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Oxnard California Girlfriend Getaway

Must-have’s for a California escape with your gal pals

What does your ideal girlfriend getaway look like? Sugar and spice and all things nice, natch. What could be sweeter than a weekend on the coast of California, soaking in the surf, sipping wine and noshing at fab restaurants? Text your peeps and let them know it’s time to get out of Dodge and you’ve got the perfect place to go.

fresh produce at Oxnard's marketsThe GoGirlfriend team recently spent a weekend in the burgeoning city of Oxnard. Officially it’s part of greater Los Angeles and is considered one of the safest cities in the US (with crime rates well below the national average). While the community is deeply rooted in agriculture, it’s grown up in recent years and boasts an extraordinary number of millionaire landowners – who demand elegant, beautiful places to hang out, dine and sleep.

Oxnard accommodations

A girlfriend getaway in California demands a hotel with beach access and Oxnard over-delivers in this category. While the city is more than a beach, we recommend setting up camp there and traveling inland during the day. After all, who doesn’t love waking up to the sound of waves and the smell of salty air?

beachside at the Embassy Suites Mandalay BayEmbassy Suites Mandalay Beach – This resort is a magnet for families but it’s so large that you’ll never feel crowded or overrun with kids – no matter how packed it is. The pool area is protected from the ocean winds and the hot tub protected from the busyness of the resort. The morning buffet offers a wide variety of hot and cold, healthy and not-so-healthy. Visit them online at EmbassySuites.com.

Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor – Although not directly on the beach, this hotel is just steps from the harbor. There’s no restaurant in the hotel but a hot breakfast buffet is included in your room fee. Visit them online at HamptonInn.com.

Oxnard must-nosh-at spots

If you refuse to settle for anything but delish when you’re in California, you’re in luck in Oxnard. While we were only in the city for a weekend, we left with taste buds tickled and craving to return again soon. If you’re short on time, plan ahead to fit these restaurants into your schedule. Please note – all are located inland, so you’ll need a car (or taxi).

La Dolce Vita – Located in charming Heritage Square, the restaurant is housed in a reclaimed Victorian home. The menu is sumptuous fusion of Italian and Mediterranean fare but if you don’t waterside delights at the Waterside Restaurant and Wine Barhave time for a full dinner (plan for at least 2 hours), visit for high tea or hang out in the LDV lounge for cocktails, tapas and live music. Visit them online at LaDolceVita.com.

Waterside Restaurant & Wine Bar – We walked to Waterside one evening from Mandalay, which allowed us to thoroughly enjoy the wine portion of the evening. The patio overlooks the harbor and on the weekends you’ll be treated with live music. The menu is small but inventive – and super delicious. My favorite dish was the halloumi cheese with marinated olives – I still dream about this dish. Visit them online at WatersideRestaurant.com.

full-on taste sensations at Herzog Wine Cellars Tierra SurTierra Sur by Herzog Wine Cellars – A fully kosher restaurant, our meal was a delightful lesson in what makes a restaurant kosher – and how taste is never sacrificed. I thought I’d miss the dairy (especially cheese) but I didn’t. And the wine? An exploration in rich, full-bodied reds that complimented our food beautifully. It’s an expensive taxi ride from the coastal hotels, so we recommend picking a designated driver if you visit. Visit them online at HerzogWineCellars.com.

Oxnard must-experience attractions

It would be easy to spend your whole weekend in Oxnard on the beach – but don’t do it. Even if you plan only one excursion a day, we promise you won’t regret it.

Oxnard Farmer’s Market – Situated on Plaza Park under a canopy of trees, you’ll find a wide variety of locally grown produce and handmade goods. Grab some hummus and chips from one of the food trucks and enjoy. The concierge at your hotel will have exact times and dates – it changes seasonally.

visiting the Dallas Cowboys training campDallas Cowboys – Every summer, more than 100 football players travel to Oxnard, suit up and practice for their fans. And if you stick around until the end of practice, you might be rewarded with an autograph. Start your halleluiah’s girls, this is one show worth watching. Visit them online at VisitOxnard.com.

Oxnard wine tour – Visiting California with your girlfriends dictates wine will be featured – all weekend. The Oxnard Visitors and Convention Bureau offer a full list of tours. Visit them online at VisitOxnard.com.

fun at La Dolce Vita's cooking classCooking Class at La Dolce Vita – If you’ve got a free afternoon, sign up for a class with owner and chef, Michelle Kenney. She’s funny, entertaining serves great wine while teaching the class. Stay tuned for another post on this class – complete with a recipe you can try at home.

Channel Islands National Park – Visiting the 5 islands of Channel Islands National Park is a favorite activity of tourists to the area. You’ll experience a wealth of natural and cultural resources that have been preserved and protected from development.  Whether you cruise around the islands without disembarking or land on one island to spend the day hiking – or snorkeling, kayaking or canoeing – your time here will give you a taste of what California looked like thousands of years ago. We recommend Island Packers, which is accessible from Ventura or their sister city, Oxnard. Visit them online at IslandPackers.com.

our late-night Gondola ride with Gondola ParadisoGondola Cruise – You might think a gondola cruise is best enjoyed with your lover, but imagine you and your girlfriends being serenaded in Italian as you sip wine and giggle like schoolgirls. You can’t find this kind of fun in just any old city. Visit them online at GondolaParadiso.com.

Ever visited Oxnard, California? What did you love about it? Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook – and let’s continue the conversation!

To comply with a long list of regulating bodies, possibly even Geneva Conventions and in the interest of transparency, GoGirlfriend’s visit was compensated by the Oxnard Visitor and Convention Bureau. All opinions expressed are those of GoGirlfriend.

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I live in thousand oaks! A stone throw away from oxnard! Glad you had fun!

Go Oxnard CVB! Thank you for coming to see our 'hidden gems!' So much to do and see.... Rebekah Evans, Executive Director Ventura County West

We really did have a fabulous time, Rebekah. Thanks for all the sightseeing tips and the California hospitality. Can't wait to return to do it all again! Julia

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