HALFWAY BETWEEN LA and Santa Barbara lies the coastal city of Ventura. It starts at the top of the steep Ventura foothills and winds its way down to the Pacific, overlooking Channel Islands National Park. The city is reputed — among those in the know, that is — for its epic surf conditions, its nearly endless green space, and its 10,000-year history. And while other cities may have been hogging the California spotlight until now, it’s high time we started talking about Ventura instead. Here are 12 ways to start the conversation.