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Downtown Ventura

Ventura, CA
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Downtown Ventura, Ventura California

Description

Downtown Ventura, or Main Street, has great appeal, with its palm-lined casual streets. The 19th century architecture, painted in pale pastels, is so lovely! There are an abundance of attractive cafes as well as a variety of ethnic restaurants, such as Thai food and Peruvian food. Also great is Nature's Grill, which has very fresh ingredients, and non-salty meals with lots of vegetables- a relief when you're traveling.
A great thing about historic downtown Ventura is that it is completely walkable! Park along Main Street for free, and then walk to your heart's content! There are some beautiful buildings to take in, such as the Erle Stanley Gardner Building on the corner of Main and California. City Hall is a gorgeous Beaux Arts building- you can't miss it as you look uphill on California Street. It was Ventura's courthouse until the 70s. Main Street also has a groovy art-deco theatre that is lit up in neon at night. In fact, the whole of Main Street looks very cool at night, with neon lights twirled around the palm-tree trunks.
Walk west on Main Street and you will come to the prettiest part of Ventura, the mission and the plaza called Figueroa Street Mall. Don't miss this romantic spot.
Walk east on Main Street and you will find a lovely mix of Victorian houses turned into cafes and shops. There is a shop called Rosie Lee Imports that sells everything British: biscuits (cookies), chocolate bars, meat pies, and vegemite.
Main Street, because it is parallel to the beach, is sheltered, warm, and not windy, so enjoy the sunshine. From Main Street you can walk one block to a lovely park with huge old trees and a playground, Plaza Park.
Walk several blocks south on Figueroa Street and under the freeway and you'll come to Surfer's Point, a super place to walk around with the ocean crashing below.
For some colorful mini-golf in a garden setting, drive to Golf N Stuff. For a hip little beach area check out Seaward Avenue and the Seven Jetties.
BEWARE: There are cameras at some weird intersections and you can end up with a $550 ticket in Ventura. Especially tricky is the California Street exit as you head into downtown. Go super slowly in this area so you have time to stop at the yellow, or else avoid this intersection.

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Photo Gallery

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The art deco theater on Ventura's Main Street.
The art deco theater on Ventura's Main Street.
The art-deco theater and the trees lit at night with lights that spiral down their trunks.
The art-deco theater and the trees lit at night with lights that spiral down their trunks.
Thai and Peruvian food, plus an Irish pub next door! The choices are endless in Ventura!
Thai and Peruvian food, plus an Irish pub next door! The choices are endless in Ventura!
California Street, looking up toward City Hall.
California Street, looking up toward City Hall.
The pretty Earl Stanley Gardner building, and fancy lightposts, on Main Street.
The pretty Earl Stanley Gardner building, and fancy lightposts, on Main Street.
Ventura's City Hall, as seen looking up the hill from Main Street.
Ventura's City Hall, as seen looking up the hill from Main Street.
You have to go to Ben and Jerry's Icecream (by the movie theater) while in Ventura! It's the nicest one I've been to, with fresh-made waffle cones!
You have to go to Ben and Jerry's Icecream (by the movie theater) while in Ventura! It's the nicest one I've been to, with fresh-made waffle cones!
Cute little cafe east on Main Street- Bernadette's.
Cute little cafe east on Main Street- Bernadette's.
Bernadette's Pub and Cafe, a live music venue.
Bernadette's Pub and Cafe, a live music venue.
Cute views on Chestnut Street, outside Marie Shannon Confections.
Cute views on Chestnut Street, outside Marie Shannon Confections.
Looking up at the tropical trees, at the outdoor seating of Tony's Pizzaria, a very casual place by the freeway.
Looking up at the tropical trees, at the outdoor seating of Tony's Pizzaria, a very casual place by the freeway.
Cute tavern at the pedestrian area (Figueroa Street Mall) that leads to the mission.
Cute tavern at the pedestrian area (Figueroa Street Mall) that leads to the mission.
Flowering tree, behind Nature's Grill.
Flowering tree, behind Nature's Grill.
Flower garden and brick wall, in the alley behind Nature's Grill.
Flower garden and brick wall, in the alley behind Nature's Grill.
Pretty flowers in a planter.
Pretty flowers in a planter.
There are some nice stores in downtown Ventura.
There are some nice stores in downtown Ventura.
Side street with cute shops.
Side street with cute shops.
Ventura Coast Brew Company.
Ventura Coast Brew Company.
Lavender Blue, a shop with soaps and other frilly items.
Lavender Blue, a shop with soaps and other frilly items.
A hilly side street.
A hilly side street.
Latitudes Fine Art, and Rice Thai Cuisine.
Latitudes Fine Art, and Rice Thai Cuisine.

Directions

Exit Highway 101 southbound at Main Street. Once you get to around Oak Street, park along the road. Exit Highway 101 northbound at California Street, turn right on California Street, right on Main Street and park along the road.
Rosie Lee Imports, 673 E. Main St, Ventura CA 93001, call (805) 643-5832.
Nature's Grill, 566 E. Main St, Ventura CA 93001, call (805) 643-7855.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:


meow mixer
12/09/2011 11:22
its off dah charts mang!

Rob
02/25/2011 08:26
Like a touch of Cambria nearby. Downtown Ventura is nearly perfect, if they could just flush out the bums and the smokers it would be perfect!

Phil
07/07/2010 12:44
I love the photos!

Stu
02/24/2010 13:54
RE: \"For some reason, there are also a little too many second-hand and other dowdy-looking stores on Main Street.\"

Hey! EVERYthing doesn\'t have to look like some city planner\'s sterile dream book. Those \"second-hand and other dowdy-looking stores\" serve an economic and a social purpose and obviously keep a lot of otherwise empty buildings occupied and useful. Wake up and enjoy the VARIETY of lively, downtown Ventura!

Tina
10/15/2009 14:37
Without a doubt, my favourite place in cali to go. I loved it because where I stayed was walking distance to everything the beach, the shoppoing, the great dining, the bars, only place I drove to was the miniature golf place

Abby
09/20/2007 21:50
Gorgeous weather!!!!
A very chilled, relaxed place!!!

Last Updated Mon, 22 May 2017 20:43:14 GMT