OK so maybe that title is a bit exaggerated. Of course I could live without these things, just like I could also technically live...
1: The Air. It’s unlike anywhere else. I miss it when I leave and love to breathe it in when I return. I love living without air conditioning, something I never thought was possible after growing up in Texas. Those negative ions are a big positive about living here!
2: Arroyo Verde Park. Before 9am this is quite possibly the best dog park in the country. Brophy loves it and so do I. Views of the ocean, great trails, shady trees and green grass. It’s the crown jewel of Ventura.
3: Ahi Pockets and the Ahi-cado at Spencer Makenzie’s. My go to lunch in Ventura and the first thing I usually eat after being away. You can see the ocean while you eat fresh ahi and drink a beer. They also have great fish and chips and clam chowder. Nothing better.
4: Free Parking Garage! Yes they do still exist and we have one. Going downtown is so easy, at least when a big act isn’t playing at the Ventura Theater.
5: The Majestic Ventura Theater. From Erasure to Gwar, everyone likes to play here. The acoustics aren’t the best but it’s loud and historic and a great place to see a band up close.
6: The Channel Islands National Park. Seriously… who else has an offshore national park in their back yard? I’m still amazed how many people who live here have never been. Pack a picnic lunch and head to Santa Cruz island with Island Packers for the day. You’ll probably see dolphins and whales on the crossing and you won’t believe how close you are to home. The views are astounding… you’ve seen them in the pictures at that gallery downtown. Wait until you see them for real.
7: The bike path to Ojai. OK I have to admit I’ve never taken the path to Ojai… Only from Ojai to Ventura. It’s a lot of work going up those hills! I prefer the more leisurely ride down followed by a cold beer at Topa Topa. Speaking of beer…
8: The Breweries! Ventura is starting to make a name for itself in the World of Beer. We’ve got Made West, Topa Topa, Poseidon, Surf and new ones on the way. And it’s not just beer… we’ve also got Beacon Coffee that brews up some spectacular java.
9: Our Local Shops. I love the Shop Local & Shop Small movements, and Ventura is a great place to participate in it. You can buy just about anything here from a local shop owner instead of a big chain. Meat, spices, veggies, refillable liquids, clothes, shipping services, flowers and much more. Whatever you need it’s probably offered up by a local vendor here.
10: The proximity to Ojai, Carp, Santa Barbara and the SB County wine country. When you live in Ventura you’re just a short drive away from places that people travel from across the globe to visit. Hike in Ojai, have lunch in Santa Barbara, then a beer at Island Brew in Carp and be home in time for dinner. Or spend the day in the famous Central Coast wine country and taste some of the best Pinot Noirs on the planet (and the Merlots aren’t bad either).
11: The Sunrises and Sunsets. The sunsets here are legendary, but I would argue the sunrises are even better. Whichever you prefer you won’t be disappointed here.
12: Patagonia. They’re a global, responsible, community-friendly business that has chosen to make Ventura their home. I love their values and their clothes, and the fact that we have the first and best Patagonia store anywhere.
Man are we lucky! What are some of your favorite things about Ventura? I’d love to hear them.