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Ventura, CA Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 14
Total Sleeping Rooms 3,268
Largest Exhibit Space 110,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $133
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $71
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $273

Ventura, CA Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Ventura, a city guide for meeting professionals. With its SoCal surfing community vibe, Ventura may epitomize classic California, but it also offers thriving 21st century amenities, right down to its more than 522,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Situated a one-hour drive from Los Angeles and between Malibu and Santa Barbara, Ventura sits along the scenic southernmost part of California's Central Coast, with direct access to the legendary California Highway 1, which runs right through the city. With its vibrant downtown that's within walking distance of its beautiful beaches, to its active harbor, thriving arts, and culture scene and just offshore Channel Islands National Park, delegates meeting in Ventura have plenty to do outside of the boardroom. As a meeting destination, Ventura is adventurous, affordable, and accessible, and has undergone a recent burst of hotel revitalization and construction.

When it comes to accessibility, Ventura sits within an approximate one-hour drive of Los Angeles International Airport, Burbank Bob Hope Airport, and Santa Barbara Airport. Really needing no introduction, the Los Angeles International Airport is ranked fifth in the world for passenger traffic and offers flights on virtually every major carrier. Burbank Bob Hope Airport offers its own Amtrak station, as well as nonstop air service throughout the West Coast region, as well as New York, while Santa Barbara Airport offers nonstop service to six major U.S. markets. Once in Ventura, delegates can ride the VISTA inter-city bus system, which connects the cities of Ventura County, as well as with the neighboring Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Counties, or Gold Coast Transit buses, which serve Ojai, Oxnard, Port Heuneme, and Ventura. Ventura's Amtrak station offers direct access to Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner route, which makes 12 daily round trips from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, while the free Ventura Downtown-Harbor Trolley stops at a number of Ventura hotels, Ventura Harbor Village, the Ventura Amtrak station, and the Ventura County Fairgrounds, among other locations.

The Ventura County Fairgrounds serves as Ventura's largest event venue. The fairgrounds property spans 62 acres of oceanfront land, and offers 11 meeting rooms totaling 92,840 square feet. Groups of 30 to 3,000 can hold meetings, teleconferences, tradeshows, concerts, and expos at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, as well as enjoy complete event services, including catering, and audio-visual support. Aside from the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura is home to a number of unique event venues ranging from oceanfront resorts to historic adobes. Groups of up to 1,200 can gather in the Majestic Ventura Theater, a 1920s Mission-style building known for its excellent acoustics and intimate setting, embark on a Ventura food or wine tour, take a private lesson at the Ventura Makos Surf Camp or gather at the retro-chic Discovery Ventura entertainment complex complete with bowling, games, and a locally sourced restaurant, among many other teambuilding and group adventure options.

About Ventura, CA / Additional Info

Beloved for its strong arts scene, fresh farm-to-table fare, agricultural abundance, recreation options galore, and fantastic weather (how much better could it get than a year-round average daytime high of 70°F), Ventura is as charming as it is eclectic. Plus, it has its own soundtrack; a 2007 study found that Ventura offers the nation's fourth highest concentration of live music.

Ventura was once known as San Buenaventura, meaning "land of good fortune." Inhabitants have lived in present-day Ventura for at least 10,000 years, but Father Junipero Serra founded San Buenaventura in 1782 as his ninth and final mission. The City of San Buenaventura was incorporated in 1886 and an oil strike in 1914 led to the city's rapid growth. Today, Ventura has matured into a seaside community with a revitalized historic downtown, rich culture, and stunning natural beauty, particularly along its scenic coastline.

Many may argue that Ventura's star attraction is its miles of pristine beaches stretching from Surfer's Point to Ventura Harbor, and including surf breaks and miles of scenic bike paths. In fact, one of its bike paths, The Ventura River Parkway Trail is now recognized as a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service. Others may argue that Ventura's selling point is its beautiful historic downtown lined with palm trees, unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Or perhaps Ventura's heart and soul is found at the welcoming Ventura Harbor Village, a vibrant, working harbor village, and fishing marina where visitors can shop, dine, embark on cruises or rent watercrafts. Ventura's beaches, harbor village, and historic downtown all exemplify Ventura's laid-back, vintage California vibe.

Many of Ventura's most popular attractions and adventures focus on the area's natural beauty and outdoor recreation. The breathtaking Channel Islands National Park, which is made up of five remote islands and known as “The American Galapagos” for its unique plants and animals, sits off the Ventura coast and beckons visitors to hike nature trails, kayak, snorkel, and dive near sea caves, hidden coves, and rocky reefs, among many other adventures. Whale watching, fishing, and surfing expeditions are available year-round, as are winery and food tours, if eating and drinking your way through the area is more your kind of recreation. Ventura is quickly emerging as a strong player in California's Central Coast winegrowing region, and even has its own wine trail with approximately 20 wineries and tasting rooms spread throughout the County.

Speaking of food, Ventura's agricultural abundance and proximity to the ocean make it a fantastic spot for delicious farm- (or sea-) to-table fare. A sampling of some of its most beloved eateries include Cafe Fiore, which serves traditional rustic Italian cuisine with a rustic flair, as well as Peirano's, which serves New American and Mediterranean fare in a historic building across from the San Buenaventura Mission. Anacapa Brewing Company serves up handcrafted ales and lagers along with delicious eats, while Paradise Pantry is an eatery, artisan market, and wine bar rolled into one. Brophy Bros. Restaurant and Clam Bar serves off-the-boat seafood selections, while the beachfront Aloha Steakhouse is known for its ocean views and contemporary menu of hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and more.

 
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