Oxnard seems to be divided into thirds when it comes to things to do: one part agriculture, one part city and one part waterfront. Agriculture is highlighted every year with the famous Strawberry Festival in May. The city is full of unexpected treasures like the Point Mugu Naval Station, Seabee’s Museum and the incredible Mullins Auto Museum, which is only open twice a month. At the beach you can surf, take boat tours and even go whale watching.
Take It or Leave It:
The Strawberry Festival draws in an amazing amount of tourism. But the strawberries are worth the crowds!
Check museum and festival websites for visiting information, available far in advance of your trip.
When in Oxnard, there’s no better hotel view than that of the beach. The Mandalay Resort is as close to a night in Hawaii as one can get, with access to the sand and ocean just outside your room door. For other hotels by the ocean, the Crowne Plaza and Marriott in Ventura are highly recommended. If you prefer to stay in the city, you will spot several hotels and motels just off the freeway that span in price. McGrath State Beach is also an exceptional location for a camping trip.
McGrath State Beach is first come, first served. You might want to have back-up reservations at a hotel in case you don't snag a camping spot.
While Oxnard’s restaurants may be scattered around town, there’s no doubt that the city specialty is Mexican food. Almost every shopping center has an authentic restaurant that serves outstanding tacos, burritos, enchiladas…you name it. The cities of Camarillo, Santa Paula and Ventura also offer a number of fine restaurants in their downtown areas. Seafood is another specialty you're sure to find in the harbor areas.
Be Sure to Sample:
Homemade salsa and guacamole. And lots of it!
While several Oxnard restaurants offer live music and special events, the short drive to downtown Ventura is often worth the extra options for a night out. Main Street in Ventura has several bars, a movie theater, live music and even places to dance. Throughout the year you can find scheduled art and wine walks, with extra festivals in the summer months. The Ventura Comedy Club in the harbor is also a top choice for visitors and locals alike.
Take It or Leave It:
There are few places you need to get dressed up for a night downtown. Think casual, like you're attending a concert.
There is no shortage of shopping centers in Oxnard, including the Collection at RiverPark. Other centers are visible from the 101 freeway, with numerous popular chain stores. You can also drive to The Camarillo Outlet Mall, offering over 160 outlet stores and restaurants. Downtown Ventura is home to the largest number of local stores and boutiques in the area as well, not to mention The Pacific View Mall and Harbor Village shopping just miles away.
The Camarillo Outlets are very popular and thus crowded on weekends and around holidays.
Parking in metered spots on Main Street in Ventura. Look for free parking on either side of Main Street.