When I first heard of Port Hueneme many years ago I had just three questions, where the heck is it?, what is in Port Hueneme, and how do you pronounce Port Hueneme? The answers in short are: Near Oxnard, California, a Naval base, and Wy-nee’mee.
So now that we got that out of the way, let me give you a little more info and insight about this interesting coastal town.
Port Hueneme has a population of around 22,000 people and is home to a naval base as well as a bustling port for commerce ships coming in to supply the area. We inquired at the hotel desk if there were any touristy spots in the harbor area and they said no. There are no harbor side restaurants, no boat rental places, gift shops, etc. However, just a few miles up the road in the city of Oxnard, the Channel Island Harbor provides all of that. The port in Hueneme may not be a hub for visitors but it is a vital supply chain for Ventura County and some of Southern California.
We found an amazing hotel price at the Holiday Inn Express just one block from the beach and pier, so we jumped at the deal. It was a super nice hotel that looked fairly new and it was situated on one of the main streets. It offered rental bikes and surreys to tool around the beach area which would have been about a two or three minute peddle away.
We bypassed the bicycles and instead jumped in the car to investigate the area. The pier would be our first stop so we brought our fishing poles just to be prepared. We weren’t opposed to setting up our chairs, throwing out our lines, and relaxing pier side.
This simple wooden structure itself isn’t that long at 650 feet and has absolutely nothing on it. A lot of piers in California have a life guard tower, a restaurant, store, or at the very least, bathrooms. Here, there is nothing, it’s just a pier. That kind of made it unique in my opinion. However, near the parking lot there IS a lifeguard building, bathrooms, and a restaurant with a view of the coast.
It was a cold February day and probably why we got the hotel rate so cheap as this region had some rain storms earlier that week. There was not a soul fishing on the pier which we found kind of strange although we soon found out why. As we exited the car, the wind was blowing so hard that it was blasting sand pebbles into our face at an unusually high speed. With the sting of the tiny pellets, I actually felt like they were creating new pores in my skin. I covered my face with my jacket and quickly moved behind a building.
Now I know why no one was fishing. This frigid tempest squelched any ideas of us spending time on that beach, pier, or even at the park. There was no way I was going to sit in a chair and try to enjoy an afternoon of fishing with that cold biting wind at my face or back.
The warmth of the car seemed like a way better choice, so we set out to explore the area further in the comfort of a blasting heater.
Near the beach there was a nice sized palm tree lined park and from what I have read, there are plenty of very large well maintained parks in Port Hueneme.
Even though we only saw one surfer, there are plenty of surfing waves in this town. I am sure on calmer days, the waves are much better.