18 Pros and Cons of Living in Ventura, CA

Updated On October 9, 2023
Ventura, CA

Ventura, California is located northwest of Los Angeles.

It is known for its beaches along the Pacific coast and has a lot to offer.

It is home to over 100,000 people of all ages.

As with every city, there are pros and cons to be aware of.

Learn more about the city so that you can decide whether it’s a place you want to call home.

Ventura, CA
Ventura, CA

Pros of Living in Ventura, CA

Obviously, living near the beach and enjoying the beauty of what California has to offer has its perks.

There are quite a few other pros, specifically to living in Ventura that you should be aware of.

1. There are Lots of Beaches

There are some phenomenal beaches for you to explore.

If you love spending time on the sand, surfing, or even checking out water-based activities, there’s a beach for you.

Some of the beaches you may want to explore include Mondos Beach, San Buenaventura State Beach, Rincon Point, and Harbor Cove Beach.

Some will have piers for fishing while others will be stunning coves with rocks nearby.

2. It’s Near Major Cities

You’ll find that Ventura is tucked away from some of the hustle and bustle of major cities.

The good news is that you’re close enough away to enjoy what they have to offer without a long drive.

You’re actually right in the middle of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

It can increase your job opportunities as well as various activities you may want to participate in.

3. There’s Plenty of Recreation

There’s always something for you to do outdoors.

You may want to hike through the Los Padres National Forest or bring your bike into the Santa Monica Mountains.

There are over 40 parks and trails that you can find throughout the area.

Some are even pet-friendly, allowing you to take your dog along for some added recreation.

With green spaces everywhere, you’ll never get bored.

4. The Lifestyle is Relaxing

Ventura is in the heart of suburbia, so everything is a bit quieter than in LA or Santa Barbara.

You can find plenty of places to go that are quiet and peaceful as opposed to the big cities.

Ventura does have a lively downtown, but you choose to go there rather than being forced into it like some of the more metropolitan areas.

Many residents tend to identify Ventura as a sleepy suburb, but it depends on the neighborhood that you choose.

5. There’s a Large Food Scene

The food scene is constantly growing throughout Ventura.

You’ll find restaurants serving up various ethnic cuisines including Asian, Mexican, and even European.

While many are in the downtown area, many others are scattered along the oceanside.

Additionally, there are a number of brewing companies popping up and an entire Ventura County Wine Trail that you can explore.

There’s something for everyone, and it can help you to try new culinary options.

6. Homes are Affordable

Homes are expensive by U.S. standards. However, California has always been known for high real estate.

Particularly as you look at the cost of coastal homes, they can be substantially cheaper than those around Santa Barbara – sometimes by $100,000 or more.

While many homes outside of Ventura maybe $800,000 or more, those in Ventura may only be half of that.

It’s why Ventura is growing as a place where Californians want to live.

7. The Economy is Growing

The economy is booming in Ventura, which is creating a number of job opportunities.

There’s been a significant amount of growth within the tech sector – and more startups are choosing to make Ventura their new HQ.

While it isn’t the new Silicon Valley yet, it’s definitely moving that way.

Additionally, as a result of the booming economy, there are more jobs – and the unemployment number is consistently lower than the average in the U.S.

8. The Weather is Beautiful Year-Round

The weather is beautiful throughout the year in this part of California.

You won’t have to worry about it getting cold – and snow simply doesn’t fall in this southern part of the U.S.

It’s not uncommon for the temperatures to sit in the 70s and 80s, making almost every day a good day to go to the beach.

It’s also why you’ll see so many people participating in outdoor recreation.

Even the rainfall isn’t too dramatic – and sometimes, it’s almost to a fault that there’s no rain.

9. There’s a Great Education System

California spends quite a bit of its budget on education – and the amount of money per student is higher in Ventura County than in many other parts of the country.

When it comes to public schools, you’ll find that many are highly rated within the Ventura Unified School District.

In total, there are 18 elementary, 5 middle, and 5 high schools.

There’s also a choice school program so that you can find the right school for your kids.

10. There’s a Historic Downtown

The historic downtown ensures that there’s plenty of shopping as well as plenty of charm.

When you’re searching for nightlife without driving out to LA, you can always find sophistication and fun within the downtown area.

The area has experienced a lot of growth, and only the tried and true places stick around in this part of town.

Cons of Living in Ventura, CA

California is like a dream for many, but there are downsides.

Knowing about the various cons can help you to decide if it’s the right place for you to settle down.

1. Cost of Living is High

The cost of living is high throughout California, and Ventura is no different.

Some of this has to do with the high sales tax and property tax throughout the county.

There are also other expenses that you’ll have to deal with – high fuel prices, high housing costs, and more.

In almost every aspect, you’ll spend more living in California than in many other states across the country.

2. There’s a lot of Homelessness

Homelessness is found throughout a significant part of southern California.

Unfortunately, it has made its way into the suburban areas of Ventura, too.

You’ll find it throughout the parks, beaches, and more.

Much of this is because of the moderate climate throughout the year but also because of the upper-middle class residential areas that are abundant throughout this part of the state.

3. The City is Getting Overcrowded

The population is growing rapidly, which means that there’s a lot more overcrowding than there was a few years ago.

Some of the overcrowding is found as a result of the booming economy.

There are also a lot of housing developments popping up.

What used to be green space is now a community – and it’s resulting in more people moving in, limiting the resources that used to be readily available.

4. Public Transportation is Limited

Public transportation is something that many people depend on.

It’s plentiful in places like LA but not so much in Ventura.

There’s a free trolley downtown, but the distance that it goes is fairly limited.

You’ll have to get used to long commutes, even if you take the bus.

There aren’t many options except for Gold Coast Transit and the VCTC intercity bus.

You won’t find any other public transportation until you leave Ventura – and that’s when you can take advantage of such things as the Metrolink in LA.

5. There’s a Lot of Traffic

Traffic is everywhere, especially as you get on Highway 101 from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.

Commutes are long – and it’s something that many Californians have simply gotten used to.

Depending on if there’s an accident or a wildfire, it’s not uncommon for commutes to be an hour or more, and that’s in a single direction.

Your commute to and from work could add up to two hours.

By living closer to where you work, you may be able to skip the traffic by biking or walking.

6. There are a lot of Politics

California finds itself in the headlines often because of its liberal politics.

Depending on which side of the political fence you are on, this can work to your advantage or upset you.

Even in Ventura where you’re away from the capital, you’ll still find that the politicians will do and say anything to get the liberal vote.

It can lead to problems with education, healthcare, climate control, and much more.

7. Cost of Gas is High

The cost of gas is often a dollar higher per gallon than in other parts of the country.

There are a few reasons for this.

One, California puts a higher tax on gas as a way to encourage people to go green with electric cars.

Additionally, the higher tax is used to help cover the cost of road repairs.

If you spend enough time on the roads around Ventura and beyond, you’ll realize that many of the roads are in desperate need of being repaired.

Potholes are abundant.

8. There’s the Chance of Dealing with an Earthquake

Southern California experiences earthquakes from time to time – and that’s because the area is right above a major fault line.

While many aren’t that major, there’s never a way of telling when a “big” one is going to hit.

The chance of earthquakes is high enough that it can cost you more on your home insurance, too.

Ventura, CA
Ventura, CA

Pros and Cons of Living in Ventura, CA – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Ventura, CACons of Living in Ventura, CA
1. There are Lots of Beaches1. Cost of Living is High
2. It’s Near Major Cities2. There’s a lot of Homelessness
3. There’s Plenty of Recreation3. The City is Getting Overcrowded
4. The Lifestyle is Relaxing4. Public Transportation is Limited
5. There’s a Large Food Scene5. There’s a Lot of Traffic
6. Homes are Affordable6. There are a lot of Politics
7. The Economy is Growing7. Cost of Gas is High
8. The Weather is Beautiful Year-Round8. There’s the Chance of Dealing with an Earthquake
9. There’s a Great Education System
10. There’s a Historic Downtown

Ventura Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Ventura Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the sales tax in Ventura?

The sales tax is 7.75%, which is a result of the 6% state sales tax as well as added rates from the city, county, and a special rate of 1%.

It can add up to your retail sales over the course of the year.

How easy is it to find jobs in Ventura?

The job market is quite varied in Ventura.

A number of tech startups are found throughout this area.

You will also find other industries that are plentiful with opportunities including healthcare, agriculture, retail, and hospitality/tourism.

If you are looking for opportunities in other industries, you may have to drive into Los Angeles or other surrounding areas.

What kinds of homes are in Ventura, CA?

The majority of homes throughout Ventura are single-family homes.

You’ll find many that are waterfront with views of the ocean.

Other housing options include condos, townhouses, and even mobile homes.

What are the crime rates in Ventura?

The crime rates in Ventura, CA are relatively high – the city is safer than 14% of U.S. cities.

Property crimes are at 28 per 1,000 residents and violent crimes are at 2.97 per 1,000 residents.

What are the top employers in Ventura, CA?

Some of the top employers in Ventura include Amgen Inc, Baxter Healthcare, Adventist Health, Haas Automation, and Procter & Gamble.

5 Comments on 18 Pros and Cons of Living in Ventura, CA

  1. N
    Noah Saperstein says:

    This place offers a beautiful coastal location, with stunning beaches, mild weather, and a relaxed, beach-town atmosphere, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

  2. J
    John Sagarino says:

    The city maintains a strong sense of community, with vibrant neighborhoods, local events, and a welcoming vibe.

  3. M
    Melissa Sullivan says:

    Ventura’s proximity to LA provides access to a wide range of career opportunities while allowing residents to enjoy a more peaceful and laid-back lifestyle.

  4. P
    Pam Bauer says:

    The city boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, with museums, theaters, and galleries, offering diverse entertainment and cultural experiences.

  5. R
    Regalee Gaudet says:

    Ventura’s commitment to environmental sustainability is reflected in its efforts to protect natural resources and encourage green living which is good.

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