Is Oxnard a Good Place to Live? Pros & Cons

by Rentals Editorial Team | Published: Jul 27, 2023

Welcome to Oxnard, a city that offers a blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and diverse neighborhoods. Located along the picturesque coast of Southern California, Oxnard is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning beaches, marinas, and abundant wildlife, residents of Oxnard have plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. The city also boasts a rich history dating back to its founding in 1903 by Henry T. Oxnard. Explore the city’s heritage through museums and historic sites. Oxnard embraces cultural diversity and celebrates it through its vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries and theaters showcasing local talent. When it comes to entertainment, Oxnard offers a range of options, from live performances to outdoor recreational activities. The city is home to many captivating sights and attractions that showcase its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Experience the family-friendly atmosphere in Oxnard with its excellent schools, parks, and recreational activities catering to all ages. Moving or retiring in Oxnard? Discover the city’s amenities and benefits for residents of all walks of life. Explore the neighborhoods in Oxnard, each with its own unique charm and atmosphere. Take advantage of the city’s public transportation system or convenient access to local airports. As you consider calling Oxnard home, be aware of the taxation system and educational opportunities available in the city. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, delicious food scene, and tourism gems that make Oxnard an exceptional place to live or visit.

Nature and Outdoor Activities in Oxnard

Oxnard is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its beautiful location along the coast of Southern California, residents of Oxnard are treated to stunning beaches, picturesque marinas, and abundant wildlife.

One of the highlights of living in Oxnard is its proximity to Channel Islands National Park. This park encompasses five of the eight Channel Islands, offering opportunities for hiking, camping, kayaking, and wildlife spotting. The pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters make it a popular destination for outdoor activities.

In addition to the national park, Oxnard boasts several local parks and nature preserves. The Mandalay Beach Park offers a long stretch of sandy beach perfect for sunbathing or picnicking. The Ormond Beach Wildlife Area provides a habitat for a variety of bird species, making it an excellent spot for birdwatching.

City’s History

Oxnard has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1903. The city was named after its founder, Henry T. Oxnard, who established a sugar beet processing factory in the area. This factory played a crucial role in the early development of Oxnard as an agricultural hub.

Over the years, Oxnard expanded beyond agriculture and became known for its oil industry as well as its vibrant downtown area with historic buildings that still stand today. Exploring the city’s history can be done through various museums and heritage sites such as Heritage Square, which showcases preserved Victorian-era homes.

Visiting the Carnegie Art Museum provides insight into the city’s culture and history through its diverse art collections and exhibitions.

Culture and Arts in Oxnard

Oxnard embraces cultural diversity and celebrates it through its vibrant arts scene. The city is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and cultural events that showcase the creativity and talent of its residents.

The Oxnard Performing Arts Center hosts a variety of performances, including plays, musicals, concerts, and dance shows. It serves as a hub for performing arts in the region, attracting both local and touring acts.

Oxnard also hosts several annual events that highlight various aspects of its culture. The Oxnard Salsa Festival brings together music, dance, and food to celebrate Latin American culture. The California Strawberry Festival showcases the city’s agricultural heritage with live music, strawberry-themed food vendors, and family-friendly activities.

Art lovers can explore the city’s many galleries, such as the Studio Channel Islands Art Center or Blackboard Gallery. These spaces exhibit a range of artworks created by local artists in various mediums.

Oxnard City Entertainment

Oxnard offers a vibrant and diverse range of entertainment options for its residents. Whether you are looking for a night out on the town or a family-friendly outing, this city has something to offer for everyone.

One of the highlights of Oxnard’s entertainment scene is its numerous local theaters and performing arts centers. You can catch live theater performances, music concerts, and dance shows throughout the year. The Oxnard Performing Arts Center and Elite Theatre Company are popular venues that showcase talented local artists.

In addition to live performances, Oxnard also boasts a variety of recreational activities. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or taking leisurely walks along the shoreline. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy hiking in the nearby Santa Monica Mountains or partake in water sports like kayaking or paddleboarding in the peaceful Channel Islands Harbor.

For those interested in shopping and dining experiences, Oxnard has several shopping centers and malls that feature a wide range of stores and restaurants. From high-end fashion boutiques to local artisan shops, there’s plenty to explore.

Local Sights, Attractions, Events, and things to do in Oxnard

Oxnard is home to many captivating sights and attractions that showcase the city’s rich culture and natural beauty. Here are some must-visit places:

  • Channel Islands Harbor: This picturesque harbor offers stunning views and charming seaside activities such as boat tours, fishing charters, and waterfront dining options.
  • Murphy Auto Museum: Car enthusiasts will enjoy exploring this fascinating museum that displays vintage automobiles from different eras.
  • Carnegie Art Museum: Art lovers can appreciate the local and international artworks showcased in this cultural hub.
  • Heritage Square: Step back in time as you wander through a collection of restored Victorian homes that now house museums, shops, and restaurants.
  • Oxnard Farmers Market: Every Thursday, locals gather at this vibrant market to explore a variety of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and delicious street food.

Throughout the year, Oxnard also hosts several exciting events and festivals. The California Strawberry Festival celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage with live entertainment, food booths, and strawberry-themed activities. The Oxnard Salsa Festival is another popular event that showcases live music performances, salsa dancing competitions, and mouth-watering salsa tastings.

Job Opportunities and Overall Economy in Oxnard

Oxnard offers a diverse range of job opportunities across various industries. Some of the city’s biggest employers include:

  • Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) – St. John’s Regional Medical Center
  • National University
  • Oxnard Union High School District
  • The Home Depot
  • Ventura County Community College District

In terms of the overall economy, Oxnard has a growing business sector with strong ties to agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, education, and retail industries. The average household income in Oxnard is around $70,000 per year.

The city’s unemployment rate is currently lower than the national average at approximately 4%. This indicates favorable job prospects for residents in Oxnard.

Taxes in Oxnard

Oxnard, a city located in Ventura County, California, has a taxation system that residents should be aware of. The city has both state taxes and local taxes that contribute to its overall financial structure.

State Taxes

In terms of state taxes, California is known for having one of the highest income tax rates in the United States. Residents of Oxnard are subject to these rates, which vary depending on their income level. It is important to consult with a tax professional or refer to the California Franchise Tax Board for more specific information.

Local Taxes

In addition to state taxes, Oxnard has its own set of local taxes. These can include sales tax, property tax, and various fees and assessments. Sales tax rates in Oxnard are determined by both the state and local jurisdictions and may vary depending on the type of goods being purchased.

Property tax rates are based on the assessed value of properties in Oxnard and are used to fund local services such as schools, infrastructure maintenance, and public safety.

It is important for potential residents to understand the local tax landscape in Oxnard before making a decision about living here.

Education System in Oxnard

Oxnard boasts a range of educational opportunities for residents of all ages. From elementary schools to nearby colleges and universities, the city provides access to quality education.

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Oxnard is served by several school districts that provide education from kindergarten through high school. Some notable school districts in or near Oxnard include:

  • Oxnard School District
  • Hueneme Elementary School District
  • Oxnard Union High School District

These districts offer a variety of public schools that cater to different grade levels and educational needs.

Colleges and Universities

Oxnard is home to Oxnard College, a community college that offers a range of associate degree programs, vocational training, and transfer opportunities. Nearby colleges and universities accessible from Oxnard include:

  • California State University Channel Islands
  • Ventura College
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

These institutions provide further educational options for individuals seeking higher education in various fields.

Public Transportation and Traffic in Oxnard

Oxnard has a public transportation system that is designed to help residents navigate the city and its surrounding areas. Additionally, the city has convenient access to local airports for travelers.

Public Transportation

The primary mode of public transportation in Oxnard is the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) buses. These buses connect various parts of the city and provide routes to neighboring cities as well. Residents can use these buses to commute to work, school, or other destinations within Ventura County.


Oxnard experiences average traffic congestion during peak hours. While it may not be as heavily congested as larger cities in Southern California like Los Angeles, residents should anticipate some delays during rush hour.

Local Airports

Oxnard is conveniently located near two airports:

  • Oxnard Airport: This small airport primarily serves general aviation and private aircraft.
  • Hollywood Burbank Airport: Located about 60 miles southeast of Oxnard, this larger airport offers commercial flights and serves as an alternative to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Residents and visitors to Oxnard have these airport options for domestic and international travel.

Neighborhoods in Oxnard

Oxnard is a vibrant city with diverse neighborhoods, each offering its own unique atmosphere. Here are some notable neighborhoods in Oxnard:

1. Downtown Oxnard

Downtown Oxnard is the city’s central district, known for its historic buildings, cultural venues, and a variety of shops and restaurants. It offers a mix of residential and commercial spaces, making it a lively hub.

2. Mandalay Bay

Mandalay Bay is a waterfront neighborhood in Oxnard, featuring beautiful homes along the channel and beachfront properties. Residents can enjoy boating, kayaking, and other water activities in this picturesque area.

3. College Park

College Park is home to Oxnard College and offers a mix of student housing, affordable apartments, and single-family homes. It has a youthful vibe due to its proximity to the college campus.

4. RiverPark

RiverPark is known for its newer housing developments with modern amenities. It offers convenient access to shopping centers, parks, and recreational facilities.

5. Silver Strand Beach

Silver Strand Beach is located along the coastline of Oxnard and offers picturesque beachfront living. It is an ideal neighborhood for those seeking a relaxed coastal lifestyle.

These are just a few examples of the diverse neighborhoods found within Oxnard. Each area has its own charm and character, catering to different preferences and lifestyles.

Family-Friendly Atmosphere in Oxnard

Oxnard, with its multiple parks, recreational activities, and family-oriented events, is undeniably a great place for families to live. The city offers a variety of safe and well-maintained neighborhoods that cater to the needs of families.

Oxnard’s commitment to education is evident through its excellent school system, providing families with access to quality education for their children. The city is also home to various community centers and libraries that offer educational programs and resources.

Additionally, Oxnard has numerous family-friendly attractions such as kids’ museums, aquariums, and outdoor recreational areas where families can spend quality time together. With its mild climate and beautiful beaches, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as beach picnics, bike rides, and water sports.

Discovering Oxnard’s Tourism Gems

Oxnard is a hidden gem when it comes to tourism destinations. Situated along California’s picturesque coast, the city offers visitors a blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions.

One of the highlights of Oxnard’s tourism scene is its stunning beaches. From the popular Hollywood Beach with its pristine sands to Silver Strand Beach known for its excellent surfing conditions, there is a beach for everyone in Oxnard. Visitors can relax under the sun or partake in exciting water activities like kayaking or paddleboarding.

For those seeking cultural experiences, the Carnegie Art Museum showcases contemporary art from local artists while the Mullin Automotive Museum exhibits rare French automobiles from the early 1900s. There are also historical sites like Heritage Square where visitors can explore restored Victorian-era houses.

Oxnard’s vibrant food scene should not be missed either. The city boasts a diverse culinary landscape ranging from fresh seafood to Mexican and Asian cuisines. Food enthusiasts can indulge in farm-to-table dining experiences or visit the local farmers’ markets to savor the region’s fresh produce.

Moving to Oxnard: A Relocation Guide

If you are considering moving to Oxnard, you will find a city that offers a high quality of life and a range of amenities. The city’s diverse housing options cater to different lifestyle preferences and budgets.

With its proximity to major employment centers like Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Oxnard provides residents with ample job opportunities. The city is known for its agriculture industry, manufacturing sector, and growing tourism market.

When it comes to transportation, Oxnard benefits from being located along the Pacific Coast Highway and near major highways, making commuting convenient for residents. Additionally, the city has efficient public transportation services like buses and train stations.

Oxnard also boasts an active community with numerous recreational facilities such as sports complexes, golf courses, and hiking trails. The city’s commitment to wellness is reflected in its fitness centers and parks where residents can engage in physical activities.

Retirement in Oxnard: Fun in the Sun for Seniors

Oxnard, with its beautiful coastal location and pleasant year-round weather, proves to be an ideal destination for retirees seeking a relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle. This vibrant city offers a variety of amenities and recreational activities that cater to the needs and preferences of older adults.

The Oxnard area boasts numerous retirement communities and assisted living facilities, providing retirees with a range of housing options designed specifically for seniors. These communities often offer amenities such as fitness centers, swimming pools, social clubs, and organized activities to help residents stay active and engaged.

Furthermore, the city’s proximity to stunning beaches allows retirees ample opportunities for leisurely walks along the shore or enjoying picnics with loved ones. Oxnard also features several golf courses where seniors can refine their swing while enjoying breathtaking views of the coastline.

Pros and Cons of Living in Oxnard

  • Pros:
    • Beautiful coastal location with stunning beaches
    • Pleasant year-round weather
    • Diverse dining options featuring fresh seafood
    • Affordable housing compared to other coastal cities in California
    • Abundance of outdoor recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking
  • Cons:
    • Traffic congestion during peak tourist seasons
    • Limited public transportation options
    • Occasional coastal fog may obstruct visibility
    • Slightly higher cost of living compared to some inland cities

Frequently Asked Questions about Living in Oxnard

Is Oxnard a safe city?

Oxnard is generally a safe city to live in, but like any urban area, crime can occur. It is advisable to take common-sense precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

What are the best neighborhoods in Oxnard?

Some popular neighborhoods in Oxnard include Silver Strand Beach, Hollywood Beach, and RiverPark. These areas offer a mix of beautiful coastal scenery, convenient amenities, and a friendly community atmosphere.

What are the primary industries and job opportunities in Oxnard?

Oxnard’s economy is diverse, with major industries including agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism. Job opportunities can be found in these sectors as well as fields such as education, government services, and retail.

Are there good educational options for children in Oxnard?

Oxnard has a range of educational options for children, including both public and private schools. The city is served by the Oxnard Union High School District and several elementary school districts. Additionally, there are several higher education institutions nearby.

What cultural attractions does Oxnard offer?

Oxnard presents a rich cultural scene with attractions such as the Carnegie Art Museum, Murphy Auto Museum, Channel Islands Maritime Museum, and Heritage Square. The city also hosts various festivals throughout the year celebrating art, music, food, and diverse cultures.

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