All-Suites Hilton Hotel Midway Between Santa Barbara and LA
Throughout the winter, cruises sail daily from Ventura Harbor to follow the path of migrating gray whales off the coast of Southern California. These trips through the Santa Barbara Channel, an area known for its diverse marine life, can also provide glimpses of local dolphins, seals, and occasionally orca whales. Other boats departing from Ventura Harbor head for the nearby Channel Islands, a chain of eight rocky outcroppings dubbed “the Galápagos of North America” and one of the country’s Most Underrated National Parks by Travel + Leisure.
Located about 15 minutes from the marina, Homewood Suites by Hilton Oxnard makes a convenient base for exploring some of SoCal’s lesser-known treasures—and it’s only an hour from both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. The all-suites hotel features rooms with separate living and sleeping areas as well as fully equipped kitchens with new granite counters. Some of the one-bedroom suites also have a fireplace and whirlpool tub. You can fill up the refrigerator with purchases from the onsite convenience store.
Each morning a complimentary hot breakfast is served in the Lodge, a lounge adjacent to the lobby. For dinner, you can grab a complimentary meal and drinks Monday–Thursday evenings or head next door to the Hilton Garden Inn’s Great American Grill restaurant.
Oxnard, California: Strawberry Capital of the World with Historic Homes and Whale Watching
Located about 60 miles west of Los Angeles, the town of Oxnard boasts 7 miles of white-sand beaches along the Pacific coast. Several paved cycling trails stretch beside the beachfront, connecting it to downtown Oxnard and Channel Islands Harbor. From here, you can hop on a boat to Channel Islands National Park, five rocky islands a few miles offshore full of hiking, kayaking, and whale-watching opportunities. Gray whales pass through the area between December and April as they migrate north to Alaska.
Oxnard’s historic downtown is just a few miles west of the hotel. Attractions include several restored Victorian and Craftsman homes offering tours and the neoclassical Carnegie Art Museum. Originally built as a public library by Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900s, the building now displays contemporary California artwork.
California supplies nearly 85% of the country’s strawberries, and Oxnard is one of the state's largest producers, leading some to call it the Strawberry Capital of the World. The town’s California Strawberry Festival is held in May, but you can still taste the region’s famous produce throughout the fall and winter—in Oxnard, strawberries grow year-round.