The district dates back to the Oberamt Ravensburg, which was created in 1810 when the previously free imperial city Ravensburg and the surrounding area became part of Württemberg. In 1938 the Oberamt was converted into a district, most of the Oberamt Waldsee was merged into the new district. In 1973 the district Wangen was merged into the district, together with a few municipalities from the district Saulgau, Überlingen and Biberach.
The district is also home to the toymaker Ravensburger.
The landscape in the district are the hills of the Oberschwäbischen Hügelland and the Westallgäuer Hügelland.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms show a Lion, the symbol of the Welfen family. This family had their center in Ravensburg, before the area went to the Hohenstaufen family.