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Old 12-15-2012, 07:27 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,421 times
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First, thanks to all of you who post in these forums -- they're full of great information!

My husband is interviewing for a job in Thousand Oaks, and neither of us has lived in Southern California, so we're looking into places to live. Avoiding a long commute is the top priority, so we want to find someplace less than an hour from Thousand Oaks (the closer the better). So far we've been looking at Ventura, Ojai, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks itself.

Right now we live in NYC, and we're hoping to find somewhere that has some of the same things we love here: great restaurants, farmer's markets, theaters that show independent and foreign films, and a walkable downtown (even better, being able to walk *to* downtown). We don't mind heading into LA on occasion, but we would like to have these things where we live.

We're in our 30s and don't have kids -- we're not really looking for what most people seem to mean by "nightlife" (clubs and bars), but we're also not worried about schools and would like to find a place that has activities and local events that aren't centered around kids.

Any thoughts on Ventura, Ojai, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks, or suggestions for other places to look at? We're planning to rent, at least for the first year, if that makes a difference. Our current apartment is $2500/month, but we'd really like to find a place for less if possible.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:22 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,809,699 times
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Welcome

There are technically 10 cities in Ventura County, but none even vaguely resemble NYC in any way!

Of the places you are looking, Ventura is the only area with a real downtown. It is walkable if you live nearby. However, very few places in SoCal are fully walkable in the NYC sense. Ventura has cooler, seacoast weather, with fog, etc., whereas the other cities are warmer. It is the County seat. You would be midway between Thousand Oaks and Santa Barbara (25 miles each way). SB has the culture you want, although there is a modicum of this in TO and Ventura. None in Cam. Cam is 12 miles from TO.

Ojai and TO can get hot with the most typical SoCal weather. Ojai is very small, but arty. It's way up the mountain, and a laborious commute to TO. Commute to TO from Ventura easy. Cam, just go over the "grade" (a big foothill).

Farmer's markets are everywhere, plus Ventura County has a vast agricultural component, and you can sign up with actual farms or go to them to get produce.

On the other hand, what do you actually want in a "downtown?" Shopping? TO is the best for that, but it's not in a downtown. It's in its many malls and on its 2 main commercial streets. There is also a huge posh outlet mall in Cam.

If you want easier access to LA and its culture, TO is the best. TO has astoundingly low crime and has access to nature, good hiking, low traffic.

You can rent a decent house for that budget if you don't want an apartment. It's a real California thing that's so different than NYC.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:03 AM
 
6,805 posts, read 5,146,158 times
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You might also consider Oxnard. Situated along the coastline. The greater LA area is more spread out, and it's a car culture. When you say "downtown", I think of the skyline of Manhattan in NYC, and only Los Angeles itself reminds me of Manhattan, and then not even that much.

Oxnard is 35 miles west of Los Angeles along the 101 Corridor as it turns to head north towards northern california.

Simi Valley is also very nice as I recall. Just not a NYC downtown type situation.

Good luck.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Where else but London
670 posts, read 781,604 times
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I believe you will be in for a bit of a culture shock. Nothing remotely close to what you want although Ventura has a very walkable down town, but you'll have to be prepared for a different way of life...that's the joy of relocating somewhere totally different.

On the upside Ojai does have an annual film festival.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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Thanks all!

To clarify, we're definitely not expecting anything like NYC. We both grew up in the suburbs (me in the Bay Area, my husband on the East Coast), and although we're not very familiar with the LA area, we've been there before. We're not looking for anything like *any* big city, but we're hoping to find a place with great restaurants and some kind of downtown -- not like Manhattan, just a Main Street area with some shops, restaurants, cafes, maybe an independent theater.

It sounds like Ventura might have the closest to what we're looking for, both in location and culture -- but I'd love to hear any thoughts on other towns in the area. Thanks again!
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Lake Oswego, Aspen, and...finally...'Palazzo Oligarcho' in Great Neck!
3,243 posts, read 4,299,024 times
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Most people who work elsewhere in LA would love to live in Thousand Oaks. They dream of finding jobs in Thousand Oaks. Live there! Avoid LA's surreal traffic! On weekends, check yourselves into the Chateau Marmont, the Peninsula, the Mondrian.... so many choices! But commuting daily to those exciting locales will quickly wear you (and your car) to a frazzle. Do the math, and look at what it will cost to commute, daily. You'd be much smarter (and safer) living within five minutes of work in Thousand Oaks, and checking into a fine hotel, once a month. That leaves you plenty of gym time. Great gyms out that way, BTW.

Oh, and there are plenty of swing groups near Thousand Oaks, if that's what you're hinting at. Malibu has plenty, too, and it's just over the hills from Thousand Oaks.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Where else but London
670 posts, read 781,604 times
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Mid-town living isn't for everyone, but it may be worth a look. I lived mid-town for a short time and actually liked it and that comes from someone who has lived in lots of big cities including LA.

Take a look at The Ventura County Reporter for a feel of what is available. Ventura County Reporter - Front Page
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
17 posts, read 28,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kakistos View Post
First, thanks to all of you who post in these forums -- they're full of great information!

My husband is interviewing for a job in Thousand Oaks, and neither of us has lived in Southern California, so we're looking into places to live. Avoiding a long commute is the top priority, so we want to find someplace less than an hour from Thousand Oaks (the closer the better). So far we've been looking at Ventura, Ojai, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks itself.

Right now we live in NYC, and we're hoping to find somewhere that has some of the same things we love here: great restaurants, farmer's markets, theaters that show independent and foreign films, and a walkable downtown (even better, being able to walk *to* downtown). We don't mind heading into LA on occasion, but we would like to have these things where we live.

We're in our 30s and don't have kids -- we're not really looking for what most people seem to mean by "nightlife" (clubs and bars), but we're also not worried about schools and would like to find a place that has activities and local events that aren't centered around kids.

Any thoughts on Ventura, Ojai, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks, or suggestions for other places to look at? We're planning to rent, at least for the first year, if that makes a difference. Our current apartment is $2500/month, but we'd really like to find a place for less if possible.
If you love hiking and being tucked away in the hills next to thousand oaks, try westlake village. Although pretty, it's also expensive. I used to live there. And by expensive I mean EXPENSIVE. When I was still in high school in my history class was the son of the CEO of Dole. Kids with $300 shoes with real gold in them. Although There are cheaper places in Westlake. I mention it because it's very safe, and affluent. The police response is a speedy minute or two. Although it is boring and not much diversity. (Population is only 8,000.) Although it's only a suggestion but there is not much to do in ventura county....whether you're a kid or not...although I may be wrong....But It's mostly houses and shopping centers. The daily routine life. The closest you'll get to a big city in ventura county is probably oxnard, it has around 200,000 people and has is right next to the beach. But that's all oxnard is: Factories, Fields, Farms, and Beaches, and Malls. Oxnard is right next to Ventura which about half the size, but has a little more to do. My father lived in camarillo before moving to santa barbara. Camarillo is just on the other side of the hill that divides thousand oaks & newbury park from camarillo & oxnard. Camarillo is closer than ventura or oxnard, has about 66,000 people, and is, again, has almost nothing to do. Although there may be more than I think. Most things in the area are probably annual events....If I were you, I'd move somewhere else with more to do and then move to ventura county to retire...but that's just me...
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
17 posts, read 28,676 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakistos View Post
Thanks all!

To clarify, we're definitely not expecting anything like NYC. We both grew up in the suburbs (me in the Bay Area, my husband on the East Coast), and although we're not very familiar with the LA area, we've been there before. We're not looking for anything like *any* big city, but we're hoping to find a place with great restaurants and some kind of downtown -- not like Manhattan, just a Main Street area with some shops, restaurants, cafes, maybe an independent theater.

It sounds like Ventura might have the closest to what we're looking for, both in location and culture -- but I'd love to hear any thoughts on other towns in the area. Thanks again!
If you want a main street with shops, then you want ventura, oxnard, or MAYBE camarillo...but thousand oaks has ZERO. It's main area is thousand oaks boulevard which is lined with strip malls, offices, and apartments. They do have a cool shopping area near the civic arts plaza though. But thousand oaks is not the "main street downtown" kind of city, its the "large avenue cutting right through everything" kind of city. Otherwise it's just houses in hills with strip malls everywhere...Ventura is the place for you if you want main street. Although Santa barbara would be PERFECT if you wanted that, I would assume it's too far away from thousand oaks for you. But otherwise YOU WANT VENTURA!
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:38 PM
 
1,092 posts, read 2,955,517 times
Reputation: 1125
Rent in Thousand Oaks or Westlake. Visit Hollywood, Malibu, Santa Barbara, etc. on the weekends. Ventura, Ojai, and Calabassas will be nice places to go for a meal, or check out their local offerings.

I lived in Oxnard for 20+ years and can't imagine it holds enough appeal to deal with that commute unless you really want to live at the beach--and then I'd say look at Ventura.

TO has upscale markets, hiking, low crime, cultural events, and is general fairly affluent. Westlake feels less family oriented to me, is next door, and an apartment would be within your budget.
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