Seven Awesome Reasons to Spontaneously Vacation in Oxnard, California
Routine has its attractions. OK, so I can’t name any reasons why right off the top of my head, but I am sure there are some great ones out there. Seriously, beyond the safety and normality of a predictable schedule, aren’t you just looking for a reason to cut loose and be your most awesome self?
Dying to reboot and reenergize but need a fresh take on a weekend getaway? Hmm … I think I might have the answer: the lovely, luscious, rejuvenating beach town of Oxnard, California.
Ahh, I sense I have your attention. Listen, life is no fun without a little spontaneity so I think if you’re ready to give a new place a try or, hey, just get the heck out of Dodge, let’s make it happen in seven easy steps:
1. Stop planning.
The important thing you need to remember is you’re now being spontaneous. You do not need to think about and plan every little detail. There are probably a handful of places you want to go, but I’ve got one all picked out for you. Stop thinking and start packing for a two- or three-day trip. Do it mid-week if you can. Prices are less expensive, beach space is more plentiful, restaurant seating is open, and life is going at a slower pace.
2. Make your reservation.
Snuggled on the California coast, just 60 minutes from Los Angeles and tucked away in the Channel Islands area of Oxnard, is the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Oxnard Hotel & Resort. You have plenty of room to hang out in this all-suite resort hotel. If there are two of you, each person gets his or her own bathroom and own area. You’re going to love the Spanish colonial architecture, plush gardens, grand lobby, and extravagant waterfalls. Surprise, surprise, the bar, breakfast, and dining options under chef Hulbert’s supervision are really good. The best part is you are just steps from the pristine and un-crowded beach.
In no special order, just let the ideas pop into your head and go with it…
3. Take a tour and tasting at nearby Herzog Wine Cellars.
Herzog Wine Cellars is a kosher winery. The winemaking history goes back generations, and wines are premium grade. Take a tour, do some wine tasting, have lunch at the restaurant, Tierra Su. You can thank me later for this yummy suggestion.
4. Relax at the resort.
Stroll the Oxnard beach shore in search of seashells. Let the warm sand and caressing waves spill over your feet. Jump in the outdoor heated pool or sit poolside with your favorite book and umbrella drink. Unwind in the spa, try out the two large whirlpools, or reboot in the state-of-the-art exercise room. Think bikes, boogie boards, and roller blades. Rentals are easy, affordable, and at your service. If none of these calls to your soul, have some appetizers and cocktails at the Coastal Grill Lounge or Splash bar.
5. Have dinner at nearby Hollywood Beach Wine Company Restaurant & Bar.
Opened in 2012, Hollywood Beach Wine Company’s owner Lois Ivanoff and her master chef have created a menu based on their connection with the community and healthy respect for local, organic, and sustainable produce. Indoors or outdoors, your views of the marina and its pleasure crafts and working boats make this place memorable. The menu is to die for. Order anything, you won’t regret it. There is a snazzy wine list also.
6. Attend a cooking class at La Dolce Vita Heritage Square.
I bet you didn’t think THAT kind of activity would be available to you. Yup, and it’s a winner. Prepare an Italian-inspired menu with executive chef and author Michelle Kenney out on her patio at La Dolce Vita Heritage Square. Let the warm sun wash over you as you either watch her prepare the recipes or jump in and get your hands into the fun of it all. I hope she greets you with her signature limoncello sparkling drink. It sets the mood for a fun afternoon that is definitely worth your time and money.
7. Book a stand-up paddling lesson and kayaking tour from Mike Lamm, owner of Channel Islands Kayak Center.
Channel Islands Kayak Center is a very short distance from your hotel. After the tour, go on a fun, Disney-like adventure and learn about the natural and cultural history of the Santa Barbara Channel. Kayak through an artificial cave and paddle under a pier filled with props, including a man-made blowhole and a replica of a pygmy mammoth named Chippy. Stand-up paddling can be booked in the morning, from 10 to 11 a.m. The kayak tour can be booked from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Mike is quite the character; you’re going to love him and his passion for Santa Barbara.
I am proud of you for getting all the way to the end of this article without giving up. Taking a fun, spontaneous trip spices up your life and makes way for a more awesome you.
See you on the beach. I’ll be the one with the mystery book, the big glass of sangria, and the spontaneous grin.