Wondering what are the best sights and historical landmarks in Oxnard? While your original plans may include watching sunsets on the beach, harbor activities, and wine tastings, you'll find plenty of history in this California town.
From Victorian architecture in Heritage Square to the home of the former Sugar Beet Factory, let's take a stroll down memory lane. You don't have to be a history buff to appreciate these classic sites and historical landmarks in Oxnard.
Start your tour of Oxnard's Historical places with a visit to Heritage Square. Located in Downtown Oxnard, stroll through the lush gardens on a self-guided tour to see turn-of-the-century houses that were saved from destruction from the Oxnard Plain. If you're visiting on the weekend, sign up for a docent-led tour to learn more about the 19th-century architecture in this area.
Love Victorian architecture? Don't miss the 11 historic homes on the block. Heritage Square is home to a church, water tower, pump house, and storehouse.
No visit to California is complete without visiting the beach and a local winery. Sip on a cheeky red at Rancho Ventavo Wine Cellars located in the 1902 Scarlett House. Top up the evening with a meal at La Dolce Vita 1901 located in the McGrath House. Owner and Executive Chef, Michelle Kenney, also hosts cooking classes if you're looking for a fun date night experience.
In the mood for a cocktail? The bartenders at 1901 Speakeasy Lounge whip up Prohibition-style craft cocktails and other libations. Stop by for Live music and entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
715 S A St, Oxnard, CA 93030, United States
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, Oxnard Historic District is an architecture lover's dream. Check out the 144 classically-built homes along F and G Streets and approximately 600 homes in the area. You'll definitely want to mark your calendar and visit during the holiday season. Oxnard Historic District transforms into "Christmas Tree Lane," complete with creative displays and bright lights to get everyone in the festive spirit.
Visiting in the Fall? Check out the Autumn Home Tours to get a closer look at the Revival style homes dating back to 1903. There are 139 Craftsman, Spanish Colonial, and Period Revival bungalow-style homes spread within the district's 80 acres.
The houses are located in two sub-divisions: the Henry T. Oxnard tract on F Street and the Walter H. Lathrop tract on G Street, built during 1909-1941.
A county landmark since 1971, the Oxnard Pagoda is one of the last remaining band pavilions in California. Built to conceal the irrigation system in Plaza Park, this area is now the gathering spot for some of the top festivals in Oxnard, including the Oxnard Salsa Festival, Tamale Festival, and the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in December.
When's the last time you remember buying something for a nickel or dime? Although the days of "five and ten cent stores" are long gone, the Woolworth building is one of the historical landmarks in Oxnard. It serves as a reminder of a time that once was. Today you can stop by the Downtown Oxnard building and enjoy Artisan desserts at Xielo. Treat yourself to traditional Mexican pastries, fusion crepes, and raspados/shaved ice.
The Woolworth Building, 212 W. 4th Street, Oxnard, CA 93030
Get a historical perspective of the significant role agriculture played throughout the town when you visit Oxnard Historic Farm Park. The structures date back to 1870, and the park features vintage tractors, bean threshers, and farm implements. Barley, corn, sugar beets, and lima beans are grown on-site.
The park is open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and is available for rentals on weekends.
61 N Rice Ave. #1a, Oxnard, CA 93030
From 1899 to 1959, 40,000 acres of sugar beets were grown in Ventura County's Sugar Beet Factory. Henry T. Oxnard built the $2-million sugar factory, which could process 2,000 tons of beets daily. At the time, the factory sent out close to 40 million 100-pound bags of granulated sugar. James Driffill managed the factory, and he later became Oxnard's mayor.
Oxnard soon became one of the largest sugar producers in the country and helped boost the town's economy and population. The city of Oxnard was named on June 30, 1903, after the Oxnard brothers, Robert, Benjamin, Henry T., and James Oxnard, who helped put this coastal town on the map. The former site of the factory is located north of Wooley Road and east of Oxnard Boulevard.
The original Santa Clara Church was built on the south side of the Santa Clara River in the late 1870s. The parish opened its doors on St. Patrick's Day 1877. After the opening of the sugar-beet factory in 1899, the small building wasn't big enough to accommodate the community. In 1904, the current stone-and-brick structure was built. It features stained glass windows and Gothic architecture style high ceilings.
323 S E St, Oxnard, CA 93030, United States
Since 1908, the historic Japanese Cemetery has been a resting place for members of the local Japanese American community. The cemetery is located at the east of Etting and Pleasant Valley Roads. Although the last burials were in 1960, the cemetery contains markers on wooden boards with inscriptions that are printed in Japanese. The cemetery was given to the Japanese community by the Masonic Lodge when the citizens were not allowed to own land in California.
Last on our list, but not to be missed, is the historical Bank of A. Levy building. Established by Achille Levy in 1898, this 9,000-square-foot property has been featured in TV and movie productions. The architectural firm of Morgan, Walls, and Clements designed the Beaux-Arts Classical style building located on the corner of A and 5th Streets.
While much of Oxnard's architecture has changed over the decades, there are many iconic buildings and historical landmarks in Oxnard worth visiting. From Heritage Square to the Sugar Beet Factory, these classic sites tell a story of Oxnard’s past.
Which historical landmark will you visit first? Share your pics on Instagram and tag us @VisitOxnardCA.
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