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Beautiful Ventura County is one of 58 counties in the State of California. Geographically, the county offers a stunning 42 miles of coastline and the Los Padres National Forest, which accounts for 46% of the county’s land mass in the northern portion of the county. Fertile valleys in the southern half of the county make Ventura County a leading agricultural producer. Together, farming and the Los Padres National Forest occupy half of the county’s 1.2 million acres.
A mild year-round climate, along with scenic geography makes the area attractive to the 850,000 culturally and ethnically diverse people who call Ventura County home. The unincorporated areas, along with the ten incorporated cities of Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and San Buenaventura (Ventura) ranks Ventura as the 11th most populous county in the State.
Ventura County has a strong economic base that includes major industries such as biotechnology, agriculture, advanced technologies, oil production, military testing and development, and tourism. The United States military, which includes two naval bases and the Air National Guard base, is the largest employer in the county with more than 16,000 employees. The County of Ventura (government) is the next largest employer with nearly 8,000 employees located throughout the county. Port Hueneme is California’s smallest but only deep water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco and plays a major role in the local economy.
Home to two universities: California State University Channel Islands and California Lutheran University , and three Community Colleges: Oxnard, Ventura, and Moorpark, multiple university extensions, institutes, and adult schools, the county enjoys a strong structure for workforce development.
Ventura is notorious for being a family friendly city. There’s a ton to do, whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart. Between the Ventura Harbor Village, the beach, activities like bowling, and a handful of playgrounds, your stay as a family will be one to remember.
At the Ventura Harbor, the Village Carousel & Arcade is a hit with the kids. With more than 30 animals, it’s the only operating full sized carousel in Ventura County. The arcade is sure to please with a variety of games that reward players with tickets for great prizes. Have a friendly family ski ball competition or sit down for a round of Deal or No Deal–the arcade has it all! When you’ve mastered the games, head to Coastal Cone, a delicious local ice cream shop with a friendly owner and an abundance of fun flavors. If you’re looking for something tropical and refreshing, try the pineapple dole whips! The whole family will enjoy a cruise around the harbor. If you’d like to lead your own exploration, rent kayaks or pedal boats and enjoy some time on the water. Venture to the Ventura keys and the shoreline to discover the coastal area further.
Everyone will find the Channel Islands Visitors Center fascinating. The center presents films and intriguing exhibits, including a tank full of real and marvelous creatures. An excursion to the Channel Islands is a must when visiting Ventura. Island Packers leads trip out there, so be sure to check them out. Go whale watching. See dolphins. Hike the islands. You won’t regret it.
For the classic Ventura experience, hit the beach. The promenade is a wonderful walk next to the ocean. Take the kids to the seaside playground, located next to the pier. When walking down the pier, grab something to eat at Beach House Fish or Beach House Tacos. Make sure to rent a bike at Wheel Fun Rentals. The surreys are always a blast! Marina Park is another terrific beach location. Kids will love not only the playground, but the giant pirate ship complete with its very own zip-line. This park is also the perfect place to picnic, barbecue, and bask in the sun.
Arroyo Verde, Camino Real, and Thille are all parks worth checking out. Arroyo Verde Park offers playgrounds, barbecues, and loads of open space for games. Use the hills for an afternoon of ice blocking or hike the trails for a workout. Camino Real Park also provides playgrounds, as well as a sand volleyball court and tennis courts. Thille Park is an open area with a playground and basketball courts.
In addition to the parks, family fun awaits at the Ventura Aquatic Center. Cool off at the pool during open swim or take a ride down the water slides. If you’d rather stay dry, swing over to Golf N’ Stuff and try your hand at mini golf. Choose between two courses, then hit the Lit’l Indy Raceway or the Bumper Boats. Buena Lanes is your stop for bowling. Play games, rent shoes, and enjoy a snack. Skating Plus, their next-door neighbor, is an indoor roller skating rink that blasts family-friendly music and offers skate rentals and lockers.