Ventura, California (4)
San Buenaventura, commonly referred to as Ventura, is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States, incorporated in 1866. Ventura has a population of 106,744. Ventura is accessible via U.S. Route 101, State Route 33, and State Route 126.
Father Junípero Serra founded Mission San Buenaventura in 1782, forming the basis of what would become the city. The mission was named for St. Bonaventure, a Thirteenth Century Franciscan saint and a Doctor of the Church. On July 6, 1841, Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado granted the 4,694 acre (1,900 ha) Rancho San Miguel to Felipe Lorenzana and Raimundo Olivas, whose Olivas Adobe on the banks of the Santa Clara River was the most magnificent hacienda south of Monterey.
After the American Civil War, settlers came to the area, buying land from the Mexicans, or simply as squatters. Vast holdings were later acquired by Easterners, including the railroad magnate, Thomas Scott.
Not easily accessible, Ventura was not a target of immigrants, and as such, remained quiet and rural. For most of the century which followed the incorporation of Ventura in 1866, it remained isolated from the rest of the state.
The main Ventura oil field was drilled in 1914 and at its peak produced 90,000 barrels per day (14,000 m3/d).
The city is located between the Ventura River and the Santa Clara River, leading to soil so fertile that citrus grew better here than anywhere else in the state. The citrus farmers formed Sunkist Growers, Incorporated, the world's largest organization of citrus production.
Ventura has some of the best surfing in Southern California, especially Surfer's Point at Ventura County Fairgrounds. Downtown Ventura is home to the Mission San Buenaventura, museums, galleries, dining, and shopping. Primary areas of activity include California Street and Main Street between Ventura Avenue and Fir Street. Located in downtown is the historic Ortega Adobe, home to the Ortega family, now famous for their chile products. Downtown Ventura is also home to the Ventura's ornate city hall building with its signature statue of Junipero Serra.
A 4,300-square-foot (400 m2) Ventura Visitors Center is located at 101 S. California Street, in downtown and features exhibits on the Heritage Valley, Channel Islands National park, local arts scene and maps and guide books on the area.
One of the most recognizable land marks in Ventura is a site known as two trees. These are two lone trees that stand on a hill and can be seen from most of Ventura.
In Plaza Park (Chestnut and Santa Clara Streets, downtown) one of the nations largest Moreton Bay Fig Trees is marked with an historic plaque. Across the street is the main post office with WPA murals on its interior walls.