A Beach Weekend in Ventura County

A Beach Weekend in Ventura County
Southern Californians wanting a beachy weekend retreat should definitely check out the area around Oxnard and Ventura. Even on a budget, it’s possible to arrive in less than two hours, park the car, and not move it until checkout. Conversely, it’s just a short drive to upscale cuisine and wine tasting.

For those on a budget, there are many reasonable hotels right off the freeway at Harbor Drive. The Comfort Inn is small but upscale, with reasonably sized rooms and nice amenities. The location could not be better: it’s a two-block walk to San Buenaventura State Beach and roughly two miles from downtown Ventura. A room will run roughly one hundred and seventy-five dollars in the summer months, with rates dropping during the winter.

More luxurious digs can be found at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay, in nearby Oxnard. It’s also a nice option for families, as each suite comes with a master bedroom and bathroom, a separate living area with a pull-out couch, and a separate bathroom and kitchenette in the living area. While there’s not really enough area to cook a full meal, this isn’t a problem – the hotel offers free breakfast and has a restaurant with good food right on the property. The landscaped grounds offer places to unwind with a cocktail (the hotel features a nightly Happy Hour), as well as pool areas with lounge chairs. The hotel also offers a spa, a fitness center, and tennis and basketball courts. The best part? The hotel is right on the sand! Be forewarned: a weekend stay will cost between two hundred and fifty to three hundred dollars.

The beaches in this area are some of the best that Southern California has to offer. Oxnard Beach Park and Silver Strand Beach, both near the Embassy Suites, have a walking/jogging path, grassy areas, playgrounds, barbecue pits, and volleyball courts. The beaches themselves are wide and sandy, perfect for dipping one’s toes or bodysurfing, or for long lovely walks and the simple pleasures of reading and watching the waves. Up the coast, San Buenaventura State Beach has a pier, bike rentals, a walking path, and a snack bar. In addition, there are golf courses nearby these beaches for those who want to play as well as dig feet in the sand.

The Ventura/Oxnard region is developing a reputation as a place for good food and drink. There are places to taste wine throughout the area, and some lovely restaurants and bars downtown. The best plan is to get out of the car and walk up and down Main Street, checking out the posted menus and stopping wherever looks good. This plan will also allow the visitor to find some hidden shopping gems tucked alongside the thrift stores. The San Buenaventura Mission is right along this re-gentrifying corridor, allowing for a nice afternoon after checking out of the hotel.

Those who want to be especially eco-conscious, take note: the Amtrack station is a mile and a half from the Comfort Inn and eight miles from the Mandalay Bay Resort. , making this a great location for those who want to take the train. Bring a bicycle and enjoy getting around the area without a car!

Like every beach town in Southern California, the area can be crowded during the summer. Make reservations early, and try to time the trip to avoid rush hour traffic on Friday. Remember that the beach is a natural habitat, and be careful to avoid littering. Whether the plan is to arrive at the hotel and never leave, to walk down the beach and into town for dinner, or to drive around the area and explore historical sites such as the Mission, a couple or family is sure to have a memorable experience.

Disclaimer: I have stayed at both the Comfort Inn Ventura and at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay. On each occasion, I paid for each room with my own money.




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Content copyright © 2019 by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. . All rights reserved.
This content was written by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. . If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. for details.