in 1963, Ventura Harbor is a man-made commercial and
recreational harbor located on the southern California coast
approximately 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles and the last
harbor before rounding Pt. Conception going north. The
harbor has approximately 200 commercial berths and 1,600
recreational berths and provides ocean access to an attached
private marina with 300 boat slips.
principal structural features harbor entrance are two
rubble-mound jetties, a beach groin to the south of the entrance
and a detached rubble-mound breakwater but full-time dredging is
required to remove shoaling. The harbor is home to 2 yacht
clubs and a harbor village with many eateries and
Prior to the
development of the harbor, Ventura boaters
used to launch from the Ventura Pier or drive 30 or more miles to the Santa Barbara harbor.
Don Mills, Ventura Yacht Club's Historian and other sailing enthusiasts started campaigning after World War II to bring a harbor to Ventura. As part of their campaign, they built a 4-by-8-foot model of the proposed harbor.
In November,1948, they even got a photo of the model published in the newspaper.
The group also lobbied state legislators and entered floats in the annual Ventura County Fair parade emblazoned with the words, "Let's have a harbor."
An overwhelming majority of voters endorsed building a harbor and creating a port
district on April 8, 1952. The district spent its first 10 years raising money and acquiring property for the harbor. It bought 208 acres in 1958 for a little more than $1 million, thanks largely to a loan from the California Department of Boating and Waterways.
But the harbor could not be built until Ventura voters approved a $4.75 million bond issue in 1962. The bonds financed excavation of the harbor
and construction, including 441 boat slips. Caltrans trucked out the excavated
dirt to help build the embankment for the Highway 101-Highway 126 interchange,
helping to defer construction costs.
Ventura Harbor Village has a Merry-Go-Round Carousel