The cities were identified by finding the metro areas that have the highest concentration of artistic establishments. Other factors considered were a relatively low cost of living, the percentage of young people, population diversity, and concentration of cultural venues, resources and programs.
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Ventura has been singled out by the media before for its desirable characteristics. The May 2005 issue of Scientific American named Ventura County as one of the most advantageous locations to live in the United States, based upon a variety of natural measures.
Prevention Magazine named Ventura as one of the nation’s top 125 cities best suited for fitness and walking. With its 13-mile coastal recreation trail, miles of uncrowded beaches, a walkable, historic downtown within blocks of the Amtrak platform, and as the gateway to Channel Islands National Park, Ventura is particularly attractive to health and fitness-oriented individuals. In fact, in 2006, Ventura was named one of the top U.S. cities for “Healthiest Eaters” by SELF Magazine, and Outside Magazine called Ventura the best surfing town in the U.S. after Haleiwa, Hawaii.
For those wishing to experience Ventura’s idyllic shores without settling down, the city is also an excellent vacation destination. Featuring some of California’s most famous surfing beaches and a revitalized downtown area with numerous boutiques and antique shops, and an eclectic collection of restaurants ranging from the elegant to the trendy, Ventura is a relaxing retreat for those wanting to ‘get away.’ A vibrant Arts scene exists throughout the year and events include ArtWalks, Music Festivals, the renowned Rubicon Theatre and the annual Ventura Studio Artists Tour. The area’s many hotels, including the Ventura Beach Marriott, the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel, the Sheraton Four Points and the historic Pierpont Inn, promise to make travelers’ stays comfortable and inviting. Most Ventura hotels offer packages for Ventura’s many arts events.