Ode to Oxnard
Winter Adventures in Oxnard
By land, by sea, by taco trail—Oxnard in Ventura County hits its stride in winter. The golden beaches are uncrowded, and surfers find their bliss in the curling waves. But there’s more than sandy shores here. Oxnard’s outdoor excursions include wide-open beaches and coastal biking to ocean kayaking, a fabulous ferry ride to go explore Channel Islands National Park, and yep—the famous Oxnard Taco Trail, plus plenty of other tasty food, beer, wine, and spirits. Winter is sunset season in Oxnard, when the sun sinks directly over Channel Islands National Park out in the Pacific, splashing it in a brilliant pink glow. Yep, now’s the time to find your vibe in Oxnard.
Sea Wild Oxnard
Known as “the Galapagos of North America,” Channel Islands National Park has some of the world’s most pristine, untouched nature. This chain of five islands reached by ferry has a marine environment to marvel at: hidden beaches, massive craggy cliffs, sea caves, and abundant wildlife—from whales to bald eagles to the clever island fox—found nowhere else in the world. Enjoy a day hike or do an overnight camping excursion or kayak adventure. For action-packed variety, Santa Cruz Island has plenty of hiking trails. If rugged and remote is your thing, head to windswept Santa Rosa Island, where you’ll likely have the amazing 2-mile Water Canyon Beach to yourself. There’s something special about every island, so get on board an excursion with the fantastic Island Packers (the only operator permitted to land on the islands) and head to one of nature’s truest remaining wonders.
BONUS: Channel Islands Harbor is the closest access point to Anacapa Island (part of Channel Islands National Park) and a perfect launch point for all kinds of water adventures: whale watching, SUP yoga, sailing, paddling, parasailing, and jet skiing too!
Oxnard on Land
In and around Oxnard, find plenty of adventure on land. Rent bikes from Wheel Fun Rentals, and cycle on the beach path for some sea-breezy coastal scenery, not to mention just a wheely pun time! Wheel Fun Rentals has E-bikes and beach cruisers for a do-it-yourself pedaling adventure along Oxnard Beach and through Channel Islands Harbor, with points of interest listed on a customized map. Golfers can take their best swing at River Ridge Golf Club. Then there’s the Oxnard Historic Farm Park & Museum, where you can explore an original parcel of farmland with century-old structures including a farmhouse from the 1870s and the original winery for the Santa Clara Chapel. Vibrant murals are everywhere around Oxnard. Go on an urban stroll and find colorful art and messages of diversity, inclusion, culture, and community. Check out the mural spots around downtown Oxnard, Oxnard High School, Oxnard City Hall, Silver Strand Beach, The Collection at RiverPark, and stunning automotive paintings at Oxnard’s two famous car museums.
Oxnard Taco Trail, Artisan Eateries, and Libations
Oxnard is well known for its eclectic food, including southern BBQ, fresh seafood, sushi, and top-rated Brazilian cuisine. Be sure to hit the trail: the Oxnard Taco Trail! It’s got dozens of taco trucks and restaurants with delicious local Mexican food: questacos, los vampiros, birria, pizzadillas, this list goes on … and the margaritas and micheladas are mighty tasty too! Families and friends will love The Collection at RiverPark, a dining and shopping area with everything from the Cheesecake Factory to Larsen’s, Yard House, and the locally focused artisan eateries at the Annex Food Hall. Raise a wine or a beer glass at any of Oxnard’s four wineries (Magnavino Cellars, Strey Cellars, Rancho Ventavo Cellars, or family-owned Herzog Wine Cellars), two breweries (Casa Agria Specialty Ales and Red Tandem Brewery), or tap room (Bottle & Pint), or raise your spirits with some award-winning bourbon from Sespe Creek Distillery.
VISIT & STAY: For a few days experiencing Oxnard, check out a wide range of lodging and get ideas on where to eat, which beaches to hit, and other fun outdoor adventures in the area.
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