“The beach lifestyle isn’t for everyone.” I personally cannot identify with this statement, but I know it is true for many. Those of us who have chosen this lifestyle believe that the quirks that come with it are part of the charm – and maybe that’s what makes it work for us. As I write this, there is a fog rolling in off the ocean, which is a little uncommon for November but always a reminder of where I am.
Here in Oxnard, the centerpiece of our beach area is Channel Islands Harbor. I say this because the three beach communities, though each being separate and unique, are all an extension of the harbor and its activities.
Furthest north, Mandalay Shores (formerly Oxnard Shores) is the largest and probably the most family-oriented beach community. Most of the lots are 4000 square feet, large by beach standards. There is a dedicated kiddie playground on the sand, and the streets themselves are quiet and there are dedicated walkways to the sand. Maybe the only downside is that the community is so large that the homes farthest from the beach are a bit further from the sand than the other beach communities. Sunsets and views of the Channel Islands outstanding from “The Shores.”
Furthest South is Silverstrand, the beach community that we like to refer to as the “hipster beach.” The beautiful homes that line Ocean Drive are similar to those along the beachfront in the other two beach communities, but what lies behind them is what makes “The Strand” unique. When you drive down the streets here, you can feel the vibe of this very definition of an eclectic community. With smaller lots (1750 – 2500 sq ft), you’ll probably get to know your neighbors and may even want to borrow a piece of their driveway. Silverstrand is unincorporated, so vacation rentals are unregulated and plentiful. The beach here is stunning and provides the best surfing of the three.
In early 1960 the Army Corps of Engineers began the 5-year project of dredging the waterway that would become Channel Islands Harbor. Ultimately this waterway separated Silverstrand from the Hollywood Beach Community. We absolutely love Hollywood Beach because of the vibrant atmosphere generated by the harbor the incredible walkability between it and the beach. Lot sizes run between 2500 and 4000 Square feet and a walk or jog up along the marinas around the tip at the harbor’s mouth and down Ocean Drive never gets old.
Before our move here in 1997, the idea of a beach lifestyle evoked thoughts of sunscreen and sunset walks accompanied by the surf’s constant rhythm. And why not? These are the world-class experiences that come with the territory. But now we can appreciate the beauty of our surrounding area with all of its faces. The marine layer (fog) that was disappointing when we visited is now a part of the charm of the entire coastal experience.
But mostly, we do like the warm weather, sunny skies, and those sunset walks to the rhythm of the surf. Or the walks along the harbor front to the serenade of the sea lions on the docks. Or to watch the fishing boats as they enter the harbor flanked by a cloud of seagulls hoping for a handout. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
As I conclude, the sun has rolled back the fog; the sky is as blue as the water, and it’s 76 degrees on this magnificent November day.