Washington Post August, 2015
Channel Islands Harbor
Channel Islands Harbor is known as the gateway to the Channel Islands. Anacapa Island is just 12 miles from our breakwater and Santa Cruz, the largest of the 8 island chain, 5 of which make up the Channel Islands National Park, just 18 miles offshore. Our waters offer some of the best boating, diving, and wildlife experiences in the world. The late Jacque Cousteau dubbed our Channel Islands the “American Galapagos” because of their diverse and endemic wildlife. Sportsfishing, diving, cruising, and kayaking, hiking and even camping are all popular pastimes on and around our islands and shores.
Channel Islands Harbor is a pleasure marina, operated by the County of Ventura. There are 2,150 slips, 9 full service marinas, 3 yacht clubs, 2 sports fishing landings and a small fishing fleet. Private operators (Lessees) own marinas, yacht clubs, boat yards, retail centers, restaurants and other visitor-serving operations. There are several waterside eateries and fish grottos, boat and water sport rentals, private boat charters, and Island excursions. A community playhouse, the Maritime Museum and a Boating Center round out the cultural options. We have several waterside parks with public barbecues and restrooms and “Concerts by the Sea” in the summertime. Our Sunday Farmer’s and Fisherman’s Market is a year-round favorite rain or shine and the Holiday Parade of Lights, 4th of July Fireworks and Parade, car and boat shows and Celebration of the Whales are just some annual festivals and events that highlight our place on the Coast.
The Channel Islands Harbor is a bustling place of waterside commerce and a peaceful place with miles of paths to meander and enjoy the boats, wildlife and scenery. The beach is a short block from the west-side of the Harbor – the same free parking spot works for both. There are two waterfront apartments, a hotel, and one condominium project in the Harbor.
Channel Islands Waterfront Homes
Channel Islands Waterfront Homes is a special development that features 120 condominiums over ¼ acre of water front property. It is located on a Peninsula that literally stands in the middle of the Harbor. All one or two-bedroom homes face West for an unobstructed view of the boats in the Channel Islands Harbor and our spectacular sunsets. Many third and fourth floor homes have island and ocean views. Besides fantastic water views from EVERY living room and bedroom, ownership includes membership in the private “Marina Club at Channel Islands.” This resort-style clubhouse features a heated swimming pool, waterside spa, lounge area, gas barbecues, indoor clubhouse seating with kitchen and fireplace, a meeting/party room, a fully equipped gym, men and women’s saunas and two tennis courts. Each of the two residential buildings has its own pool, elevator, lobby, indoor laundries (4 rooms per building), protected parking garage with deeded spaces and bountiful guest parking.
For more information go to my website www.ItstheView.com
This mile-and-a half stretch of sand runs parallel with the Channel Islands Harbor on the East and the Pacific Ocean on the West and is only two streets wide. Ocean Drive runs along the ocean with homes on the sand and "inboards" across the street. Sunset Lane is one street back from the sand and features single-family homes on one side (many with rooftop ocean views) and condominiums and townhomes across the street in a popular community named Harborwalk. Hollywood Beach is perhaps the most coveted residential section of the Channel Islands coastline due to its close proximity to both the Harbor and the soft-sand beach. The Channel Islands provide a dramatic backdrop to the spectacular sunsets. Hollywood Beach is served by lifeguards from Memorial Day to Labor Day and the beach is never crowded. A golf cart is often the chosen mode of transportation here. The small K-6 Hollywood Beach Elementary School serves children from Hollywood and Silverstrand Beaches.
We’re Dog Friendly! Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach mornings before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
HarborWalk is a townhome and condominium community built in 1974-75 at the highly-desirable Hollywood Beach. It lines Harbor Blvd. facing the Channel Islands Harbor to the East and Sunset Lane facing the ocean on its West. HarborWalk is a 244 unit condominium complex with 4 pools and spas, two full-size tennis courts, an ocean-view clubhouse and lush green belts. There are three buildings consisting of traditional-style condominiums with stairs and assigned tandem parking garages below and several blocks of town-home-style units with attached or nearby private garages. A select number of “Villas” feature floor-to-sky floorplans, private attached garages and in-home laundry facilities. Almost every home has a gas fireplace. Here, as with many of the local communities built in the 1970’s you will find homes in their original condition or in some form of partial or total remodel. While many people make HarborWalk their full-time residence, homes here are also a popular choice for vacation homes because of their close proximity to area attractions, turn-key maintenance and affordability. HarborWalk is considered one of the best opportunities to live in a multi-million-dollar beach neighborhood at a fraction of the price.
HarborWest is a small community of just twelve attached townhomes. Each two bedroom 3 bath home features four levels with private elevators that run from the ground level to the third story. A charming “Crows Nest” is on the fourth floor with panoramic views, a wet bar, cozy fireplace and two patios - one facing Hollywood beach and one facing Channel Islands Harbor. The rooms are impressively large here with an overall square footage of 2,378 feet. Some have expanded the downstairs storage/basement-like area into guest suites with an added bath or spacious home office or theaters. Each home also has its own private patio with a built-in spa, two fireplaces, air conditioner (rare at the beach) and a large indoor laundry room. The driveway entrance is gated and each home has a private two-car attached garage. There is a community swimming pool and the Channel Islands Harbor is across the street and the sands of Hollywood Beach are a block away.
Hollywood Beach Seaside Mobile Home Park
Hollywood Beach Seaside Mobile Home Park, formerly known as the Hollywood Beach Mobile Home Park, was recently converted to allow individual purchase of the land beneath the mobile home so one “owns” their land verses renting the space. This adult park (one owner 55+) is nestled between the Channel Islands Harbor and Hollywood Beach. Seaside has a clubhouse, pool, and fitness room. There is an active social community here with frequent activities and group-sponsored events.
Mandalay Shores, Also known as Oxnard Shores
Mandalay Beach is the largest beach community in Oxnard, “The Shores” as locals call it, features the largest oceanfront front lots in the area. The community starts at the north end of Oxnard Beach Park (that offers handicap access to the sand) and runs along a two mile stretch of flat soft sand. Custom homes of every age and style line the streets and lanes that run perpendicular to the ocean-front Mandalay Beach Road. There are single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums and apartments and a mobile home park. Many of the homes were built in the 1960-80’s when ranch-style homes were popular and there is a nice selection of single-story homes as well some of the largest homes in the area.
The soft, sandy beach is wide here and there is a designated area with play equipment, volleyball and basketball courts. Surfing and surf-fishing are popular here at various times of the year but like our other beaches in the area, most are used primarily by the beach residents – especially in the winter.
The Shores Shopping Plaza features a small convenience store, The Shores Restaurant and Lounge, a bakery, a pizza place, cleaners, a postal center and other services as well as the latest addition; the “Red Tandem” microbrewery.
Mandalay Shores Mobile Home Park
Mandalay Shores Mobile Home Park is at the North end of this community and offers ocean-view lots and a large family park that boasts amenities such as a pool and barbeque area, indoor clubhouse with community cooking facilities, a gym, indoor shuffleboard and more.
Harbor Island Luxury Condominiums
Harbor Island at Mandalay Bay is a gated resort community of 129 luxury condominiums on the water. One of the main highlights of these homes is that they are on their own island so most have excellent water views. They are mostly single-story with shared elevators that accommodate most second and third story homes.
The Mediterranean architecture is accented with swaying palms, lush foliage and flowers. All homes within the gated community have large two-car private garages although not all are attached. There are four single-level floorplans from 1,900 to 4,000 square feet with the exception of a few spectacular homes that are multi-level, floor-to-sky with private in-house elevators. Amenities include a swimming pool, spa, clubhouse and an active social and accredited yacht club. Fully-powered slips up to 30 feet are available (waiting list) at Harbor Island's exclusive docks.
The Colony. The Colony at Mandalay Beach is a luxury gated community located across from the ocean. The association is comprised of 440 condominiums and townhomes built in the 1980’s as part of a planned development with the neighboring Embassy Suites Resort. The beautiful Mediterranean-style architecture and lush landscaping encompasses three gated, Spanish style sections located adjacent to the Channel Islands Harbor, Hollywood Beach and Mandalay Beach Park. The majority of homes are attached with single and multiple story floorplans and a number have partial or full ocean and island views. Homes have small backyards, patios or decks depending on their location All homes have individual assigned garages with workshop areas and are either attached or located nearby. There is also a section larger floor-to-sky townhomes with a single-family-home appeal.
The resort-like amenities feature a pool, spa and clubhouse, professional size tennis courts, a fitness center complete with lap pool and indoor handball courts. Several gated lounge areas with spas dot the grounds.
Silverstrand Beach and Hollywood-by-the-Sea
Before the Harbor was built in 1963 Ocean Drive ran from Hollywood Beach to Hueneme Beach. Now flanked by the deepwater Port of Hueneme to the South and Channel Islands Harbor to the North, the one-and-half-mile stretch of oceanfront known as Silverstrand Beach is world-renown for its surf break and its laid-back California beach-side vibe. In addition to the Ocean-front Homes on Ocean Ave., there is an eclectic mix of beach bungalows, some dating back to the 1940’s alongside custom homes of all styles and sizes. Take Victoria Blvd. until you reach the stop sign at “Kiddie Beach” and you will be at the “Strand.”
The breakwall and entrance to and from Channel Islands Harbor is here and provides great views of harbor and wildlife activity. Standing almost anywhere you can see the Topa Topa Mountains in the background, often snow-covered after a storm. Pepe's Burritos, Jetty Surf Café, Quincy Street Bar and Grill and the Corner Store feed the hungry surfers and neighbors alike.
Hollywood-by-the-Sea is a stretch of homes on the East side of Victoria Ave. across from “Kiddie Beach” and the Coast Guard Station. This area once held a bubbling spring and was the film site of Rudolph Valentino’s “Son of the Sheik” as well as many other silent films whose crews came here from Hollywood when a beach or desert scene was required. A few decades later, enterprising developers built beach homes here and named the streets after Los Angeles landmarks; Hollywood and Sunset Blvds., Malibu, Cahuenga, Melrose, etc. This small section across the street from the Channel Islands Harbor offers perhaps the least expensive beach houses on the Southern California coast.
A small portion of the city of Port Hueneme surrounds the Port Hueneme Pier and deep water port. The Port of Hueneme is a commercial port that supports ship trade and the Ventura County Naval Base. A small community of condominiums and townhomes named Surfside I - IV offer affordable ocean and island views. Perhaps because of its solitude and distance from the freeway and because it is a bit older in style, the prices for an ocean-view condominium are the lowest on the Southern California and Central Coast! The historic Hueneme Pier, complete with Snack and bait shop create a scenic forefront to the Channel Islands just off the coast and the most spectacular sunsets. For more on Surfside see the separate tab on my home page.
SURFSIDE I - Built in 1973. 210 Condominiums Across from the beach with no obstructions between you and the deep-blue sea. Many first, second and third floor units have wonderful views of the ocean, pier and the Channel Islands. The sunsets are spectacular. There are two outdoor swimming pools and spas and a small clubhouse. Covered, assigned carports.
SURFSIDE II Built in 1974 . Just 53 condominiums on the beach side of Surfside Drive, this small complex has unobstructed views of the ocean! Mostly one bedroom floorplans, Surfside I is perfect for a single or couple or a vacation get-away. Amenities include a swimming pool and outdoor spa. Single or shared enclosed garages are a plus. Highly sought-after and rarely on the public market, let me know if you'd like me to contact you immediately when an owner wishes to sell.
SURFSIDE III Built in 1977. 276 Condominiums and Townhomes. The largest complex at Hueneme Beach, many of the first, second or third floor condominiums have fabulous ocean views in one, two and three bedroom floorplans. There are also two-story townhomes with front and back yards and attached garages. Elevators are located in each of the eight buildings. Facilities within this gated community include an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, separate men and womens sauna and steam, a fully-equipped gym, pool and game area, large library and lounge, outdoor cardio vascular workout area, soft-sand volleyball, basketball, two children's play areas, barbeques and large picnic facilities, carwash, RV & Boat parking, private beach access and outdoor showers! Parking, other than the townhomes, are deeded, covered spaces with some guest parking.
Surfside IV Built in 1982. 211 condominiums and townhomes. The newest of the Surfside communities, the architecture is Modern-Mediterranean with red-tiled roofs and lush landscape. Situated across from the Hueneme Pier, many have ocean and pier views. Several floorplans range from two and three bedroom single or two-story condominiums with some three level townhomes. All have private garages, fireplaces and indoor laundry facilities. The "Pelican Club" features an indoor pool and spa facilities, game room, lounge and library and an outdoor lounge area. Homes in the rear of the complex overlook the Moranda Tennis Park, the city and mountains beyond.
ANACAPA VIEW Condominiums were built in 1974. The complex features an outdoor swimming pool, spa, barbeques, and clubhouse. Single and two-story floorplans are offered, some with private balconies. Only the upper units offer ocean views, but because this complex is so close but yet so far from the sand, it offers (for now) the best value on the Southern California coast!
ANACAPA VIEW HOMES Anacapa View Homes, built in 1978 is a gated-community of single family detached homes. Many feature fabulous ocean, island and Hueneme Port views. A community pool, sauna and spa is centrally located within the community. Highly sought-after and rarely listed on the public market, let me know if you'd like me to contact you immediately when an owner wishes to sell.
City of Ventura –
Ventura, our neighbor city to the North is about five miles from Channel Islands Harbor. Just past Ventura Harbor, another large pleasure Harbor with boat slips, retail, dining and watersport activities, are some more residential coastal communities and some more boat dock homes.
The Ventura Keys are accessible from Ventura Harbor and feature several canals with single family homes with their own private boat docks. (See more Boat Dock Homes)
A beach neighborhood named Pierpont Beach is made up of lanes with houses along each side of the lane ending with a house on the sand. Here, like most California beach communities, there is a mix of old and new, big and small homes. The vibe is totally different than its quieter Oxnard neighbors to the South. Just a block from the 101 freeway, it invites a slightly more touristy-crowd and there are the typical burger joints, bikini shops, sushi and a brewery.
A few blocks, but still within the sound of the sea there is a neighborhood referred to simply as “The Keys.” There are single family, attached homes and condominiums that provide a more affordable option than the homes on the sand or water.
Ventura Beaches North
Rincon Beach, Mussel Shoals and Faria Beach are small beach communities along the ocean-side of Pacific Coast Highway. Just a few miles north of downtown Ventura but worlds apart, these little beach conclaves are spread along the Coast away from the bustle of commerce and they offer the pure serenity of coastal living, not to mention some of the best surf breaks in the world.
The bottom line is wherever you choose to park your flip flops you will soon realize you have found the most desirable place to live in America.