Retiring in Ventura County: Culture and Recreation
Cultural Events and Entertainment Opportunities Galore
Ventura County, CA, is an amazing cultural hub filled with activities and destinations that offer year-round enjoyment – enough, in fact, to keep you busy for many lifetimes. Wherever your interests lie, from food, music, film, theater and museums to sports or outdoor activities, retirees in Ventura County will find plenty of activities to fill your days with relaxation, fun and lots of social activities.
Located on the Pacific Coast, Ventura County has a year-round Mediterranean-like climate that makes it a great location for older adults who are cultural or outdoor enthusiasts.
Ventura County Beaches
Ventura County has miles and miles of picturesque coastline that adults can take advantage of. One resident described the city of Ventura as:
“A beautiful town on the beach with a really chill vibe. There is a lot to do in this vibrant community, and it is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the LA lifestyle which is not too far away if you are seeking more entertainment.”
Some of the most popular beaches in the area include:
- Emma Wood State Beach
- Harbor Cove Beach
- Marina Park Beach
- San Buenaventura State Beach
- Surfers Point Beach
- Ventura Pier Beach
Laid-back and low-key are adjectives often used to describe Ventura County and its inhabitants, especially when compared to nearby Los Angeles. One yelp user had this to say about Ventura State Beach:
“The water is clean … reminded me of the waters of Hawaii as the waves crashed. … Similar to the feel of the uncrowded secret beach I go to in Malibu, except this one has restrooms and a shower. One of those places that gives you a feeling of a vacation. It’s a laidback environment and a low-key crowd that doesn’t feel like anything like LA. The reason I love the Oxnard and Ventura areas.”
Ventura County has over a dozen beaches you can visit on your own or with family and friends. Retirees often enjoy spending time at the beach or in the city with nearby family or those who are in town for a visit. Building sandcastles with the grandchildren is a favorite activity in the area.
Local Hiking Trails
California is known for its hiking both in the mountains and in relaxing areas where adults can enjoy a casual stroll through nature. Ventura County offers plenty of both types of hiking opportunities with trails of varying lengths, difficulties and scenery. You’ll find amazing hiking trails, running trails, mountain bike trails and more. Alltrails.com offers lists of the best trails all over the country. Here are links for trails in Ventura, Westlake Village and Simi Valley. They also provide hand-curated trail maps and driving directions. Most trails are bike and dog friendly. A long-time resident said:
“I love Ventura, the weather is always lovely and the community is friendly. Plenty of opportunities for education and activities. Beautiful hikes with beach views and an encouraging outdoor dynamic.”
Education and Skill-Building Opportunities
In addition to outdoor activities, Ventura County has many educational institutions where adults can learn a new skill or take a class for fun. A few of the colleges and universities in Ventura County include:
- Oxnard College
- Moorpark College
- California State University Channel Islands
- Thomas Aquinas College
- Ventura College
In addition to these more local colleges and universities, Ventura County residents also have access to some of the most respected educational organizations in the country, such as the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, both located in nearby Los Angeles. Pepperdine University is also a short drive away in Malibu.
Each of these colleges and universities allows you to not only attend, but also enjoy the cultural events they bring into the area. Sports fans can check out each of the school’s teams and find one or more to support during the upcoming seasons.
Entertainment and Museums
Like other areas in California, Ventura County also has a highly developed entertainment culture, including live entertainment. From music venues such as the New West Symphony in Thousand Oaks to the Ventura Theater, there are musical events for every taste and preference. Try one you’re interested in, or attend an event with friends or family. If you’re lucky enough to live in a Ventura retirement community, you’ll likely be introduced to other live events through the community’s entertainment calendar.
If learning about history or art is more your style, consider visiting some of Ventura County’s museums. You can find a full list of museums here, which span a broad spectrum of subjects including local history, agriculture, art, airplanes, ships, trains, military and more.
Big City Recreation in a Quiet Setting
Ventura County’s beautiful, quiet towns like Simi Valley and Westlake Village are regularly listed as top places to live in the area and often attract adults who want to enjoy more activities in their retirement years.
In addition to all the activities offered in Ventura County itself, adults who retire in Ventura County have easy access to nearby Los Angeles, which is world-renowned for its cultural events and entertainment opportunities. A current resident described it best:
“Ventura has some of the best beaches I’ve seen in a while. A lot of great and new shopping centers within close proximity. New housing construction is constantly in effect. Nestled in between amazing cities like Santa Barbara, Malibu and Los Angeles; you have the ability to venture out and explore with loved ones or simply by yourself. Love the area.”