a great place, though it is a bit polluted. Personally I don't care for the beach or sun, and prefer the rain so I'm planning to move to Washington or somewhere similar. Ventura is close to Santa Barbara if you're into wine. Except a DECENT house to run you over $600,000. Not cheap. The weather is always good, it's rarely particularly hot or cold. We have no seasons really so don't come here expecting variety, it always looks the same. We have a nice mall, though traffic is a bit much around there, nothing compared to Hollywood though. If most of the above things interest you, you'll love Ventura.

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Erik
Ventura, CA

Too Expensive - 9/15/2006

I have to get out of here. I was born and raised in Ventura; a perfect place to live when weather and crime in concerned. I am 28 years old, wife and kid. My wife and I make good money, but the idea of buying a home in Ventura is laughable. Who wants to pay $400,000 for an old condo that needs work? The median house price is $611,500. Even if you can afford it, would you want to pay that obscene amount of money? Ridiculous. If you put $100,000 down on a median priced house, your mortgage payment is still going to be around $3,200/mo. I'll take a little less desirable weather for a lot more desirable place to call home. Ventura is not a city for families starting out, unless you want to rent a 3 bedroom house for $2,000 a month, then watch your rent increase year after year.

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Abhd
Charleston, SC

Nice Compromise between LA & Santa Barbara - 7/13/2006

Ventura is a pretty nice place to live if you don't want to be in a metropolis but still want to access one easily. I first lived in Santa Barbara when I moved out west, but after 6 months I couldn't take it anymore and moved 30 miles south to Ventura. I ended up leaving for other reasons, but it's definitely worth considering you want to be in southern California. It's sunny and beautiful 90% of the time, though it does not get quite as warm as Santa Barbara and LA do during the summer. It's more temperate, which some people love. (I'm personally a fan of heat and humidity, but to each his own.) The area is gorgeous--there are beaches, mountains, and orange orchards in abundance. It's also more affordable than Santa Barbara with tons of shopping, and it's only 55 miles to Los Angeles.

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June
Ventura, CA

Beautiful, but expensive - 6/17/2006

Ventura is a lovely place, nice for kids, but has become very expensive like everywhere else in California.

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Karen
Ventura, CA

City is not what it use to be...so sad - 5/16/2006

As a native Venturan I have seen many changes over the past 50 years. Most recently our city leaders (who are all from out of this area) have decided to exploit this seaside town. Commercialism every where. What was once a great quaint place to live or visit, has now become a developers dream come true. These developers care nothing about the charm and ambience and historical value Ventura once had. Good bye to all the cute boutique and antique stores that made downtown Ventura a special place. The congestion from driving through town is miserable. Highway 101 is always crowded. I am posting this comment here because I am in the process of looking for a "Ventura" that is not spoiled by money hungry investment/development groups. by money hungry developers who

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Donetta
Ventura, CA

Ventura, CA - 5/9/2006

Ventura is a great coastal town; 1 hour north of LA; 35 minutes south of Santa Barbara. It's small town, about 100,000 people in the community. Great schools. It's the county seat. Not enough parks for hiking/recreation is my biggest complaint.

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