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Although Oxnard is mostly made up of vast stretches of flat ugly
agricultural land for strawberries, industrial wastelands loaded with
gang graffiti, and other eyesores, there are some real gems to be found
because of Oxnard's rich history of settlers. Heritage Square is one of
those gems! Plaza Park is another. Here, on 5th Street and B Street you'll find a large lawn interspersed with pines and palm trees, and a fancy octoganol Pagoda bandstand from
1910. This place really comes alive in December when there is a digital music and lights show playing continually at the pagoda between 6 and 9pm every night. There are snowmen and reindeer, and it's one of the most magical ways to celebrate Christmas! The huge pine tree in the park is lit from crown to trunk. Another nice thing to do at Christmastime is stroll along Oxnard Tree Lane, which is lit with Christmas lights, at F and G Streets between 5th & Palm.
Bordering the park is the Carnegie Art museum, which is in a Neo-classical building of grand white columns, and was built in 1907. It houses the paintings and photography of California artists Arthur Beaumont, Colin Campbell Cooper, Millard Sheets, and Leo Politi. Call before you go because they were unepectedly closed the day we visited.
Centennial Plaza, on B Street beside Plaza Park is an attractive revitalization project that seems almost out of place in the surrounding area. Here you can get an icecream at Cold Stone Creamery or a coffee at Starbucks. There is a fountain that lights up in different colors. The best thing to do here is go to dinner at Casa Escobar. It is lushly decorated inside with velvet red seat cushions and chandeliers, and a magnificent wood dance floor. The Mexican food is delicious- try the enchiladas.
If you walk through the poor neighborhoods full of historical Craftsman-style homes to the corner of E Street and 3rd Street you will be surprised to find an exquisite church, Santa Clara Church, as good as any cathedral you would find in Europe. It is a rich maroon color and is in perfect condition. It was built in 1904 and is of 14th century Gothic design. Surrounded by tall Australian pine trees, it is the most beautiful sight you will see in Oxnard! Don't miss out on it. Our kids had fun playing with the monkey-tail branches that fall on the grass below the Australian pines.
If you have kids, explore the fun exhibits including the Ares launch vehicle and black-light moon room in Gull Wings Children's Museum at 418 W.4th Street.
Most of Oxnard is industrial agriculture but there are some nice areas to check out while you're here, such as Port Hueneme with its white sand and cool pier. Oxnard Beach has some great dunes. Channel Islands Harbor has a nice playground by the water at Peninsula Park.
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Exit Highway 101 at Highway 1/Oxnard Blvd. From Highway 101 Southbound, keep right at the fork following the signs to Esplanade/Wagon Wheel. From Highway 101 Northbound, turn left on Highway 1/Oxnard Blvd. Go 3 miles on Highway 1. Turn right on 4th Street and park along the road. There is ample parking in Downtown Oxnard.
Santa Clara Church, 323 S E St, (805) 487-3891.
Carnegie Art museum, 424 S C St, (805) 385-8157. Call first because they were closed on the day we visited.
Casa Escobar Restaurant, 455 A St, (805) 240-1740.
Cold Stone Creamery, 261 W 5th St, (805) 385-7201.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|BRILLIANT! Just a month til XMAS!|
|Love the movie theater here!|
|it was amazinggg!|