April 6, 2017
Ventura County is home to 42 miles of sun-kissed California sandy beaches and picture-perfect climate, and the coastal city of Oxnard, California sits right in the heart of it all. The county offers stunning geography with the ocean to the south and Los Padres National Forest to the north.
Oxnard is a hub of activities in Ventura County, and offers a quieter atmosphere than neighboring Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties. And yet, there’s so much to do in this seaside city. Visitors can enjoy fun activities from uncrowded beaches and watersports to live concerts and fresh seafood.
Oxnard is centrally located in Ventura County
Oxnard sits about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles and is easily accessible by air, car, train or bus. Three airports (LAX, Burbank and Santa Barbara Airport) are all roughly an hour away from the city.
Both Amtrak and Greyhound Bus Lines provide stops in Oxnard, or you can hop in your car and take a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway. Open your windows and feel the ocean breeze on your face as you drive along the coast to Oxnard.
For more information on getting to Oxnard check out this travel information.
The hub of water recreation and activities
Ventura County is a water activity lover’s home away from home. Whether you’re adventurous and want to surf the waves or want to cruise around quiet waters on a paddleboat – Oxnard’s coastline has something for everyone.
Here’s a look at the flurry of water activities happening in the city:
Located 11 miles off the coast of Oxnard is a set of untouched islands that make up the Channel Islands National Park. The five islands, often referred to as the American Galapagos, are only accessible by boat or plane. Book a ticket through Island Packers for a memorable day trip of fun activities.
To see the Channel Islands in a truly unique way, consider kayaking, diving or snorkeling around them. For more information on the park, check out The Ultimate Guide to the Channel Islands National Park.
- Go jet skiing
Grab a life vest and hang on. Jet skiing is a popular activity in Oxnard with rentals available from Southern California Jet Skis located in the Channel Islands Harbor.
- Enjoy dinner on a paddlewheel boat
Take in the sights and sounds of the ocean while dining on a historic paddlewheel boat, The Scarlett Belle. Enjoy a spectacular meal as you paddle through the Channel Islands Harbor with A&M Yacht Charters and Cruise.
Ready to see marine life up close and personal? Take a whale watching tour around the Santa Barbara Channel. Bring your camera to capture the activities of grey whales, orcas, dolphins, seals and sea lions that you’ll likely see on your trip. Island Packers offers 3.5-hour whale-watching trips.
- Learn to surf
If you’re ready to ride the waves, head to Silver Strand Beach for its world class surf. The beach has three breaks, each one catering to a different skill level. If you don’t know how to surf, don’t worry; you can take private lessons right at the beach.
- See beautiful harbor views by Gondola
Sit back and relax as your gondolier gives you a private tour through the Channel Islands Harbor on a Venetian gondola with Gondola Paradisco .
- Go paintballing
Head on over to Paintball USA for a exciting day of paintball on one of their 4 fields. Whether it is your first time paintballing or you go every weekend, Paintball USA features obstacles for all levels. They are open to the public Saturday and Sunday. For those 8 and 9 years old, that are too young for the fields, they feature a Splatmaster game with lower velocity shooting.
Amazing local events are always happening
If you’d prefer to keep your feet on dry land, you still won’t have any problem filling your trip itinerary. Oxnard always has local events happening in Ventura County.
Get tickets to a concert at the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center, see a show at the Elite Theatre, laugh until it hurts at the local comedy club, Levity Live, or grab some local treats at the Downtown Farmers’ Market.
If you’re visiting at the end of May, be sure to check out the annual California Strawberry Festival. To celebrate the state’s famed fruit, you can enjoy carnival rides, concerts and crazy strawberry-infused foods like strawberry pizza.
The Oxnard Salsa Festival at the end of July brings several thousand visitors into downtown for a 2-day celebration of all things Salsa! Spice things up with the salsa tasting tent, family-friendly activities, salsa dancing, competitions and more!
To fill your trip itinerary with local events, check out the Oxnard Calendar to see which events you’ll attend during your stay.
Oxnard is a hot spot for Ventura County conventions or meetings
Business might bring you to Oxnard too. As the largest city in Ventura County, Oxnard offers great accommodations for group conventions and meetings. With sizable venues, many companies host gatherings in Oxnard and encourage participants to enjoy all of the area activities during down time.
One of the largest venues is the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center. It has an auditorium with a stage, two banquet rooms, five meeting rooms and a series of private patios for smaller events.
Meeting space is also available at some of Oxnard’s finest hotels. The Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach and Resort has a ballroom that can hold 800+ people, Courtyard Oxnard Ventura has 16 meeting rooms, and the Best Western Oxnard Inn and Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor offer rooms for smaller parties.
Conventions aren’t the only draw in Oxnard, so is the food. Several restaurants have earned national and local acclaim for their unique twist on cuisine.
The Tierra Sur at Herzog, for example, is a ZAGAT favorite year after year. This fine dining restaurant is situated within a kosher wine cellar and offers Mediterranean food that will tempt your taste buds.
Locals rave about the city’s burger joint, Hook Burger. This restaurant uses locally grown produce and fresh baked bread to keep diners smiling. Try the hickory burger – it’s the fan-favorite.
Anaba Sushi is another hot spot that locals buzz about. It’s won a local choice award for best sushi, and is known for its Anaba Roll with fish wrapped in cucumber rather than rice.
TripAdvisor ranks Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine and Fisherman’s Catch as the two best seafood spots in Oxnard. If you’re in the mood for seafood with a twist, try the Brazilian spot. For more traditional options, like fish tacos, Fisherman’s Catch is the place to go.
Ventura County has a lot of fun activities to offer visitors, but Oxnard offers every amenity you need – all in one location. Whether you come to Oxnard for business or pleasure, you won’t be bored in this charming ocean-side city.