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Oxnard Travel Guide
Get Your Bearings in Oxnard
Where to Stay
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!
Caution: 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.
What to Eat
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 are sure to find in the harbor areas.
Be Sure to Sample: Homemade salsa and guacamole. And lots of it!
Things to See
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!
Hot Tips: Check museum and festival websites for visiting information, available far in advance from your trip.
Places to Party
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, The Majestic Ventura Theater for concerts, 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 a 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 are attending a concert.
Where to Shop
There is no shortage of shopping centers in Oxnard, including the new Collection at RiverPark, which will introduce several new stores to the city. 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 new 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.
Caution: The Camarillo Outlets are very popular and thus crowded on weekends and around holidays.
Avoid: Parking in metered spots on Main Street in Ventura. Look for free parking on either side of Main Street.
Ready for Your Dream Vacation?
About an hour north of Los Angeles, Ventura County looks out affectionately on the expansive Pacific Ocean. Initially settled by Chumash Indians, the region was discovered by Portuguese and Spanish adventurers in the mid-16th century. Not long thereafter, Spain began to construct missions along the coast, and San Buenaventura (Ventura's original, official name) was established in 1782. Small communities and sprawling ranches grew around it, giving rise to the eventual town. In the 19th century, California saw an influx of settlers, and Ventura County became an agricultural capital, a title it holds yet today. In fact, the town of Oxnard derived its name from brothers who built a factory there to process sugar beets, a profitable early crop. Thanks to fertile lands and abundant rainfall, the area now serves as a top producer of strawberries, lima beans, lemons, and celery. The oil industry and the military also rank as major employers, along with electronics and tourism. Throughout its periods of growth, Ventura County has had the foresight to maintain its communities' small-town charm, as well as their history. Naturally, the coast is a perpetual draw, and area beaches are frequented by residents and visitors alike.... Read more »