We love Oxnard and felt really spoiled with the perfect weather on our recent trip. I grew up in California, and it’s always nice to visit familiar places and explore something new. Whether you’re planning a long weekend or stopping by for a day trip, here are the best things to do in Oxnard, including where to stay, the best beaches, and top places to eat.
Is Oxnard Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! If you love exploring hidden gems and escaping to uncrowded beaches, add Oxnard to your must-visit list. You can rent a Duffy boat, kayak or paddleboard in the Channel Islands Harbor for a fun, unique afternoon.
Does Oxnard have nice beaches?
Silver Strand Beach is one of my favorites. It’s a great place to have a picnic with your family, and you can walk to the end of the beach to check out the murals and historic remains of the La Jenelle shipwreck.
Hollywood Beach is the perfect place to spend the day. Take a stroll and check out the beautiful homes along the waterfront and enjoy the ocean breeze. There is also plenty of open space to set up your beach tent or umbrella.
Oxnard State Beach/Mandalay Beach is a nice place to walk or ride your bike along the path overlooking the dunes. It’s like a picture-perfect California postcard! It’s a great place to walk with a stroller if you’re traveling with kids. Oxnard Beach Park has a fun playground too.
Where to Stay in Oxnard
We enjoyed our stay at the Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor. The hotel overlooks the Channel Islands Harbor, and the marina views are superb. The rooms are spacious, and they offer portable cribs, so you don’t have to bring your own. There is a heated pool, a fitness center and the Hampton Inn is located steps away from Peninsula Park. We visited the playground and checked out the sea lions every morning we stayed there.
Hot tip: They also offer a complimentary hot breakfast, including waffles, pastries, eggs, coffee and more.
What to Do in Oxnard, CA
Here’s a list of fun things and unique things to do in Oxnard that you can enjoy any time of year.
Best Beaches + Outdoor Activities
Silver Strand, Hollywood Beach and Oxnard State Beach/Mandalay Beach are my favorite beaches in Oxnard. Check out this complete guide to visiting Oxnard’s beaches.
Oxnard is the gateway to the Channel Islands National Park. Visit the national park for a day trip or camp overnight. Check out the whale watching tours and be on the lookout for dolphins and sea lions too.
Best Free Things to Do In Oxnard
If you’re looking for fun, free outdoor activities in Oxnard, spend the afternoon at one of Oxnard’s best beaches.
Pick up fresh local fruits, veggies and flowers at the Channel Islands or Downtown Oxnard Farmers Market.
Check out the Collection at RiverPark events calendar for summer and holiday concerts and family-friendly things to do.
Walk around the Channel Islands Harbor and soak up the views of the marina.
Explore the artwork in Downtown Oxnard and snap a picture in front of a mural.
Romantic Things To Do in Oxnard, CA
Looking for a romantic getaway? There’s plenty to do for outdoor-loving couples.
Plan the perfect date with a picnic at the beach, park, or your favorite location in Oxnard. Pop Up Party Rentals set up a beautiful boho-style picnic for us at Seabridge. It was such a fun experience, wonderful views and the weather was perfect. They take care of the set up and breakdown so you can enjoy every minute.
Rent a Duffy Boat at Channel Islands Harbor, and don’t forget to bring appetizers and your favorite wine or champagne to celebrate love.
What’s more romantic than a sunset at the beach? Escape to the coast and take a stroll at Hollywood Beach to connect and enjoy the views.
Surprise your loved one with a Gondola Ride through the canals of the Channel Islands Harbor. It’s a fun, unique romantic way to celebrate an anniversary or special occasion.
Enjoy a fun night out and listen to live music and entertainment at Copper Blues.
Try California wine at Herzog Wine cellars followed by dinner at Tierra Sur.
Hidden Gems in Oxnard
If you’re looking for something off the beaten path to explore, check out La Jenelle shipwreck at the very end of Silver Strand Beach. The luxury ship ran aground in 1970, and although most of the hull is buried, you can see the historic remains of the 467-foot cruise ship.
Check out the historic tours, concerts and wine tastings at Heritage Square in Downtown Oxnard. Here you’ll find eleven Victorian-era homes built between 1876 and 1912, a church, water tower, pump house and storehouse that were moved to a single block and restored to their original condition.
Fun Things To Do With Kids
Traveling with little ones? Here are some of the top things to do with kids in Oxnard.
Visit the local parks in Oxnard, including the Collection at RiverPark. There’s a fun playground with sand, turtle ponds and a huge outdoor space for the kids to run around. Jump n Jammin is an indoor entertainment center that kids will love. There are also plenty of family-friendly events at The Collection at River Park and delicious places to grab a bite to eat.
Keep a lookout for sea lions and check out the boats at the Channel Islands Harbor.
Spend the day at the beach and plan a picnic for the whole family. Don’t forget the beach toys, umbrella and snacks.
Check out Classic cars at Mullin Automotive Museum and trains at Murphy Auto Museum.
Experience history at Channel Islands Maritime Museum.
Rent a Surrey and cruise along the beachfront at Oxnard State Beach/Mandalay State Beach. It’s a fun adventure for the family and a great way to enjoy the sights.
Where To Eat in Oxnard
Settebello is always a lively scene around dinner time. It’s located in the Collection at RiverPark, and they have great drinks and Napoletana-style pizzas.
Enjoy great-tasting coffee exactly how you like it, including cappuccinos, matcha lattes or a cold brew.
They serve breakfast all day here, and the service is super friendly. Come hungry because the portions are pretty big, and you get unlimited coffee refills.
For acai bowls, smoothies and fresh juices, visit The Blend Superfood bar located in the Annex at the Collection at RiverPark.
If you love fish tacos and seafood, you’ll love Sea Fresh. We enjoyed our meal on one of the outdoor benches overlooking the harbor, and it was so good.
Sushi Way is nothing but your typical sushi restaurant. Located in Downtown Oxnard, this place is a fusion of Japanese and Latin flavors. I ordered the “Snapchat me that sushi” roll, and it was delicious.
Toppers is a must-visit if you’re craving pizza in Oxnard. It’s one of my favorite places to eat in town.
This is the place to go if you love Brazilian food. The service is excellent, the food is delicious, and you must try their Caipirinha – a traditional Brazilian cocktail.
We picked up lunch at The Strandwich in Silver Strand and enjoyed a picnic on the beach. We ordered the brisket sandwich and lobster tacos.
Enjoy fresh seafood from Fishermen’s Catch, located in the Seabridge Marketplace. We enjoyed the grilled fish plate and spicy calamari.
Best Mexican Food
You can’t come to Oxnard without trying authentic Mexican food. These are some of my favorites:
They have tasty sopes, tacos, burritos and Aguas Frescas, including jamaica.
For great service, authentic flavors and unlimited refills on chips – you’ll want to stop by La Vero’s in Downtown Oxnard.
I tried the street tacos from the food truck, and they were so good. See where the food truck will be next here.
Escape to Oxnard, California for a fun weekend, romantic getaway or family adventure with the kids. Oxnard is only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles and 45 minutes from Santa Barbara. Enjoy the great weather, scenic and historic landmarks and secluded beaches. There are plenty of unique and fun things to do during your stay.
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Thank you Visit Oxnard, for hosting our stay. All opinions are my own.