Welcome to Southern California, famous for its mild climate, stunning coastlines, national forests and fertile growing valleys. Ventura County, the southernmost county on California’s central coast, has a population of 850,536, according to 2015 U.S. Census estimates. San Buenaventura, commonly known as Ventura, is the county seat, with 109,708 residents in 2015. U.S. Route 101, also known as Ventura Freeway, is the major highway in the region.
Ventura County offers numerous shopping, dining and nightlife opportunities to explore as well as annual events and festivals that celebrate the vibrancy of Southern California. Ventura County is home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, San Buenaventura Mission, art galleries, symphony, ballet and theater. The region offers year-round outdoor activities that include walking on the beach, enjoying an outdoor concert, sailing to the Channel Islands, hiking in the Los Padres National Forest, camping, golfing and horseback riding.
Early Spanish settlers described the area as the “land of everlasting summers” and named the region “San Buenaventura,” which means “good fortune.”
The region is home to Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), which boasts a deep-water port and airfield. It is one of the largest naval installations on the West Coast, composed of three operating facilities: Point Mugu, Port Hueneme and San Nicolas Island. NBVC provides fleet support to about 80 military commands as part of its primary mission to support forward-deployed naval forces around the world.
Ventura County, which lies about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, has a strong economic base that includes major industries such as biotechnology, agriculture, advanced technologies, oil production, military testing and development, and tourism. The military is the largest employer in the county with about 20,000 employees. Port Hueneme, the only deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco, plays a major role in the economy.
More than half of Ventura County’s 555,953 acres is made up of national forest. Of the remaining land, 59 percent is agricultural and 17.5 percent is urban. North of Highway 126, the county is mountainous and mostly uninhabited.