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About Ventura Although Gaspar de Portolá reached what is now Ventura County in 1769, it was 13 years before a mission was founded. Father Junípero Serra established Mission San Buenaventura, his last mission, in 1782. After the secularization of the mission's lands in 1834, adobe houses were built near the mission site by Spanish and Mexican settlers. By the 1860s Americans and Europeans began arriving, and by the time the railroad arrived in 1887, San Buenaventura—by now shortened to just Ventura—was a prosperous community of houses, stores, industries, a school and churches.

Ventura today is a center of agriculture and oil production, yet it retains its link to the ocean with beaches, a public pier and marinas. If you plan to work on your tan, check out the beach chair and umbrella rentals. Ventura lies on a scenic stretch of US 101.

Ventura also serves as the gateway to Channel Islands National Park. The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center in Ventura Harbor at 1901 Spinnaker Drive, offers hands-on exhibits, panoramic views, island literature and a 25-minute film describing the Channel Islands.

Visitor Centers Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau 101 S. California St. Ventura, CA 93001. Phone:(805)648-2075 or (800)333-2989

ShoppingDowntown Ventura offers a plethora of art galleries, antiques stores, boutiques and historic sites and museums. Pacific View Mall, 3301 E. Main St., contains JCPenney and Macy's among its 150 establishments. Ventura Harbor Village, on Spinnaker Drive about one-half mile west of Harbor Boulevard, offers forty-plus specialty shops and eateries, as well as a carousel and free entertainment on the weekends.

Things to DoChannel Islands National Park Visitor Center see Channel Islands National Park

Museum of Ventura County

Olivas Adobe Historical Park

Padre Serra Cross

San Buenaventura Mission

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Ventura, CA

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.

Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort

1050 Schooner Dr. Ventura, CA 93001

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Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Ventura Beach Marriott

2055 E Harbor Blvd. Ventura, CA 93001

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Amanzi Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection

298 S Chestnut St. Ventura, CA 93001

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Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ventura Harbor

1080 Navigator Dr. Ventura, CA 93001

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