California Dreamin’: The Beaches of Ventura and Oxnard
The part of summer that spans from Memorial Day to Labor Day is considered the high point of the tourist season here in Los Angeles. It’s the time when visitors flock here for the summer, ready to experience the ultimate California Dream vacation with our beautiful beaches, amazing sunsets, killer waves, and hip, laid-back culture. However, it also happens to be the time of year when locals scatter, seeking solace in less crowded local gems.
While the Los Angeles area has long been considered a mecca for surfers and teen dream summer vacation for families everywhere, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There are even MORE amazing spots just a quick drive from Los Angeles. And no, I’m not talking about Santa Monica, Malibu or Manhattan Beach where beach goers flock in droves. Nope, I’m talking about the quiet, sandy coastal towns of Oxnard and Ventura in Ventura County. The beaches are less crowded, and the natural surroundings embrace what Southern California is known for.
A favorite day trip for many, Frenchy’s Cove in Oxnard is a small beach on the the western islet of Anacapa Island. Entering Channel Islands National Park, you will be transported by inflatable boat to the island and then take a short hike to the south shore of Frenchy’s Cove to explore the tide pool area.
Located on the south end of the peninsula, Hollywood Beach is the strip that separates Channel Island Harbor from the ocean. Only about a mile long, this wide sandy beach rarely attracts crowds.
Kiddie Beach Park
Just inside the Channel Islands Harbor entrance, in the Silver Strand neighborhood of Oxnard, Kiddie Beach has a roped-off safe swimming area for children complete with a small sandy beach.
Situated north of Kiddie Beach is the rocky shoreline which is home to a boat launch for kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and other hand-carried water crafts.
Harbor Cove Beach
At the very end of the peninsula, in front of Ventura’s Harbor, you can find Harbor Cove Beach. This beach is protected by jetties and a breakwater so it’s by far the best swimming beach in Ventura. Other beaches are known for their strong rip currents, but Harbor Cove is one of the safest.
Marina Park Beach
Exactly the way it sounds, Marina Park Beach has a large open grass area AND a wide sandy beach north of the park where San Buenaventura State Beach begins. There is a pathway that leads out towards the end of the jetty and sailing lessons are offered.
Ventura Pier Beach
The San Buenaventura City Pier located on Ventura Pier Beach is the main beach and central hub of the Ventura waterfront. The old wooden structure looks out over Pierpont Bay towards the Channel Islands and is without a doubt the best spot for those looking to catch one of California’s picturesque sunsets.
Surfers Point Beach
While visiting the pier, also plan on taking a short walk north on Ventura Promenade’s paved pathway and visit Surfers Point Beach at Seaside Park located that the Ventura River mouth. Here you’ll find a lagoon that is a great spot for bird watching.
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- Surf City USA: 8 Fun Things to Do in Huntington Beach with Kids
- Find Hilton hotels near Ventura Beaches
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