Welcome: Nov 21, 2000
 US: Ventura County: Oxnard Shores
Places to Eat Places to Stay Things to Do Surf Shops
Ventura County Spots

During the mid '70s, this mile-long beachbreak was the test tank for the Campbell Brothers and their Bonzer boards. During the mid '90s, a prominent Oxnard Shores home was Michael and Kimberly Mancini's beachfront getaway in the spicy nighttime soap "Melrose Place." Shores is a fickle wave that's best in the fall months. But when it's on, it's understandable why the Campbells designed one of the speediest boards on the planet and why we hooted at the background scenery when Michael and Kimberly made out in the shorebreak -- there are more flawless A-frames along this stretch of windswept beach than in a Home Depot warehouse. Unlike the Campbell era (or the now defunct "Melrose Place" era, for that matter), the local atmosphere isn't as stuffy as it used to be, but it's still advised that you go alone and make fresh tracks at your own peak.

Best tide: low to medium
Best swell direction: SW
Best size: waist high to double overhead
Best wind: E
Perfecto-meter: 7 (1=Lake Erie; 10=Jeffreys Bay)
Bottom: sand
Ability level: intermediate to advanced
Bring your: shortboard
Best season summer, fall
Access: easy
Crowd factor: none to moderate
Local vibe: moderate
Bicep burn: 5 (1=knee-high Waikiki; 10=triple-overhead Ocean Beach)
Poo patrol: 3 (1=clean; 10=turds in the lineup)
Shark danger: 2 (1=none; 10=bring an iron cage)

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Places to Eat
Quick Fix
-->Grab a doughnut or a cream puff from Heavenly Cakes and Mor, a heavenly bakery in the Oxnard Shores shopping center.

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Places to Stay
To get beachside accommodations in Oxnard, you have two options: Daniel Boone or Donald Trump. McGrath State Beach (five miles north) is a popular camping area at the base of the Santa Clara Rivermouth. Rates are 14 bucks on weeknights and 18 bucks on weekends. Call 800-444-7275 for reservations. For the creature of comfort, the Embassy Suites (just south of Oxnard Shores) is a plush resort yards from shore. Rooms start at $159 per night, and all you get for that is a view of the plastic trees. Call 800-362-2779 for reservations.

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Things to Do
Oxnard's a farmer's town, named after the family who started a sugar beet factory in the area back at the turn of the 20th century. That being said, it's a far cry from the artsy fartsy districts of Santa Barbara and Laguna. But Oxnard isn't completely devoid of high culture. The Carnegie Art Museum, featuring more than 350 paintings, drawings and photographs from noteworthy American artists, is worth a visit. Call 805-385-8157 for more info. Every May, the town rallies around the Strawberry Festival, a local carnival celebrating the season's new crop. Call 888-288-9242 for more. And if you want to go Tara Lipinsky on your traveling comrades, hit up the Oxnard Ice Skating Center (805-988-4440). We're not recommending this (and you're paying a fine if you get caught), but if none of the above is up your alley, you might want to do what the locals do for kicks: make sure the path is clear and take a 50-foot dive off the overpass into the Channel Islands Harbor.

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Surf Shops
The Sport Port, 2323 Roosevelt, Oxnard, 805-9855243

McCrystal Surfboard Factory, 1851 Sunkist Circle, Oxnard, 805-604-1818

Revolution Surf Co., 330 N. Lantana, Camarillo, 805-383-1288

Val Surf, 3055 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 805-497-1166

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