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Ventura Vacation Resort Guide by MainTour
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Adventure Overview Vacation Resorts - Downtown Ventura

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    Ventura (pop. 88,700 / formerly San Buenaventura) is located on that scenic stretch of coast highway running from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo. Today it's economy is focused on oil production and agriculture.

    The first explorer to reach here was Gaspar de Portola in 1769. 13 years later Father Junipero Serra created the first settlement with the founding of Mission San Buenaventura in 1782. In th 1860's Americans and Europeans began to settle the area and changed the name from San Buenaventura to Ventura.

    Ventura also hosts the park headquarters for the Channel Islands National Park located a short distance offshore. To this end there is also a public pier, marinas and beaches.

    Points of Interest:

      Tour Channel Islands National Park
      Accessible only by boat, these islands are a primary home for marine mammals and nesting sea birds. Primitive camping, diving, sportsfishing and boating opportunities abound.

      Tour Los Padres National Forest
      Large wilderness preserves covering coastal, desert and alpine terrain and sanctuary for the California Condor. Abundant camping, picnic grounds and hiking trail opportunities.

      Ventura Harbor Village (805) 644-0169
      This place features day cruises, sailing lessons, kayak rentals, 36-horse carousel, art galleries, specialty shops, bakery, ice cream parlor, and restaurants serving fresh local seafood. Watch for weekend special events and concerts. Popular stop for the Ventura Trolley

      Buenaventura Plaza - Pacific View Mall
      - Major Shopping Mall with Macy's, JC Penney, and over 200 specialty shops.

      Ventura County Museum
      100 E. Main St. , Ventura, CA; (805) 653-0323;
      Hosts the George Stuart Historical Figures portraying the famous and infamous of world history.

      Albinger Archaeological Museum
      113 E. Main St, Ventura, CA; (805) 648-5823;
      Large display of artifacts from a site excavated near the San Buenaventura Mission, some items date back 3,500 years. Many stone relics come from the Chumash city of Mitz-kanakan (1600-100 B.C.). Free Admission.

      San Buenaventura City Pier
      One of California's oldest piers (built 1872) is located at the end of California Street. Today it features a snack bar, a full service seafood restaurant and scenic views of the Channel Islands.

      Olivas Adobe Historical Park
      4200 Olivas Park Dr, Ventura, CA; (805) 644-4346; Free Admission;
      Monterey style adobe house built by Raymundo Olivas in 1847. Small museum of artifacts and handicrafts from the Spanish rancho era of California history. The park also has rose and herb gardens.

      Farmers Market - Ventura
      Fresh produce, vegetables, eggs, berries, herbs, flowers and plants. (805) 529-6266.
      Main St & Mills Road - Wedz 10AM-1PM
      Santa Clara and Palm Sts - Sat 8:30AM-noon

      J. Comstock Fire Museum
      Figueroa Plaza, Ventura, CA; (805) 339-4300;
      Displays of antique fire-fighting equipment, vehicles and photographs from the turn of the century.

      Camino Real Park - Monarch Butterfly Roost
      Located at Dean Dr and Varsity St is the grove of eucalyptus trees that are a favorite winter roosting spot for for thousands of bright black and orange butterflies. (805) 658-4726.

      Carpinteria State Beach
      Campground on the beach north of Ventura. Make reservations early.

      Emma Wood State Beach
      116-acres on beach on US-101 about 4 miles west of Ventura.

      Grant Park Lookout Point
      The big white cross on the high hill above downtown marks Grant Park. This is a gavorite picnic spot with panoramic views of the city and Channel Islands.

      San Buenaventura City Hall
      501 Poli Street, Ventura, CA; (805) 658-4726; Open: 8AM-5PM Mon-Fri;
      Built in 1912, this State Historical Landmark features doric columns, marble floors, domed stained-glass ceiling and the faces of 24 terra cotta friars.

      San Buenaventura State Beach
      Small 114 acre beachfront with picnicing, swimming and fishing.

    Other Ventura, CA services:

      Central Coast Golf Courses
      Amtrack - (800) USA-RAIL
      South Coast Area Transit - Ventura Co Bus Service (805) 643-3158;
      Harbor Village Sportfishing - Deep sea fishing and whale watching cruises (805) 658-1060;
      Bay Queen Harbor Cruises - Harbor cruises and kayak rentals (805) 642-7753;
      Derby Club at Seaside Park - Satellite wagering year round (805) 653-2533;
      Jim Hall II Kart Racing School - Hi speed Go Karts (805) 654-1329;
Adventure Overview Tour San Buenaventura Mission

    San Buenaventura Mission
    225 E. Main St, Ventura, CA; (805) 648-4496;

    Founded 1782 and completed in 1809, the present mission includes a restored church, the Holy Cross School and a small museum with Chumash Indian artifacts. Last mission founded by Father Serra and later destroyed by earthquake and fire. The restored church is used by an active congregation.

    Padre Serra Cross is located nearby on Mission Hill and offers a grand view of the area. The cross was erected in 1782 by Father Serra on this spot which is still used today for Easter commemoration.

MainTour San Luis Obispo Vacation Adventure
MainTour's special feature of exciting vacation getaways of the Central California Coast including Hearst Castle, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, San Simeon, Cambria and the scenic Pacific Coast Highway.

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