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8 Unique Things to do in Oxnard, California

February 28, 2022

California

California, North America, Travel Guides, USA

We spent a few days in Oxnard, California last week and we absolutely loved it! Oxnard is about an hour drive north of Los Angeles and about forty-five minutes south of Santa Barbara, so it is the perfect mini southern California road trip destination. From the charming harbor to the small beach town feel, the vibes were perfect for a relaxing and romantic weekend getaway. Oxnard feels like the perfect hidden gem in Southern California, because it’s still a beach town, but it’s not too crowded and there are still many so many fun things to do, delicious places to eat, and beautiful white sand beaches to enjoy. Here are 8 unique things to do in Oxnard, California:

8 Unique Things to do in Oxnard, California:

1. Gondola Ride

Take a gondola ride through the harbor with Gondola Paradiso! This is such a fun and unique activity to do in Oxnard. It’s the perfect date night activity! Bring your own snacks, a mini charcuterie board, and some drinks and it’s such a fun and different romantic activity!  You get to feel like you’ve escaped to Italy without having to deal with the long flight. Your gondolier will take you through the canals of the Channel Islands Harbor while you can sit back and enjoy the view. It’s such a unique experience that will leave you with the best memories!

2. Wander the Sand Dunes at Sunset:

Something that makes Oxnard so unique is that the beaches here have the most beautiful sand dunes. There aren’t a lot of beaches in Southern California that have sand dunes and palm trees in the sand, but Oxnard does! We loved Oxnard State Beach Park, because it’s a beautiful long stretch of sand that makes it so there’s plenty of room to sit, relax, and enjoy the beach. We loved coming here to watch sunset from the sand dunes, because it felt like a unique sunset experience you can’t get at other Southern California beaches! You can also see the Channel Islands from here!

beach picnic

3. Rent a Surrey and Bike the Boardwalk:

We rented a surrey from Wheel Fun Rentals, and it was one of our favorite things we did while we were in Oxnard! You can rent the surreys from Embassy Suite Mandalay Beach Resort, and you can get a two-person or four-person surrey. There’s also a little basket seat in the front for little kiddos and they provide helmets too! Luna loved riding in the front and was seriously smiling the whole time we were riding. It was so cute and such a fun way to get outside and explore as a family. We took the surrey along the boardwalk and around the Oxnard Beach Park and the whole ride had beautiful views! You can rent the surreys by the hour or for the full day. It’s the perfect family-friendly activity, because everyone can pedal and join in the fun (although the person in the driver’s seat is definitely the one doing the most work, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding who’s driving haha)!

4. Have a Picnic on the Beach:

We used Pop Up Party Bar to have a picnic on the beach and absolutely loved the entire aesthetic. We brought take out from The Shores Oxnard and had the most dreamy picnic on the beach. Pop Up Party Bar set it all up and supplied all of the pillows, blankets, chairs and table, so all we had to do was show up with our food and enjoy! It was such a special way to enjoy a meal on the beach in a way we would never be able to do on our own. It was so nice to just sit and enjoy our meal with an ocean view and feel the sand in our toes.

 

5. Go on a Jet Ski Tour

We rented jet skis with Southern California Jet Skis and it was so much fun! It was our first time jet skiing on the Pacific Ocean and it was so much fun! The waves were so fun to ride over and getting to see the coast from the ocean is something we always love so much! We’d definitely recommend jet skiing this in the summer or during the warmer months so you can fully enjoy your experience without getting too cold. The Southern California Jet Ski team is so kind and helpful and makes sure you know exactly what you’re doing and goes out with you to make sure you don’t have any problems while you’re out. You can also rent wet suits to make sure you’re extra warm while you’re out there. If you time is right with the season, you can even see dolphins or try to go whale watching while you’re out!

6. Enjoy a Romantic Dinner at Tierra Sur:

We very rarely eat a four course meal, but when we do, we make sure every course is absolutely delicious and Tierra Sur at Herzog Winery did not disappoint. Tierra Sur is a farm-to-table restaurant with a prix fixe menu that has selections you can choose from to create the perfect meal. You can tell the chef puts a lot of love and effort into each course and the details and presentation were absolutely stunning. You can also take a tour of the winery, which we did, and we found it really interesting to learn about the history of the Herzog family and their journey to California and how they create and ship the wine right from the property. Tierra Sur is also a completely Kosher restaurant. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends enjoying an unforgettable meal.
 

7. Explore the Channel Islands Maritime Museum:

You can’t go to Oxnard without visiting the Channel Islands Harbor. It’s so beautiful and an iconic spot in Oxnard. The Channel Islands Harbor Maritime Museum is right on the harbor and is an entire museum is dedicated to maritime art. There are beautiful maritime paintings from various art movements and intricately detailed models of boats and ships throughout the museum. It’s a really beautiful and unique museum where you can learn a lot about the history of sailing and warships and how maritime played a role in so many cultures throughout history. Once you leave, be sure to head around back to check out the Mystic Cruzer tall ship in the harbor.

8. Pick Your Favorite Meal at The Annex Food Hall:

Before you leave Oxnard, make sure to go to The Annex Food Hall! It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal and make sure everyone can get exactly what they want. From fresh coffee to delicious smoothie bowls and hot chicken sandwiches, the Annex Food Hall has options for everyone and it’s a great way to support small and local businesses in Oxnard. We loved The Blend Superfood Bar! The Annex Food Hall is at The Collection Riverpark, which also has great shopping, a jumping gym for littles, and a movie theater, so it’s a great place to go and spend the afternoon. If you’re in Oxnard during the weekend, be sure to go to the Farmer’s Market here every Saturday from 8 am – 2 pm!

Where to stay:

Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor:

We stayed at the Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor and had a great experience! The rooms are updated and very clean and we stayed in a room with a balcony and beautiful view of the marina. There’s a heated outdoor pool, fire pit, and complimentary breakfast. It’s the perfect place to stay right in the heart of Oxnard, because it’s easy to get to the beach, the harbor, and Downtown Oxnard.

We had the best time in Oxnard and were so surprised by how easy of a getaway it is from Los Angeles! We will definitely be heading back again soon!
Map provided by Wanderlog, a travel planner on iOS and Android

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*This post is sponsored by Visit Oxnard California, but as always, all opinions are our own!

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