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 Ventura > Community > Main Street 

As its name implies, Main Street is the heart of downtown, the home of the Mission, the museums, the Pacific View Mall. It is very close to City Hall and the Post Office and is the one street every other street is based on.  "Take Main Street to Seaward," etc. Of course it bisects the entire city.

However, when most people think of Main Street, especially when it comes to shopping and culture, they mean the part between Ventura Avenue and Laurel Avenue.

And in those few city blocks, Main Street is anything but dull or typical. In fact, it is undergoing a renaissance, complete with a stark contrast of audiences, styles, and goals. You can find trendy upscale shops sporting $150 handbags next to thrift shops with $1.50 handbags.  You will find 50s-era burger joints (with excellent burgers, by the way) and hotter than now Thai eateries (that have really great Pad Thai) within earshot of each other.  And who could forget to mention the oh-so numerous antique shops and almost as numerous book stores?

For the shopper, it is heaven.  There are still unique little shops that have specialized items - like the wonderful shop that sells 16th century garb.  All of this change is bound to cause some growing pains, but the merchants and the shoppers seemed to be taking it all in stride.  As of right now, Main Street is a truly eclectic place serving a wide - and I mean w i d e variety of clientele. 

As in the nature of all such renaissance, the changes will shake themselves out.  Will Main Street go the way of Santa Barbara's State Street?  Will success push out the thrift shops and the local, unique boutiques?  Will the giant, homogenized chain stores catch onto the trend?   It's too soon to tell.  In the meantime, enjoy the richness that this great little stretch of road offers.