Ventura LGBTQ City Guide

Situated between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, Ventura is a sunny California beach town known for offering plenty to see and do – plenty of excellent restaurants, lots of opportunity for outdoor fun, many festivals, a thriving arts scene, and friendly people too. It's also home to a smaller, but thriving and diverse LGBTQ community, where all can feel welcome and at home. If you're thinking of making a move to Ventura, you'll find plenty about it to love.

A Look at Ventura’s History

One interesting historical tidbit about Ventura is that there is actually no city in California by the name of Ventura. The city’s official name is San Buenaventura, a name given to the area by Father Junipero Serra, who named the town in 1782 after the Italian St. Bonaventure. The name was unofficially shortened to Ventura by the Southern Pacific Railroad about 100 years ago because it was easier to print Ventura on the railroad tickets. The city’s name has never been officially changed, but the shortened name stuck. From its founding through the present day, Ventura has always been a popular tourist destination, a laid-back, coastal town with an eclectic, welcoming vibe, and a wonderful place to call home.

A Few Fun Facts About Ventura

  • Initially constructed in 1872, Ventura Pier is one of the longest wooden piers in California – almost 1600 feet long, in fact.
  • Founded in 1973, outdoor lifestyle retailer Patagonia is headquartered in downtown Ventura. 
  • Sunset Magazine named Ventura one of the four best beach towns on the West Coast.

Read more fun facts about Ventura here.

Ventura’s LGBTQ Community                                       

Ventura is a city that loves and supports its LGBTQ community with a variety of resources, including:

PFLAG Ventura

PFLAG Ventura is the city’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical and important role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

Diversity Collective VC

Diversity Collective Ventura County is a community-based organization committed to serving the LGBTQ community in the greater Ventura area. Throughout the year, the group provides resources, organizes events, and creates opportunities to build the community. The group also sponsors the annual Ventura County Pride Weekend, which is always a fun and festive celebration of all that the LGBTQ community adds to the city.

What's the Weather Like in Ventura?

Those who live in Ventura can expect to experience the mild, sunny, beautiful weather that Southern California is so well-known for. There isn’t too much variation in temperature year-round. High temperatures in July typically reach a high of 76° on average, while lows in January average around 44°F. Ventura receives 16 inches of rain, on average, per year, an average of 272 sunny days each year, and no snow.

Can’t-Miss Events in Ventura

Ventura County Pride Festival

Ventura County Pride Festival is the city's annual weekend-long event to celebrate the LGBTQ community, supporters, and allies in Ventura County. It's a great way to celebrate, connect to the community – and have fun!  Even better, proceeds from the weekend go to help support and sustain the Diversity Collective and other community causes. You'll want to be sure to put this event on your calendar each year.

The Best Neighborhoods in Ventura

Unlike some larger towns that have one primarily gay neighborhood, Ventura's LGBTQ community tends to be a bit more spread out across the city. This isn't a bad thing though – it simply means that there are many wonderful neighborhoods in town to choose from. Many consider Ventura to be an extended part of Los Angeles, and in that case, many in the LGBTQ community are drawn to the West Hollywood and Silver Lake areas.

If you prefer to be in Ventura itself though, you’ll still have plenty of options for wonderful homes in friendly neighborhoods. Single-family homes in Ventura often tend to be slightly more affordable than those in surrounding areas, which is a bonus for those looking for affordability.

Arts and Entertainment

The Ventura Film Festival

For those who love excellent films, the Ventura Film Festival is one event that should definitely be on the calendar. This international film festival often features several Academy Award-winning films and is often attended by celebrities, visitors, and residents alike.

The Majestic Ventura Theater

The Majestic Ventura Theater is an iconic and beautiful theater in the area known for hosting a variety of excellent performances throughout the year. You won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy a show – or several – for yourself!

Parks and Recreation

The San Buenaventura Mission

The San Buenaventura Mission was founded in 1782, and is also known as the “mission by the sea.” Today, visitors can take a self-guided tour to see the gardens and restored artifacts, and to learn about the unique history of the Ventura area and the role that Spanish missions played in that history.

Ventura Pop-Up Yoga

If you live in Ventura and enjoy exercise that’s good for body and soul, you’ll want to be sure to try Ventura Pop-Up Yoga. The group hosts classes for all ages and abilities at parks throughout the city. Classes operate entirely on a donation basis, and free rental mats are often provided. Participating in a class is a great way to get exercise, make friends, and have fun.

Ventura Nightlife

Paddy's Bar and Lounge

Paddy's is a very popular Ventura gay nightspot known for its pool tables, trivia games, entertainment, and plenty of fun events including an annual beach party!

Anacapa Brewing Company

Often voted “Best Brewery” in Ventura County, Anacapa Brewing is not specifically an LGBTQ brewery, but it's very friendly to the LGBTQ community and supportive of LGBTQ events throughout the year, including the annual pride celebration. It's a great place to grab a brew or two and enjoy some delicious food and fun with friends.

Contact a Ventura Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Ventura, at, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Ventura, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Ventura gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!