I stay at Channel Island Shores for a whole week each year--been doing this for the past three years and I've already booked for this November. At first, I didn't want to stay in Oxnard...mostly strawberry fields, I figured as a native So. CA resident living two hours south. However, I came to see it as an ideally quiet beach escape. It's set in a very residential area (Sonny and Cher had a home here not far to the north back in the day). I go in the fall when hardly anyone's on the beach. I love the little dunes a short walking distance away; they have clumps of some kind of tall beach grass that give it the look of a beach on the East Coast. If I had kids, I'd really love the huge park right next to the dunes and the basketball courts on the sand just a stone's throw away from the unit. I always take my bike because there's a wonderful trail along the beach. Don't miss the farmer's market; when I was there the live entertainment was wonderful.
Last year I took the boat at the Oxnard marina to Anacapa Island, just some 11 miles away. Oh, and that's what gave me a WOW experience the first time I came: the beach is just a half block away and that long Anacapa Island (it's actually three in one) is so looming right off the coast. It looks close enough to paddle to--first time I experienced that in So. CA. If you squint or use binoculars you can see its lighthouse on the south side--the last governmental lighthouse built in CA. It has a foghorn too, but you need to be near or on the island to hear it call out every ten seconds. It's a nice day trip there. From the marina you can get boats to other Channel Islands as well, "California's Galapagos." If you go island hopping, read the kids' book "Island of the Blue Dolphin" if you haven't already--btw, the Karana character is buried at Mission Santa Barbara where there is a plaque dedicated to her and for a buck in the Mission gift shop you can get the non-fictionalize story of that Native American woman who lived alone some 18 years on San Nicholas Island --fascinating!
After I relax a day or two, I then like going to Ventura, Santa Barbara, and especially Ojai--none more than an hour away, as I recall, and tons of things to do there--do your homework first.
Channel Island Shores isn't for high rollers who like lots of service, designer appointed bedding and furniture, and planned activities. Everything is pretty simple...reminds me so very much of my college days hanging out with pals at a rented beach pad. (Except CIS is pretty quiet:) When I leave out the front door I'm in a simple, but flowery or hedged yard, not in a long carpeted hallway lined with doors.
I'm trying to think of negatives...there was a big windstorm one night when the dunes practically moved onto the street and outside the next morning there was a layer of sand on everything within a whole block because there is no wall between the bike trail and beach--but I thought it was kind of cool. Yes, I too wish the TVs were bigger. I had a backyard with one unit that I wish showed a little more style in gardening--there are very low maintenance, yet attractive plants they could add to give it a nice, loving touch.
Some people adore huge beehive resorts like the Hilton or Marriott humming with a swarm of busy service personnel, but I like little places like this one because it feels like home.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Channel Island Shores is located half a block from the beach and with views of the Channel Islands, this charming resort with a beach house feel is within steps of white, sandy beaches and refreshing ocean surf. Please note that air conditioning is not offered at this property. Please note there is a USD 15.00 daily resort fee due at booking which includes internet, parking, and phone calls. Please note the resort does not provide extra beds/cots or cribs, however guests may bring a crib. Weekly housekeeping is available; we do not have daily housekeeping. Please contact the resort prior to 6pm if arriving after hours and you will be provided with a lockbox code and parking instructions. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the resort. We look forward to hosting you! Guests must be 18 years of age or older with a valid ID and credit card to book and check-in. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Channel Island Shores Hotel Oxnard