The idea of moving to a new city, across town or even to a different part of the same neighborhood can seem daunting, but getting involved socially is one of the best ways to feel at home. Ventura County, CA, is one of the best areas in the country to do so. In Ventura County, there are multiple ways you can meet like-minded people and develop new friendships.
Some of the most popular ways to meet people include attending activities at local parks, recreation areas, retirement communities and senior centers with planned events. How easy it is to meet people is just one of the reasons why people often describe Ventura County as a great place to live and retire:
“Ventura is a wonderful place for younger children to grow up and the perfect place for retirement. It’s mellow, but has just enough entertainment around to keep it interesting.”
Getting to Know People Through Outdoor and Recreational Events
With its ideal weather conditions and abundance of natural beauty, Ventura County is the perfect locale for anyone who wants to lead an active lifestyle. There are numerous parks and recreation departments located in various cities throughout Ventura County. Each of them offers a wide range of recreational activities, both indoors and out.
For example, the Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks District, located in Simi Valley, provides a variety of age 50+ programs, excursions, classes and workshops. These activities and programs are held in Simi Valley and Oak Park, with most events taking place at the Simi Valley Senior Center.
Many people in Ventura County meet and become friends due to a shared love of the outdoors, especially while visiting beaches and local parks or attending outdoor events. One resident described the area as a community where everyone knows everyone:
“Full of kind, ocean-loving people that love to enjoy their days off in the sun. Everyone knows everyone and people are always willing to help you get to where you need to go.”
Meet People While Learning
You don’t need to meet people while spending time outside, however. Many older adults have a desire to continue learning and would like to meet people through educational pursuits. There are plenty of opportunities to meet peers while learning through Ventura County’s educational institutions.
For example, CI Extended University offers non-credit programs in Ventura County through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). OLLI courses cover a wide range of topics including sciences, the arts, social sciences and others. Nearby in Los Angeles, OASIS, a national organization dedicated to providing lifelong learning opportunities to persons over the age of 50, offers additional lifelong learning opportunities.
Volunteer with Like-Minded Neighbors
Volunteer activities provide opportunities to meet other caring individuals who share your passion for wanting to help others. The Oxnard Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is dedicated to assisting individuals age 55 and older find meaningful volunteer opportunities that match their interests, talent and available time.
Expand Your Social Circle at the Simi Valley Senior Center or Your Retirement Community
The Simi Valley Senior Center offers many services and activities which provide enrichment and learning opportunities. The center is committed to enriching and improving the lives of adults 50 years of age or older by offering lifelong learning programs, art classes, computer classes, outings and excursions, health services, exercise classes, meal programs and so much more. One Simi Valley Senior Center participant had this to say on Yelp:
“I don’t think you can find a better place to get help or better teachers…. I am taking a watercolor class, mix media class, wood carving class, exercise class and ceramics. Every teacher is helpful and kind.”
While many adults enjoy senior centers, other retirees don’t need them. For example, residents of retirement communities in Simi Valley and Westlake Village typically have activity and event calendars that are hosted by their community. Activities might be held in the community itself with visiting experts leading classes or programs, while others are at off-site cultural events with provided transportation. Other popular events are the fitness and wellness classes that are especially popular in retirement communities because they customize every class for individual residents to maximize their abilities.
At retirement communities, residents attend the activities they’re passionate about, easily meeting neighbors who have similar interests. Once residents meet and make new friends, it’s convenient to spend more time together in the future because they live in senior apartments on the same campus and can enjoy the common amenities and services.
Other Social Opportunities for Adults in Ventura County
Meeting people in Ventura County doesn’t just happen through senior centers or outdoor activities. As a metropolitan area, Ventura County and the towns inside it, including Ventura, CA, Simi Valley and Westlake Village all offer many different ways for you to engage and connect with new friends.
For example, there are also several branches of the YMCA located throughout Ventura County that offer activities and programs. Each YMCA provides outings, lunches, meetups and workout opportunities. Throughout the month, you’ll also find free seminars and workshops. Be sure to check out their Your Y at Home for Active Older Adults page.
Another avenue to connect with others who are focused on specific interests is through meetup.com. Meetup groups cover a wide variety of interests. Groups vary greatly in size as well – from a few members to more than a thousand. Not sure where to begin? How about the Ventura County Active Seniors group? They offer a variety of activities such as hiking, cultural events, movies and festivals. Their activities, which are focused on the over-50 crowd cover a broad range of topics.
Meet People While Doing What You Love
Whether you’re looking for clubs, classes or just a few new friends to meet for coffee or lunch, there are lots of opportunities to meet people through Ventura events or activities. More than anything else, it’s the people you’ll meet in Ventura County that make it a great place to retire. A reviewer on Niche.com said it best:
“Unlike many other California cities, Ventura has a sense of “home” to it, with helpful residents and a community that stands for each other.”