Nestled between the Ventura River, the Pacific Ocean and Ventura hills, The Westside of Ventura, also known as “The Avenue”, has a rich history that’s reflected in the mosaic of diverse residents, businesses, and eclectic interests in this vibrant community.
The seeds of our city were planted here, with its history rooted in its Chumash ancestors, the historic Tortilla Flats memoirs, and the oil boom of the late early 1900s. As the gold rush began to fade, thousands of people, looking for work came to the Ventura Basin. It was here where several major oil companies were formed. Many of Ventura’s pioneer families settled on the Westside as they helped build our great city. They cultivated citrus, walnut, and apricot orchards. They created charming abodes in places like the Simpson Tract, the city’s first historic housing tract.
Today the Westside is home to 14,000-plus people, three schools, Westpark & Community Center, Ventura Avenue Adult Center, and two parks.
The Westside is booming with a bohemian art renaissance. Come experience the Westside art scene showcased best of FIRST FRIDAYs. The monthly event features several Westside galleries from 6pm to 9pm. Walk up Ventura Avenue and within two miles visit about six different and unique galleries that include Bell Arts, Vita Art Center, Art City, Stoneworks Studio, Working Artist Ventura (The WAV), and Studio 1317.
Some of the best most authentic Mexican food can be experienced right on The Avenue that include these local favorites; El Jarocho, Johnny’s, Lalo’s, Taqueria Cuernavaca, and Taqueria Tepatitlan. It also easy to find taco trucks open late into the evening.
To experience the true beauty of this area check out The Ventura River Trail which connects Ventura to Ojai and begins on the Westside and parallels Ventura Ave. It is an easy walk to the ocean or to downtown via the Ventura River Trail. Another unused trail is at the foothills of the Ventura Hills, called the Selby Trail on private property but open for public use. It is about a mile walk from Kellogg Street to the end where the old RockLite Quarry once stood. If you look carefully, you can see the old mission aqueduct that brought water to the Mission.
For more information about our community please contact the Westside Community Council at WCCVentura.org. Established in 1994, the Westside Community Council is a group of dedicated volunteers focused on improving the quality of life for all on the Westside hosting monthly community meetings.