Part of the landscape known as the Undercliff, it has streets and houses in terraces, and a sandy beach. It is noted for its mild climate.
The town developed as a resort in the 1840s, with the Esplanade being laid out in 1848.
Ventnor Botanic Garden has huge gardens and a Temperate House.
Ventnor Pier was demolished in 1993.
The poet Algernon Charles Swinburne was buried at Ventnor.