The following content is created in consultation with VenturaCountyWest, home to the idyllic destinations of Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura and the California Channel Islands. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Los Angeles' editorial staff. To learn more about VenturaCountyWest, visit VenturaCountyWest.com.
When thinking about a weekend away during the winter holidays, snow and mountains might immediately come to mind. Not so fast. How about a trip up the coast instead? Only an hour away, a quick sojourn to VenturaCountyWest can give you the quintessential California winter holiday experience. Check out one of these seasonal delights and start planning your new holiday tradition.
Cool Holiday Harbor Happenings
There’s something very California about boats festooned with holiday decorations and glittering lights parading through calm harbor waters. The 48th Annual Parade of Lights
takes place Saturday, December 14 at the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. The parade of about 40 elaborately adorned boats with this year’s theme “Jingle Bell Rock” begins at 7 p.m. in the harbor, complete with a visit from Santa. If you have kids, be sure to arrive by noon to take advantage of tons of man-made snow and free arts and crafts.
If that date doesn’t work for you, the 37th Annual Ventura Parade of Lights & Fireworks
is held over two nights, Friday and Saturday, December 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. at Ventura Harbor Village. Saturday features a flyby of Santa in a helicopter before the boat parade begins. Come early on December 21 when Harbor Village will be transformed into a winter wonderland with live reindeer, crafts, holiday shopping, Santa and faux snowfall. Have the kids ride the indoor carousel in the arcade and sample the numerous varieties of freshly made fudge.
Oxnard’s Christmas Tree Lane
, in the heart of the Henry T. Oxnard National Historic District, is a sight to behold. Over 100 Craftsman, Spanish Colonial, and Period Revival bungalows built in the early part of last century are decorated with festive lights and elaborate displays.
The lane opens for viewing at 6 p.m. though 10 p.m. every night from December 8 to December 26. Drive or walk through the residential community on F and G Streets, or, on December 11, 12, 18, and 19, take a 50 minute guided trolley tour that begins at downtown Oxnard’s Centennial Plaza
, through Christmas Tree Lane with a stop at Heritage Square
for hot cocoa and cookies ($10 per person
Do Your Shopping at the Outlets
Another quasi-holiday must-do in VenturaCountyWest is a shopping excursion to the Camarillo Premium Outlets®
. The 160 outlet stores, including Armani, Banana Republic, Coach, J.Crew and Tommy Hilfiger, have something for everyone on your holiday shopping list with just one weekend visit.
For a full list of inspiring hotels, restaurants, dining, events and entertainment in Camarillo, Oxnard, and Ventura, visit VenturaCountyWest
Published at 8:12 AM PST on Dec 16, 2013