Historic Sites

Fun Facts:

Father Junipero Serra founded 21 missions along California’s 600 miles of beautiful coast. Mission San Buenaventura was the ninth of these missions founded in 1782.

Father Junipero Serra named the city after Saint Bonaventure, hence the nickname that Ventura is the “city of good fortune.”

Ventura’s first courthouse, wharf, bank, and public library were built almost a century later, in 1873. Numerous of these buildings remain in Ventura’s downtown as historical sites.

Drawing of a historical mission in Ventura, CA

Moreton Bay Fig Tree was planted in the 1874 and provided shade for band concerts, political rallies, and war bond drives during WWII.

Valdez Alley is the walkway where the handsome 1820 Ramon Valdez adobe once stood as the first polling place where all nine eligible voters cast their ballots for Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

The first City Council meeting minutes were recorded in Spanish, the primary language when the city was incorporated in 1866.

In 1992, archaeologists discovered an elaborate lavanderia, or laundry, with a 26 by 30-foot washing pool under the Peirano’s Market building, constructed by Chumash mission converts as part of the aqueduct system during the early 1800s.

Father Junipero Serra’s motto was Siempre adelante. Nunca atras. Always go forward. Never turn back.

Ventura County once billed itself as the lima bean capital of the world.

Father Junipero Serra, praised by Pope Francis as one of the founding father’s of the United States who departed from Spain to spread the Christian message in the New World, was canonized in September 2015, in Washington D.C.

Father Junipero Serra was the first saint to be canonized on American soil.

Pick up a complimentary Mission San Buenaventura Archeological Site Walking Tour guide or a Historic Downtown Walking Tour Guide at the Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau located at 101 S. California Street, downtown Ventura.

Explore historic gems on a fun road trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the California Central Coast Missions Trail!