When I said I was going to Oxnard for the weekend, everyone went, “Oxnard”? Where is Oxnard? What is Oxnard? No one knew much about it or heard of it. So here it is, my weekend in Oxnard , Port Heuneme, and Ventura. No one heard of Port Hueneme either. Hopefully after you read this you may consider taking a weekend trip, it is worth it.
Oxnard is a coastal city in central California located approximately 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The population of Oxnard is 203,585 as of 2012. A nice note, Oxnard was ranked as one of the safest cities in America with violent crime rates well below the national average
From Oxnards history I got this tidbit of the naming of the city:
Oxnard’s founder, Henry T. Oxnard, intended to name the city after a Greek word for “sugar”. Finally, frustrated with trying to communicate his desires to the state bureaucrats, he gave up and named the city after his family.
Oxnard is home to the beautiful Channel Islands Harbor and where there is a harbor there will be all sorts of water activities including whale watching, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, surfing, charters, fishing, etc.
This is my second trip, the first I went in August last year and I was very surprised on how empty the beaches were at that time of year. It was amazing because, everywhere we went there was never trouble finding parking. The beaches were massive and had tons of sand.
In nearby Port Hueneme the beaches had dunes and I was surprised that they had one of the only piers that I have seen with nothing on it. No restaurant, no bathrooms, no lifeguard headquarters, it was just a pier.
Even though Port Hueneme houses a naval base, it still is a nice place to check out and walk along the empty beaches or take a stroll on the pier.
In Oxnard dogs are allowed on the beaches and there was a bike trail that went the length of the beach as far as we could see. In fact Oxnard has about 35 miles of designated biking trails. Port Hueneme had ‘No dog’ signs on beach but there were plenty of sidewalks along the beach.
If you love wine, Oxnard is also home to 3 unique wineries and their tasting rooms along with a waterfront wine tasting room.
Home to many festivals, the California Strawberry Festival is the most famous. Oxnard is close to the Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary so bring your camera.
Right on the border of Oxnard is the more famous Ventura. Another sleepy central California town, Ventura also has a harbor and those great long sandy beaches. The harbor offers shops, restaurants, and rentals.
Like Oxnard they have great beaches with plenty of surf.
We didn’t think we would get much of a sunset but it turned out to be great with the sun taking on many shapes before it sizzled below the horizon.
All of these three cities have great beaches and plenty of things to do. Consider Oxnard for your next weekend trip and wander into Ventura and Port Hueneme too.
This is what Staycationscalifornia is all about.