Oxnard California is a city of nearly 200,000 residents that can be found in the southern part of the state. The most populous city in Ventura County, it more specifically lies along the coast and at the western edge of the fertile Oxnard Plain. Los Angeles is situated approximately 60 miles to the southeast. Strawberries are Oxnard's most famous agricultural products, and the city is also well known for its lima beans. In addition to agriculture, other major Oxnard California industries include international trade, defense, manufacturing, and tourism. The list doesn’t end there, and when you add it all up, the city is certainly among the most important economical centers in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Industry isn’t exactly what attracts tourist to Oxnard, however. The city has its fair share of beaches and cultural institutions. It also offers proximity to other regional points of interest, including Los Angeles and nearby Ventura.

The area that is now Oxnard California was inhabited by Chumash Native Americans for centuries on end. In 1542, a Portuguese explorer named Joao Rodriguez Cabrilho arrived and claimed the area for Spain. Subsequent to this, the area was serviced by the Mission San Buenaventura, which was established in 1782 in neighboring Ventura. In the 1800s, ranching became a major industry in the region, though the “Californio” ranchers eventually lost their influence when California became a state in 1850. Closer to the end of the 1800s, the Oxnard brothers established a sugar beet factory in the area, and the new town that emerged from this industry was named in their honor. This town, which is known as the Henry T. Oxnard Historic District, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city of Oxnard was officially incorporated in 1907, and helping it to grow were the establishment of two naval bases – Point Mugu and Port Hueneme. These bases took advantage of the fact that Oxnard had the only major navigable port between San Francisco Bay and the Port of Los Angeles. The naval bases in Oxnard played a major role in the subsequent establishment of defense-based aerospace and communications industries. In turn, this lead to further growth, and Oxnard began to develop outside of its original boundaries.

Oxnard Strawberries

Much of Oxnard California’s identity is tied to its prolific strawberry industry. In fact, the USDA rates Oxnard as its home state’s largest strawberry producer. The city supplies approximately one-third of California’s annual strawberry volume. The sweet and delectable fruits are planted from the end of September through the end of October and harvested from mid-December through mid-July. During the summer, Oxnard plays host to the California Strawberry Festival, with the Oxnard College campus being the center of the celebrations. Vendors sell all kinds of strawberry-related food items, including strawberry pizza, strawberry sundaes, and strawberry nachos. Festival patrons can even sip on strawberry champagne, which pairs well with strawberry funnel cake.

Oxnard California Beaches

Oxnard California Beaches
Oxnard California Beaches

Much like any other number of Southern California cities, Oxnard offers its fair share of enticing beaches. These beaches boast exceptionally soft sand, and as you might imagine, surfing is among the most popular beach activities. Swimming and shore fishing are just two more activities that can be enjoyed while indulging in the miles upon miles of scenic Oxnard beaches. If relaxation is what you prefer, Oxnard's soft beaches are often relatively uncrowded. Among the numerous beaches that call Oxnard home are Mugu Rock State Beach, Oxnard State Beach, Silver Strand Beach, and McGrath State Beach. The list goes on, and thanks to the variety, it is easy for visitors to find a beach that best suits their interest. Some of the Oxnard beaches have dangerous rip-currents, it should be noted. Visitors will do well to inquire about this should they be concerned. Also worth noting are the Channel Islands, which lie offshore to the southwest of Oxnard. Part of the Channel Islands State Park, these landmasses offer up some amazing beaches of their own and are understandably popular with regional residents and visitors alike. Nearby Ventura is home to the Channel Islands State Park Headquarters, and boat trips that target the islands are easy to arrange in both Ventura and Oxnard.

Oxnard Hotels & Lodging

Oxnard lodging comes in a variety of forms. There are resorts, hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and RV sites to choose from. Camping is also an option, with several regional beaches offering some of the most highly sought after campsites. One such local beach is McGrath State Beach. Plenty of area resorts and hotels also offer waterfront locations. Neighboring Ventura offers a bunch if the Oxnard beachfront hotels are already full. Ventura also offers B&Bs for those who prefer the bed and breakfast experience. Camping enthusiasts who want to add to their accommodation options will do well to consider the sites that are found in the nearby Los Padres National Forest. 

Top image: Clotee Pridgen Allochuku (flickr)

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