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13 Cool Things To Do In Oxnard

13 Cool Things To Do In Oxnard

When Sonny and Cher bought a beach house in the city back in the 1960s, they knew what they were doing.

Roubina Al Abashian


5 min read

December 11, 2021

Southern California is home to the best beach towns in the world—you have the popular ones like Malibu and Santa Barbara, and then there’s Oxnard, a not-so-hidden gem. The picture-perfect city is famous for its historic downtown, pristine white beaches, quaint harbor, and eclectic nightlife. When Sonny and Cher bought a beach house in the city back in the 1960s, they knew exactly what they were doing. And if you ever find yourself thinking what are the things to do in Oxnard, simply ask yourself, “What would Cher do?”

These Are The Fun Things to Do In Oxnard

No matter where you are, the allure of the waves is constant. It doesn't matter how you surf; what matters is that you're happy.

1. Ride the Waves at Mandalay State Beach

One of Oxnard’s favorite sandy stretches is Mandalay State Beach. Left in its original rugged state, this beach has a different feel compared to California’s crowded spots. You’ll catch good breaks here and view rare birds that won’t be seen anywhere else. In short, this Ventura County surf spot deserves to be on the top of your list.

If you're looking for a really unique and historically significant area of Oxnard to explore, go no further than Heritage Square.

2. Go on a Tour of Heritage Square

Did we mention that Oxnard has an old-town charm? The essence of it all is found at Heritage Square in Downtown Oxnard. This complex consists of restored Victorian buildings, making this place all the more magical. You’ll also encounter stores and restaurants when exploring the area. And if that’s still not exciting enough for you, a tour guide wearing period clothing will happily show you around.

3. Spend a Day at Oxnard State Beach Park

Oxnard State Beach Park is basically quintessential California featuring high rising palm trees you see in every photo. Picnic tables, barbecues, paved paths, and a pirate-themed kid’s playground make the park the perfect spot for a fun family outing. When it comes to places to go in Oxnard, this park should be a priority—family fun has never been better. 

Family-friendly water sports are available in Oxnard's Channel Islands Harbor, a small boat harbor and beach protection project.

4. Visit the Channel Islands Harbor

Thousands of boats line up at the waterfront at the Channel Islads Harbor. Shops, eateries, kayaks, gondolas, and ferries pop up at every corner, inviting you to go on adventures. The harbor is also the gateway to all the attractions at Channel Islands National Park, where more excursions await. 

The Mullin Automotive Museum opened its doors in 2010 and houses the private automobile collection of entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter W. Mullin.

5. Check out the Cars at the Mullin Automotive Museum

Classic cars are the real deal, and Oxnard is where you can tour the best automobile museum ever. Founded by Peter W. Mullin, the Mullin Automotive Museum exhibits cars dating back to the early 20th century. The museum doesn’t stop at automobiles—it also features furniture and artwork to give you a fuller experience of the good, old days. 

6. Explore the Channel Islands Maritime Museum

An Oxnard staple is visiting the Channel Islands Maritime Museum. The family-friendly Oxnard attraction is where the past meets the present—most exhibits are around 300 years old. You’ll have the opportunity to view seascape paintings, model ships, go on field trips, and participate in educational exhibits. If your cooking skills are top-notch, take part in one of the museum’s seafood-themed competitions while you're at it.

Cinderella is proof that a pair of shoes can change your life. Work hard so you can shop harder.

7. Shop ‘Til You Drop at The Collection at RiverPark

Whoever said that money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping—that’s something we all agree on. The Collection at RiverPark is everyone’s one-stop shop in Oxnard. Check out the local boutiques, well-known brands, restaurants, beauty salons, ice cream parlors, and movie theater; this retail therapy is much-needed.

8. Attend a Show at the Elite Theatre Company

Amateur and professional local artists have been performing at the Elite Theatre Company to entertain audiences since 1964. This is where the community members meet regularly. Traditionally, a few of the residents get free tickets to the shows to further promote the performances. Join in on the fun on your next visit and enjoy the show!

Check out two of the city's oldest buildings and enjoy the beautiful nature at Oxnard Historic Park Farm.

9. Learn the History of the City at the Oxnard Historic Farm Park

Two of the oldest buildings in Ventura County are found at the Oxnard Historic Farm Park. One of the buildings houses a museum that tells the history of the area. Two vineyards planted in the 1870s, a display barn, and demonstration gardens are some of the other exciting attractions to see in the park. Fun fact: the land on which the park is built has been cultivated by generations of Spanish, Mexican, and German emigrants.

10. Go on a Channel Islands Whale Watching Excursion

The California coastline is famous for providing a passageway for the biggest whales in the world. And while we agree that watching sea lions and sea otters is cool, admiring the majestic creatures migrating is a whole different experience. Opt for Channel Island Dolphin Adventures to organize tours that will blow your mind. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Oxnard, we can’t think of a better adventure.

We like long, romantic rides in the golf cart. Let's go on more dates that require putting greens and golf clubs.

11. Challenge Your Pals at River Ridge Golf Club

It’s tee time and we have the perfect golf club for you. Located along the Santa Clara River, River Ridge Golf Club has the most beautiful vistas a golfer could ask. Visitors can choose between two 18-hole courses to take a swing—the Vineyards Course and the Victoria Lakes Course. Both courses have almost eight acres of water features. Challenge your friends to a game of golf while enjoying the best views of SoCal. 

12. Dine at the Lazy Dog Restaurant

If good food and rustic vibes are what you crave, Lazy Dog Restaurant is where you need to dine. Every ingredient is handpicked from local farms and shops, so you can be sure that your favorite meal is prepared with care. Dogs are also welcome to join you—they even have a separate menu. 

The Harbor Island Trail is paved and easily accessible that anyone can complete in a breeze.

13. Hike the Harbor Island Trail 

Like every other city, Oxnard has a favorite hiking trail—the Harbor Island Trail. If you’re still looking for exciting things to do in Oxnard, head straight to one of the best hiking spots in SoCal. The 5.7-mile trail is dog-friendly and suitable for all skill levels. Whether you’re into exercising or not, a visit to the Harbor Island Trail is a must; the scenic views of the harbor are spectacular.  

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