The largest city in Ventura County, Oxnard is an affluent city 40 miles southeast of Santa Barbara and 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Named after its founder Henry T. Oxnard, the city was incorporated in 1903 by a businessman who built a nearby sugar mill for his American Crystal Sugar Company. Agriculture remains a dominant part of its economy, and some Oxnard event venues reflect the town's "fruitful" heritage.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), approximately 60 miles northwest of Oxnard is the closest commercial hub. Driving from LAX can take up to two hours, depending on the route and the hour of the day.
Chief among meeting venues, Oxnard Performing Arts & Convention Center has room for events of up to 4,000 persons, an auditorium with stage that hosts musical and theater events and has 1,604 seats, two banquet rooms, five meeting rooms, and a network of enclosed patios for functions.
Hotel venues in Oxnard include the 250-room, beachside Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach & Resort, which has 16,000 square feet of meeting space, including a ballroom for up to 865 persons; the 166-room Courtyard Oxnard Ventura, which has 16 meeting rooms, the largest of which can host up to 500 persons; the 106-room Best Western Oxnard Inn, which has one meeting room for up to 80 persons; the 95-room Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor, also right on the beach, which has a meeting room for up to 30 persons; and the 57-room GrandStay Residential Suites Hotel Oxnard, which also has one meeting room.
Places in Oxnard to hold special functions include the Scarlett Belle, a Mississippi River-style riverboat complete with two black-and-red funnel stacks. It's moored in the city and cruises nearby Pacific Ocean waters for up to 150 persons in high style. The Tower Club, a banquet and events center in the tallest building between the Los Angeles and San Jose, has 360-degree views, while facilities at the River Ridge Golf Club include 36 holes of golf, a foot-golf course (no clubs, needed, large, soft "golf balls" kicked soccer-style into oversized holes), and banquet space for 155 diners. The nightclub and events facility Casa Lopez has space for receptions and banquets of up to 500 persons, and Rancho Ventavo Cellars offers tastings of California wines right on Oxnard's main square Heritage Square.
Restaurants for group dining in Oxnard include Moqueca, a slice of Brazil right on the sea, overseen by Brazilian Maria-Gloria Sarcinelli; Yolanda's, a Mexican establishment beside one of Oxnard's marina canals; The Whale's Tail, just along from Moqueca and which has an almost exclusively seafood menu and can host groups of up to 220 persons in its upstairs dining room; Tierra Sur, which is inside the Herzog Wine Cellars and has fine dining; and La Dolce Vita, for Italian fare on Heritage Square and with the ability to put on group cooking classes.