Mens Journal, with sales of more than 700,000 per copy, which places it among the U.S.’s highest circulation magazines, ran a recent feature on 50 Best Places to Live.
Topping the list was our neighbor to the seaward size, Ventura. The city of 106,000 was picked for its authentic middle-class beach community feel, as well as, ahem, its proximity to Ojai.
Southern California used to be full of laid-back, middle-class beach towns. One by one they have disappeared — the locals pushed inland, their modest neighborhoods razed to make room for trophy homes and luxury condos. And then there’s Ventura. This sleepy city of 106,000, located midway between Malibu and Santa Barbara, remains refreshingly unpolished, “like a 1961 Ford pickup that’s been well kept,” says C.J. Paone, a 44-year-old architect who’s lived here for 11 years.