Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Oxnard, CA

  • Published 2023/01/20

Located in the Ventura County of California, Oxnard is a beautiful beach town.

This panorama-perfect town is particularly famous for its historic downtown, pristine white beaches, and authentic culture.

This town is worth a visit for its evasively quaint harbor, historic Victorian-era architecture, and electric nightlife.

As one of California’s budding coastal communities, Oxnard might surprise those who regard this town as a mere agrarian destination.

There is more to this fascinating place than just the smell of earth in the air-modest museums, the thriving punk and hip-hop scene, the professional theatres, and the water-filled adventures, among many others.

Our guide below enlists the best things to do in Oxnard, California, to make your visit a memorable one.

Try Different Water Adventures at the Channel Islands Harbour

Beautiful sunset at Channel Islands Harbour

Andriy Blokhin /

Lying off Ventura’s coast is a one-stop resource for information on the five northern Channel Islands.

It was initially established as a shore protection project in correlation to a small harbor at the end of the Santa Barbara Channel in 1960.

It has been famous for its waterfront resorts and craft recreation and mainly attracts the local American population.

View of Channel Islands Harbour

Andriy Blokhin /

If you are in the mood for diving, kayaking, fishing, or whale watching, you might want to head up to The Channel Islands Harbor.

A water taxi facility is also available here.

After every three years, the Channel Islands Tall Ship Festival is hosted by this institute, ion that attracts thousands of marine and ship enthusiasts.

Visit the Channel Islands Boating Centre to enjoy some fun boating activities.

View of Channel Islands Harbour

cvalle /

Pay a Visit to Mullin Automotive Museum

Mullin Automotive Museum

PLawrence99cx, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mullin Automotive Museum is a true homage to art deco and magnificent automobiles.

Housing some of the finest collections that typify exquisitely beautiful style and amazingly engineered French-built cars, there is a lot to see here.

The museum showcases the personal car collection of philanthropists and businessman Mr. Peter W. Mullin.

From French automobiles to vintage Bugattis, visitors can see many cars in the museum.

The French collection of the Mullin museum consists of cars that are the past winners of the historic Grand Prix de Pau and Le Mans.

Tourists can visit the museum on the second and fourth Saturdays every month by paying $15.

The museum is open from 10 atolls 3 pm.

If you wish to book a semi-private tour, you can make a reservation and visit the museum on Tuesday for $40.

See the Victorian Mansions at Heritage Square

Facade of a beautiful house at Heritage Square

Mike Kitchen /

The Heritage Square consists of several well-preserved, craftsman-style houses in a lushly landscaped square block of historic downtown.

These houses once served as abodes for the pioneer families of Oxnard.

Being an original historic site of Oxnard, the area exhibits 15 Victorian mansions, whose beauty attracts tourists from all over the world.

These beautiful Victorian architecture houses provide the best grounds for couples looking for a perfect wedding site.

View of a yellow colored house at Heritage Square

Mike Kitchen /

Photography enthusiasts also flock here for its picturesque gardens and fountains.

Visitors can purchase souvenirs and gifts from the local gift shops in the Square.

At the cost of $5 per person, the tour is 45 minutes long.

Tours are exempted on holidays but are open for the rest of the year.

The docenprovideroviding you with an information-filled tour of the historic structures of Heritage Square and the City of Oxnard.

Water tank at Heritage Square

Mike Kitchen /

Go Sunbathing at the Mandalay Beach

Mandalay State Beach on a sunny day

Mofu and Mofu /

Mandalay Beach is on the list of protected beaches currently managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

This 92-acre land was transformed into California State Park in 1985 to preserve the wetlands and to develop sand dunes.

Vibrant sunset at Mandalay Beach

Sarah Fields Photography /

You can access the beach during the daytime, provided you do not enter the reserved area.

There is no particular parking area, but you can find the same on adjacent public streets.

Visitors can also walk and travel to the neighboring beaches.

Waves crashing on the shores of Mandalay Beach

You Touch Pix of EuToch /

Experience the Serenity of the Channel Islands National Park

Scenic view of Channel Islands National Park

Bram Reusen /

Also known as America’s Galapagos, Channel Islands National Park is 14 miles off the coast and is known for camping trips.

Managed by the National Park Service and National Marine Sanctuary, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is the most wondrous attraction of Ventura County.

A seal swimming under the ocean at Channel Islands National Park

Katharine Moore /

It comprises five of the eight Channel Islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara Island, which are hardly visible from the mainland.

Dolphin at Channel Islands National Park

HTurner /

Dip in the Silver Strand Beach

Silver Strand Beach

RCanale62 /

Silver Strand Beach is a great place to relax.

The sandy beaches here have a charisma of their own.

A paved walking trail spans from San Nicholas Ave to Kiddie Beach Park.

surfer at silver strand beach, onxard

L Paul Mann /

Wander around Carnegie Art Museum

Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard

Los Angeles, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Carnegie Art Museum was initially opened as Oxnard Public Library in 1907.

It was later changed into an art museum in 1986.

Later on, Carnegie Art Museum became the first Carnegie Library in California and the first building in Ventura County to be listed in the US National Register of Historic Places.

The building is currently owned by the City of Oxnard.

Exterior view of the Carnegie Art Museum

Los Angeles, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Since the art museum has now been closed due to the city’s budget cuts, visitors can only see the iconic building from afar.

It is the best place for photographers to capture pictures in this historical backdrop.

Entrance to Carnegie Art Museum

Craig Baker, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have Fun with The Pirate Boat Rides

When you visit the harbor harbour at Mandalay Bay, give the pirate boats a try with The Pirate Boat Rides.

With many agencies lining up to give you a memorable ride, you have commendable comes to boats.

During the sail, which typically lasts 30 – 45 minutes, you can see the harbor, the bay, and the nearby houses.

Try Waterfront Activities at Marine Emporium Landing

Boats docked at Marine Emporium Landing

joojoob27 /

One of Oxnard’s premier destinations for dining and waterfront activities, The Marine Emporium Landing hosts several fun water activities.

You can enjoy kayaking, sports fishing, marine sailing, boating, and whale watching.

Travelers also get to experience fine dining at good restaurants and wine bars.

Yachts and boats at Marine Emporium Landing

joojoob27 /

While you are here, visit the most famous Honey Cup Coffee restaurant.

If you are too tired, you can also head for spa and massage treatments.

See the Antiques of the Murphy Auto Museum

Vintage Limousine at Murphy Auto Museum

Patrick Pelletier, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Murphy Auto Museum displays its collection of automobiles and Americana all year long.

They have a gorgeous collection of 90 vintage automobiles, from those manufactured as early as 1903 to those manufactured up to the present.

With a whopping 30,000-square-foot facility, they have unique vintage camping trailers and clothing displays.

For a self-interpretive museum experience, they have detailed placards placed at the front of every automobile.

In addition to that, they provide the best docents available to answer any of your queries.

From time to time, the museum hosts an exhibition on its parking lots, allowing owners and collectors alike to come together and show off their cars.

You can pay a visit to this fantastic museum from April to December on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between 10 am – 4 pm and Wednesday between 6 pm – 10 pm.

While the days change to Saturday and Sunday from January to March, the 10-am-to-4-pm timeframe remains the same.

Witness the Collections at the RiverPark

RiverPark, Oxnard

Drewrx, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Being one of California’s finest outdoor lifestyle centres, you can purchase services and products at the RiverPark.

Many business biggies have their outlets here, both national and regional.

You can shop from some of the biggest brands here.

This includes H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, Target, Whole Foods, and the list goes on.

The collection also displays several mind-blowing public arts.

See the Paintings at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum

The Channel Islands Maritime Museum presents a collection of maritime paintings, artifacts, and ship models.

The paintings showcased here is an assortment of new and old, some as historic as the ones that date back to the 17th, 18th and 19th century.

The museum windows provide a scenic view of the boats sailing in the harbor.

The guides provide all the assistance you need completely free of cost.

If you want to see everything related to the Maritime, especially that of the US, the Channel Islands Maritime Museum is a great option.

Visit Oxnard Historic Farm Park

If you love history, you might be interested in Oxnard Historic Farm Park.

It is located in Oxnard Plain, and this park is a historic landmark, just as the name implies.

Two of the oldest structures built way back in the 1870s—a winery and a home—still stand in this location, and the Oxnard Historic Farm Park Foundation is dedicated to preserving their historical significance.

There are also other attractions you might be interested in, such as demonstration crops and gardens, avocado and lemon orchards, and so on.

With that being said, the park itself is truly worth visiting.

It is an ideal place for residents and tourists to learn Oxnard’s history on a much deeper level.

Grab Some Free Tickets at The Elite Theatre Company

Located on Victoria Avenue, The Elite Theatre Company has consistently educated, entertained, and enriched the community since 1964.

It is a space where professional, and even amateur local artists share their passion for providing outstanding theatrical production.

What’s more, through their Arts are for Everyone program, the Elite gives free tickets to different people, regardless of their cultural and religious backgrounds.

They even allow the audience to comment on playwrights’ works.

Everyone is welcome in this theatre, you see, and if you love theater arts, then Elite Theate is a perfect place for you.

Play Golf at River Ridge Golf Club

Made from its natural surrounding, River Ridge Gold Club offers an excellent location for golf enthusiasts.

It is the only golf course in Oxland, adjacent to Santa Clara river in Oxnard.

Everywhere, you could see trees dotting the perfectly manicured golf course; from there, you could see the distant, blue ocean.

River Ridge also has lakes and wetlands, consisting of two 18-hole courses, namely The Vineyard Course and Victoria Lakes Course.

This is a perfect setting for people who love playing this sport, particularly those who love to be in nature.

Isn’t it marvelous—playing golf under the sun while breathing the Pacific-scented breeze?

See a Show at Oxnard Performing Arts Center

The OxnardPerforming Arts Center is a theater complex known for its prominent events such as Dia de Los Muertos Celebrationand RESCUECON.

It primarily has 1,604 seats, making it ideal for seminars, trade shows, business meetings, etc.

Not only does it provide corporate events, but it also provides entertainment and cultural opportunities among people, be they, residents or tourists.

They include dance, theater, musical recitals, and even visual arts.

There are also beautiful patio spaces that can be used for special occasions, such as weddings and birthday parties.

And if you are visiting the city in February and are interested in animals, you might want to stop by.

RESCUECON, a two-day convention, promotes the human-animal bond during this month.

It teems with fun activities; however short it is, attendees will surely harness their relationship with animals through this event.

Savor Exquisite Wines at Strey Cellars

The finest cutting-edge winery and tasting facility in Ventura County features only the best wine at Strey Cellars!

Owner-operators Scott and Katie Ballew launched Strey Cellars in February 2014 and ventured to give wine tasting in Ventura County a remarkably modern twist.

Clicks and bright color bursts give the atmosphere a modern, clean feel.

The moment you enter the door, the 18-foot ceilings, concrete countertops, and cider brick walls make you feel anything but chilly, plus you can count on receiving the warmest welcome possible.

Given their limited case manufacturing and careful attention to detail, you can be certain to be tasting fantastic drinks.

Strey wine is definitely a work of art from within to the surface of the bottle!

Drop in During Happy Hour at Cabo Seafood Grill and Cantina

Tables, booths, bar, and outside patio seating are available at Cabo Seafood Grill and Cantina for every mood or occasion.

Feeling happy about your trip, grab some tortillas in this laid-back restaurant.

The renowned guacamole is prepared right next to you at the table, allowing you to be convinced it won’t get much fresher.

If you want the Cabo Experience, don’t miss out on sampling Cabo’s Giant Seafood Goblets.

The happy hour, which serves Margaritas and domestic and international beers, is worth checking out!

Admire the Views at McGrath State Beach

On the southern bank of the Santa Clara River, near the Californian city of Oxnard, lies McGrath State Beach, a designated beach park.

The Santa Clara River’s rich riverbanks and the dunes along the beach make McGrath State Beach among the top bird-watching locations in California.

A nature walk at McGrath State Beach connects to the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve.

For those interested in participating in water activities, the two kilometers of beach present chances for fishing and surfing.

Camping spots are accessible when you wish to embark on an overnight adventure.

Explore Peninsula Park

Peninsula Park has a play area for kids offering swings, slides, rotating, leaping, and bending equipment that is great for getting kids moving.

For a friendly match, local tennis players gather at the two courts bordered by trees and provide an outlook of the harbor.

Only tennis matches on the courts are permitted to the general public.

Dogs are welcome in Peninsula Park, but owners are asked to pick up after their pets and keep them on a leash.

Picnic tables, BBQ grills, and trash cans are available at the park’s picnic areas.

Although it is not permitted to camp overnight, Peninsula Park is accessible from dusk to dawn.

Relax and Pay a Visit to the Yoga Channel

Since February 2021, Amber and Nathan Holrom, a team in life and business, have been in charge of The Yoga Channel.

They have almost 30 years of overall expertise as certified massage therapists in addition to yoga.

Nathan, the co-owner, has incorporated yoga, breathing exercises, and stretching ideas into his massage therapy.

They promised to provide a place for wellness and healing while promoting a welcoming atmosphere for the neighborhood.

The Yoga Channel will assist you in focusing on yourself so that you can flourish in whichever way is right for you.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park

Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center

Ken Wolter /

At The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Ccompleter, tourists can visit a bookstore, a featured board of marine aquatic life, and take part in exhibitions thclassail the features of each island.

Travelers can also enjoy a particular movie called “A Treasure in the Sea,” which is 25 minutes long and runs throughout the day in the main auditorium.

The Visitor Centre is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm to visitors all year but is closed on December 25th and Thanksgiving Day.

If you’re visiting on the weekends, be sure to attend the free public programs about the park’s resources.

Visit California Coastal National Monument

Picturesque view of Ocean Beach in Oxnard

You Touch Pix of EuToch /

Created by Bill Clinton in 2000 and currently managed by the US Bureau of Land Management, the California Coastal National Monument is one of the most viewed sites in California.

The monument is located along the coastline of California to protect reefs, rocky outcrops, and islets within 12 nautical miles of the coast.

The exciting bit of information about this monument is that most people are not aware that they are viewing a national monument.

In 2014, Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands was added to the California Coastal National Monument in a presidential proclamation by President Barack Obama.

Furthermore, in 2017, 5 coastal sites were added to the same monument under the California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act.

On a sunny day, you can see harbour seals resting on rocks and surf grasses.

The monument provides a unique shelter for marine life and is not missed by enthusiasts.

The scenic view of the sunset is breathtaking and a treat for photographers.

Final Thoughts

Based on the above context, Oxnard is indeed a perfect city offering relaxation, fun-filled activities, infinite attractions, and possibilities.

Here, you can play golf, kayaking, watch theatrical productions, boating, whale watching, and much more.

More importantly, and to put it in a nutshell, this city is where you’ll enjoy your oneness with nature.

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