The Channel Islands Harbor is a beautiful place with plenty of outdoor activities and great restaurants to enjoy on your visit to Oxnard, California. With perfect weather year-round, it’s a great place to visit for a day trip or weekend adventure.

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Start your day by renting a kayak or stand up paddleboard and enjoy the views of the boats, homes on the water, and sea lions on the docks. From Toppers Pizza to Brazilian cuisine at Moqueca, there are plenty of restaurants with a waterfront view. When you’re ready to unwind, head to the beach for a swim or a walk. If you’re up for an adventure, the Channel Islands Harbor is the gateway to the Channel Islands National Park. 

Note: Some National Parks and businesses may be temporarily closed. Check with restaurants for takeaway options during COVID-19.

I have so many memories of this place, and it’s one of my top places to visit when I’m in California. (I grew up just a few minutes away.) 

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Channel Islands Harbor Activities

Channel Islands Harbor Directions

The Channel Islands Harbor is located at 3900 Pelican Way, Oxnard, in Ventura County. 

From Los Angeles: 1 hour (70 miles) 

From Santa Barbara: 43 minutes (36 miles) 

Top Things To Do: Channel Islands Harbor Activities  

If you like activities on the water, there are plenty of things to do to keep you busy. Whether you’re catching up with friends, hanging out with family or on a date, here are some of my favorite things to do. 

Kayak

Rent a single or double kayak for an hour or more at Channel Islands Kayak Center and explore the harbor. Even if it’s your first time, the employees will be happy to show you what to do and where to go. 

  • Single Kayaks rentals cost $12.50 per hour.
  • Double Kayaks rentals cost $20.00 per hour.

Standup Paddleboard

Practice your balancing skills and get some exercise while you stand up paddleboard (SUP) in the harbor. It’s one of my favorite things to do in Oxnard. 

  • Rent a Sup for $25 per hour at Channel Islands Kayak Center.

Boating

Invite your closest friends for an afternoon rendezvous at the harbor. You can rent a Duffy electric boat from Hopper Boat Rentals for up to 12 people, and bring your dogs. Make it a party and bring your own food, coolers, and decorations. A portable speaker is included with your rental, so you can listen to your favorite tunes onboard.

The boat only goes up to 5 mph, and you’ll also get a map of the Channel Islands Harbor to make navigating easy. You don’t have to be a captain to drive. No experience necessary. I recommend cruising in the evening so you can enjoy that pre-sunset glow.

  • Electric Boat Rentals range from $65-$95.
  • Pedal Boat rentals start at $20 and you can fit up to three people.

Visit the Channel Islands National Park

Hike, camp, and dive on your visit to Channel Islands National Park. Visit the islands for a day trip with the family or spend a few days exploring the islands. Be on the lookout for whales during whale season on your boat ride to and from the park. 

Islands to Visit:

  • Anacapa Island
  • Santa Cruz Island
  • Santa Rosa Island
  • San Miguel Island
  • Santa Barbara Island

Explore Seabridge

My mom and I love walking around the Harbor. Check out the different restaurants, neighborhoods, grab a smoothie to go, or rent a bike to cruise around the area. There are also plenty of parks in Seabridge for the kids.

Farmer’s Market on Sunday

Pick up local fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other goodies while supporting local vendors at the Farmer’s Market on Sundays. There’s usually live music and caramel popcorn. The Farmer’s Market is open from 10 am to 2 pm at 3600 S. Harbor Blvd.

Celebrate Love with a Gondola Ride 

Want to plan a romantic date? Celebrate a special occasion? Surprise someone you love with a gondola ride on the harbor. The 50-minute tour through the canals is a perfect date experience or birthday surprise. 

  • $125 for the first two passengers. 
Oxnard Beaches

Nearby Beaches 

Oxnard State Beach Park – Arrive early for a picnic or barbeque at the park. There is a wide path so you can enjoy a long walk, sand dunes, and a family-friendly beach with public bathrooms near the Embassy Suites Resort

Hollywood Beach – This is one of my favorite beaches near the harbor. Enjoy the volleyball courts and free parking. 

Silver Strand Beach – At the end of Victoria Ave, you’ll find the popular Silver Strand Beach, a local favorite. Surf, swim, or fish and visit the art murals.  

Channel Islands Harbor Restaurants

Moqueca Brazilian – Sip on Caipirinhas while you enjoy traditional Brazilian cuisine at the Channel Islands Harbor. The food is delicious and the portions are generous here. Check out their website for dining specials. My family loves coming here! 

Sea Fresh – Come hungry and order fresh grilled fish or seared ahi tacos. There are two outdoor patios and a full-service bar. 

Toppers Pizza – Every time I come to Oxnard, I order Toppers Pizza. The Harbor location has incredible views, beers on tap, and the best pizza in Oxnard. They also have a full salad bar.

Fisherman’s Catch – This family-owned restaurant serves fresh lobster, red snapper, tilapia, and more. Choose from Mahi Mahi, Shrimp, Salmon or Calamari grilled tacos, and lots of grilled and fried seafood options. 

Anaba Sushi– Located in Seabridge Marketplace, this sushi spot offers waterfront dining. Choose from your favorite classic rolls, salads, and plenty of lunch specials. 

The Waterside Restaurant & Bar – Live entertainment, great views, and a tasty menu. Stop in for a cocktail or enjoy a meal on the waterfront. 

Honey Cup – If you’re after a light snack or coffee, Honey Cup has bacon, egg, and cheese bagels and delicious smoothies to enjoy inside or take it to go.

Mrs. Olson’s – Brunch hard and with your friends at Mrs. Olsons. This place gets busy because the food is tasty! 

H.C. Seafood & Co. – Order the Seafood combo and dine in the outdoor area at the harbor. I’ve been coming here with my family since I was a little kid.

Channel Islands things to do

Where to Stay in Oxnard

Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor – This Oxnard hotel is located on the water so you can get the best views of the harbor. Treat yourself to daily breakfast selection of goodies and make your own tasty waffles. Take a dip in the pool, enjoy a workout at the gym, and enjoy the harbor views from your room.

Waterfront Channel Islands Harbor Home w/Dock – If you’re after luxury, this place is it! Settle into your vacation home on the water with three bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. This fully furnished pad has everything you need to enjoy a relaxing holiday. Hollywood Beach is only a 14-minute walk from this Waterfront harbor home.

Search Places to Stay in Oxnard on Booking.com.

Conclusion 

The Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, California, was built in the 1960s and 1970s on 310 acres of land and water. The lighthouse isn’t operational, but it’s part of history now. Whether you’re looking for something to do with your family or a new place to eat, Oxnard has plenty of great selections at the harbor. 

If you have any favorite things to do in the area, leave a comment or send us a message and we’ll add it to the list. 

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Channel Islands Activities

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