September 4, 2020
Oxnard is a playground for water sports and activities. Whether you’re into surfing, kayaking, fishing, standup paddle boarding, or boating, you can do it all in a weekend in Oxnard. With more than 22 miles of coastline and perfect year-round weather, head to the coast and start exploring. You don’t have to be an expert or even own a kayak to enjoy a day on the water. Kayak rentals and guided tours are available.
Ready for a fun-filled adventure kayaking in Oxnard? Here are the top spots to paddle.
Kayaking in Oxnard: Best Places to Paddle
Admire the luxury homes, boats, and snap a pic of California’s sea lions at Channel Islands Harbor. This is an ideal spot for newbie kayakers to get comfortable in the calm, quiet waters. It’s an experience the whole family will love, and it won’t cost you a fortune.
Planning a date? Choose between a single or double kayak. If it’s your first time kayaking, you’ll likely find that one hour is plenty of time.
If you’re kayaking with kids, spend your day on the water spotting starfish and sea lions as you paddle past stunning canal-front homes.
At the end of your journey, refuel at one of the many waterside restaurants located throughout the harbor. Choose from a selection of restaurants serving the fresh catch of the day, Brazilian cuisine, or grab a coffee to go.
Know before you go: Launching a kayak in the Channel Islands Harbor is easy. Grab a paddle, life jacket, and walk to the kayak launch on the Ventura County Day Dock near the boat launch ramp.
Looking to step it up a notch? Follow the jetties to the open ocean and coast alongside the golden sands of Silver Strand Beach. If you’re an experienced kayaker, you’ll enjoy riding the waves 365 days a year. You can paddle south along the beach towards the La Janelle Jetty or paddle in and around the Channel Islands Harbor. Be on the lookout for dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, and other marine life.
Silver Stand Beach has three beach breaks.
- The Jetty – A perfect right-hand break for longboarders
- The Bowl – Visit during Fall and Winter for the best waves
- La Janelle – A sandbar left-hand break
How to get to Silver Strand: You can’t miss it. There is only one entrance/exit to the Silver Strand neighborhood down Victoria Avenue.
Escape to the islands and tick another California National Park off your bucket list. Kayaking at Channel Islands National Park is a great way to soak up the island’s majestic views and sea caves.
Keep in mind, the weather and ocean conditions can change rapidly. Visitors can kayak on their own or on a guided tour.
Popular areas to kayak:
- Scorpion Beach on East Santa Cruz Island – A world-class destination with easy beach access, clear ocean waters, and beautiful sea cave and cliffs.
- San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands – Recommended for highly experienced expert level kayakers.
Enjoy diving, kayaking, swimming, and camping at Channel Islands National Park. Get the details here.
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is an oceanic reserve area off the Channel Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Advanced kayakers will love the 11-mile trek across the channel from Santa Cruz Island to Silver Strand Beach.
If you’re after a more easy-going experience, catch an Island Packers charter to Santa Cruz Island, where you can spend the day exploring hidden caves and crystal-clear waters around Scorpion Beach.
This sanctuary is home to a variety of plants and animals. If scuba diving is your thing, check out the giant kelp forests, pinnacles, and submerged Chumash Native American artifacts and the remains of more than 100 historic shipwrecks.
Where to Rent Kayaks
No kayak? No problem! Here’s where you can rent kayaks in Oxnard.
Hopper Boat Rentals – Choose between a single kayak or a double for twice the fun. Life vests and short tutorials are included with your rental.
2741 Victoria Ave. Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard CA 93035
Channel Islands Kayak Center – Explore sea caves at Channel Islands National park or paddle around the harbor. Here you can rent kayaks by the hour or sign up for the full-day island tour.
3600 S Harbor Blvd, Oxnard, CA 93035
Wild Blue Adventures – Embark on a wilderness trip at Anacapa Island. The guided kayak tour is three hours and includes a paddle, helmet, life vest, and a single or double kayak.
4151 S Victoria Ave, Oxnard, CA 93035
Kayaking in Oxnard: Safety Tips
While you don’t have to be a seasoned pro to enjoy kayaking, be smart.
- Use a buddy system. Stay together and know your limits.
- Check the weather and ocean conditions before you go. If you’re adventuring in the open ocean, be aware of the waves, wind, and currents.
- Tell someone where you’re going. Don’t leave your friends and family wondering where you are. Leave your emergency contact info at the rental location.
- Be safe. Wear a life vest and be aware of other boats, jet skis, and paddle boarders.
When it comes to kayaking in Oxnard, you’ve got plenty of options. Start your day early and take your pick between fun and unique experiences at the harbor, beach, national park, or marine sanctuary.
Alejandra Cerball is an award-winning journalist, writer, and travel + lifestyle blogger at alexcerball.com. On her blog, Alex shares inspiration for your bucket list, packing tips, and destination guides for solo and adventure trips.