Hook's Landing Sportfishing in Oxnard

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Hook's Landing Sportfishing is located in Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard at 3550 South Harbor Boulevard. Hook's has 2 boats. The Coroloma is a 3/4 day boat that leaves at 6am and returns at about 3pm. The New Hustler and takes you on overnight fishing trips. The Outrider is offered up for all day trips.

More information at www.hookslanding.net or call 805.382.6233.

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park consists of 5 of the 8 Channel Islands off the Santa Barbara coast. Although the islands are close to the shore, their isolation has left them relatively undeveloped.

The northern Channel Islands are Anacapa (1.1 sq mi), San Miguel (14.6 sq mi), Santa Cruz (96.5 sq mi) and Santa Rosa (83 sq mi) and the southern islands are San Clemente (57 sq mi), San Nicolas (23 sq mi), Santa Barbara (1 sq mi) and Santa Catalina (75 sq mi).

Channel Islands National Park includes the islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara. Anacapa is located in Ventura County while the other four are in Santa Barbara County. San Clemente Island, the southernmost Channel Island, is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy. Catalina Island as we know with its population of 3,700 is a popular tourist destination. San Nicolas Island in Ventura County is also controlled by the U.S. Navy. On a clear day you can see two of the five islands, Anacapa and Santa Cruz.

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Visitors to the islands may swim, snorkel, hike, camp, watch wildlife, sail and explore tidepools, beaches and canyons. There is no food service on the islands, so bring what you need. Take a commercial service to the islands like Island Packers, which has been servicing the islands since 1968. Landings at Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands are year-round while the more remote outer islands, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa and San Miguel are scheduled late spring through early fall.

Visit the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/chis to learn more about visiting Channel Islands National Park. The park is open year-round.

The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park is located in the Ventura Harbor at 1901 Spinnaker Drive (805.658.5730) and the Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center is located at the Santa Barbara Harbor at 113 Harbor Way, 4th Floor.

On a clear day you can see two of the Channel Islands from Newbury Park and other Ventura County spots. Here's a view from the   Rancho Potrero Open Space   in Newbury Park.

On a clear day you can see two of the Channel Islands from Newbury Park and other Ventura County spots. Here's a view from the Rancho Potrero Open Space in Newbury Park.

Anacapa Island seen from a whale watching boat.

Anacapa Island seen from a whale watching boat.

Beaches Spanning From Carpinteria Through Ventura County to Malibu

My kids and I love going to the beach but for many years we seemed to go to the same ones all the time. So I stopped by the Automobile Club and asked them if they had a brochure on all the local area beaches open to the public. They shrugged their shoulders and said no such guidebook existed. They handed me a fold out map, which was of no use to me as I wanted to know exactly how to get to these beaches, if they have restrooms, parking, etc.

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Then I started searching around for information and found bits and pieces in various locations that were marginally useful. So I decided to consolidate this information into one place where I could find out about where to go to the beach around Ventura County on up the coast to Carpinteria and Santa Barbara and down to Malibu. So I hope you find the following links helpful in finding local area beaches in Ventura County and surrounding areas!

Carpinteria to Ventura

Oxnard to Malibu

Santa Barbara Area Beaches

This took a lot of time to compile over 60 local area beach areas, so I truly hope you benefit from these lists! So enjoy and provide feedback if you have comments and/or additional information.

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At Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu.

At Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu.

Windsurfers at Surfers' Point in Ventura.

Windsurfers at Surfers' Point in Ventura.

Bike Path in Oxnard at Oxnard Beach Park to Channel Islands Harbor

There's a bike path that starts at the ocean side of Oxnard Beach Park at Mandalay Beach Road at Beach Way and takes you south all the way to Hollywood Beach and Channel Islands Harbor. Alternatively you can just park at the Oxnard Beach Park and go from there. It is roughly 3/4 of a mile one way to Harbor Boulevard.

Cross Harbor Boulevard and make your way into Channel Islands Harbor, where you can ride all the way to the south end of the harbor.

Entrance to bike path at Mandalay Beach Road and Beach Way

Entrance to bike path at Mandalay Beach Road and Beach Way

There's a loop you can do around Oxnard Beach Park

There's a loop you can do around Oxnard Beach Park

The bike path continues south and goes around the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel

The bike path continues south and goes around the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel

Soon after passing the hotel, the path swing east towards Harbor Boulevard

Soon after passing the hotel, the path swing east towards Harbor Boulevard

At Harbor Boulevard, you can cross over to Channel Islands Harbor or veer right (west) on West Channel Islands Boulevard towards Hollywood Beach. 

At Harbor Boulevard, you can cross over to Channel Islands Harbor or veer right (west) on West Channel Islands Boulevard towards Hollywood Beach. 

plenty of sand at Hollywood Beach. There's a restroom facility here. You can bike along Ocean Drive, which parallels the beach, to an entry point. do note that you are no longer on a bike path. you can continue south on Ocean Drive until its endpoint, where you turn left on South Harbor Boulevard past Channel View Park, where you will soon reach Channel Islands Harbor. 

plenty of sand at Hollywood Beach. There's a restroom facility here. You can bike along Ocean Drive, which parallels the beach, to an entry point. do note that you are no longer on a bike path. you can continue south on Ocean Drive until its endpoint, where you turn left on South Harbor Boulevard past Channel View Park, where you will soon reach Channel Islands Harbor. 

On S. Harbor Boulevard going north now, you will be able to take a right (east) turn on Albacore Way to get to the nice pedestrian/bike path along Channel Islands Harbor. It will take you past the  Channel Islands Maritime Museum  and marina, where there are restaurants and other things to do.

On S. Harbor Boulevard going north now, you will be able to take a right (east) turn on Albacore Way to get to the nice pedestrian/bike path along Channel Islands Harbor. It will take you past the Channel Islands Maritime Museum and marina, where there are restaurants and other things to do.

Pretty cool place to ride bikes at the harbor...and rarely crowded in my experience.

Pretty cool place to ride bikes at the harbor...and rarely crowded in my experience.

If you and the kids are up to it and want a longer ride, after reaching the north side of the Harbor, you can take Harbor Boulevard back over to W. Channel Islands Boulevard over the bridge to the middle of the Harbor. There's a popular Toppers Pizza over there. Or go the east side of the Harbor. 

If you and the kids are up to it and want a longer ride, after reaching the north side of the Harbor, you can take Harbor Boulevard back over to W. Channel Islands Boulevard over the bridge to the middle of the Harbor. There's a popular Toppers Pizza over there. Or go the east side of the Harbor. 

Other options of course include parking at the Channel Islands Harbor somewhere and cycling your way up to the Oxnard Beach Park. And you can also pedal your way over to S. Victoria Avenue and take the bike lane all the way down to Silverstrand Beach (or even park at Silverstrand and ride your way up from there...though do take not that this is not a bike path). Have fun!

Channel Islands Maritime Museum

The Channel Islands Maritime Museum (formerly known as Ventura County Maritime Museum) is a cultural and scenic haven in the Channel Islands Harbor complete with world class maritime art, ship models and ocean breezes. It opened in 1991 as an independent, not-for-profit public benefit corporation funded by members, friends, charitable foundations and businesses.

In Summer 2012, the museum moved across the harbor to 3900 Bluefin Circle, Oxnard (off of 3900 Harbor Boulevard).

The museum is open Thursday to Monday from 10 AM to 4 PM (noon to 4pm on Sunday) except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (62+) and $3 for children ages 6 to 17 (free ages 5 and under) as of February 2018. Admission is free the 3rd Thursday of each month.

The Channel Islands Maritime Museum is home to a permanent collection of extensive marine art, featuring works by the Dutch and Flemish painters, 17th century artists Willem van de Velde and Bonaventura Peeters. Noted modern artists in the collection include John Stobart, Montague Dawson, David Thimgan, Roy Cross and Christopher Blossom.

The museum also houses one of the two largest collections of antique Napoleonic prisoner of war sailing ship models in the US. Three thousand years of maritime history are illustrated by historic ship models, including the life's work of renowned builder Edward Marple. Exhibits on whaling, sailors' arts, the history of the Channel Islands Harbor and Port of Hueneme round out the collection.

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In my many visits to the museum, I have been very impressed by how knowledgeable the docents were about the contents of the museum! I learned a lot and was amazed at the collection of nearly 100 intricate ship models on display going back hundreds of years. I was also pleased to see docents take the time to engage my kids in some of the exhibits.

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The Museum welcomes about 25,000 visitors annually. The Elementary Education Program, staffed entirely by volunteers, conducts in-house tours for thousands of elementary school students each year. The At Sea Education program supports three day youth sailing expeditions on board working tall ships.

For more information, including current exhibits and upcoming museum events, visit www.channelislandsmaritimemuseum.org or call 805.984.6260.

Elite Theatre Company in Oxnard

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The Elite Theatre Company (ETC) has been entertaining, educating and enriching its audience since 1994. After 19 seasons, ETC relocated to the Fisherman's Wharf at Channel Islands Harbor at 2731 S. Victoria Avenue, Oxnard.

ETC brings together the local talents of amateurs and professionals who share a passion for theater and who generously volunteer their time on the stage and behind the scenes. This collaboration creates a variety of quality live theatrical productions showcased in ETC's unique setting.

ETC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization as well as a proud member of the Four Star Theater Awards Committee and the alliance of Ventura County Theaters.

Learn more at www.elitetheatre.org.

Scarlett Belle Riverboat Cruises

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The Scarlett Belle is a modern riverboat located in the scenic Channel Islands Harbor. The boat can accomodate from 40 to 150 passengers and is a fun, luxurious venue for weddings, parties, corporate events, anniversaries and more...casino nights, graduation parties, public holiday cruises, etc.

For more information, visit www.scarlettbelle.com or call 805.204.0977.

Located at A&M Boat Charters & Cruises at the Marine Emporium Landing at Channel Islands Harbor, 3600 S. Harbor Blvd., #219, Oxnard.

Exit the 101 freeway at Victoria, proceed south on Victoria, at West Channel Islands Blvd, turn right. Go to the second stop light and turn left onto Harbor/ W. Channel Islands Blvd. Go to Cabezone Circle make a left. Into the Marine Emporium. Walk to the back of the three buildings facing the street to the dock where you will see the Scarlett Belle and Sunfish. Free parking.

Channel Cities Jazz Club Sunday Afternoon Events at Channel Islands Harbor

The Channel Cities Jazz Club (CCJC) meets on the 3rd Sunday of each month at the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club in Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard located at 2600 South Harbor Blvd from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The program format for the meeting includes three performance sets beginning with two open jam, then transitioning to the hired, feature band. During concert season the Jazz Club will invite local high school and middle school jazz orchestras to perform during a portion of the last jam set. Restaurant and bar services are available.

An entrance fee of $7.00 for members and $10.00 for public non members is collected to cover operating costs and to support the jazz summer camp.

The Club events are open to the public. Visit www.channelcitiesjazzclub.com or call 805.985.7292 for more information.

Gondola Paradiso at Channel Islands Harbor

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Founded in January 2014, Gondola Paradiso provides luxury Venetian-style cruises through the canals of the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard.

Cruises leave from Seabridge Marina, located off South Victoria Avenue at the Channel Islands Harbor, 1301 S. Victoria Avenue, Oxnard. To book a cruise, call (805) 616-4475 and for more information visit www.gondolaparadiso.com.

Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park

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The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park features a bookstore, a display of marine aquatic life, including a tidepool, and exhibits featuring the unique character of each park island. Visitors also can enjoy the 25-minute park movie, “A Treasure in the Sea,” shown throughout the day in the auditorium.

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The visitor center is located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive in Ventura at the end of Spinnaker Drive, past Ventura Harbor Village and across the street from the kid-friendly Harbor Cove Beach. It is open 8:30 am until 5 pm daily. The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving and December 25th.

On weekends and holidays at 11 am and 3 pm rangers offer a variety of free public programs about the resources of the park. Learn more on the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm or call 805.658.5730.

Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard

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Channel Islands Harbor is located in Oxnard; take the 101 Freeway to Ventura. Exit Victoria Avenue. Turn south onto Victoria Avenue. Continue on Victoria for approximately 5 miles until you reach Channel Islands Harbor.

Channel Islands Harbor offers a variety of activities for the entire family. Throughout the year various events are held including the Celebration of the Whales, visits by Tall Ships, Concerts by the Sea, Fireworks by the Sea on July 4th, the Ventura County Boat Show, Ventura Vintage Rods Harbor Run Classic Car Show, and the annual Parade of Lights.

Harbor restaurants include The Waterside Restaurant and Wine Bar, H.C. Seafood & Co., Fisherman's House, Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine and more. You may shop at clothing, gift and accessories stores or cruise the Harbor on the Channel Islands Harbor Water Taxi.

Visitors may rent boats at Hopper Boat Rentals, or Channel Islands Kayak Center, visit the Channel Islands Maritime Museum or just enjoy a beautiful day at one of the local beaches. Weekends offer live musical entertainment. Fresh fruits and vegetables plus arts and crafts may be found at the Harbor's Farmers' Market held at the Marine Emporium Landing from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. every Sunday, rain or shine! Or just ride bikes!

For more information, visit www.channelislandsharbor.org or call 805.985.4852.

We stop by the harbor as often as possible for various events and to walk around, as well as to walk a few blocks over to the beach!  Quite a nice opportunity to beat the Conejo Valley heat...and only 15 to 20 minutes away!

Channel Islands Boat Rides - Island Packers

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Since 1968, Island Packers has provided reliable, enjoyable transportation between the Ventura/Oxnard Harbors and the Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary.

Island Packers has scheduled trips departing out of the Ventura and Oxnard Harbors and is the only exclusive boat concessionaire with authorization to transport guests to the Channel Islands National Park. Three 145-capacity catamarans and one 80-passenger mono hull vessel provide half and whole day trips year round to the Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, with trips to the Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands from mid-April through the fall months.

On a personal note, we've been on Islands Packers boats a number of times and they are a class act. Great service and responsiveness.

Marine Wildlife Cruises (which do not land on the island) depart from the Harbor for 3 hour narrated cruises along the shores of Anacapa or Santa Cruz Island within the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary. Highlights include sightings of sea lions, harbor seals and marine bird life, along with the opportunity to view whales and dolphins during the channel crossing. Island Packers also offers whale watching cruises - which, depending on the time of year, are a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of the Pacific's most magnificent creatures. While pods of dolphins can be seen nearly year-round, whales are a far more seasonal bunch:

  • Late December-Mid April: Gray whales
  • April-September: Humpback and Minke whales
  • Summer & Fall: Giant Blue whales- not only the earth's largest mammal, but thought to be the largest known animal ever to have existed.

Whales aren't all these cruises have to offer, however. A trip to the Channel Islands can also mean sightings of rare birds! Though difficult, pelagic birding can be incredibly rewarding - but the real treasure trove is on the Islands themselves.

The following highlights can be found during the nesting season:

  • The rare Blue-footed and Brown boobies, usually found off of Baja California
  • Easy-to-spot nesting birds: Brown Pelicans, Western Gulls, Pelagic, Brandt's, and Double Crested Cormorants
  • Smaller visiting nesters: Scripps's Murrelet, Cassin's Auklet, Pigeon Guillemot and the scarce Ashy Storm Petrel

Santa Cruz Island is also home to the gem of the Channel Islands birding community - the Island Scrub-jay! The Island is the only place in the world this bird is found, and is highly sought after for avid bird enthusiast's 'life lists.'

For schedules, directions, tickets and more information, visit www.islandpackers.com, or call (805) 642-1393. Office hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Island Packers has two locations:  Ventura Harbor, 1691 Spinnaker Drive, Suite 105B, Ventura and Channel Islands Harbor, 3600 S. Harbor Boulevard, Oxnard.

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