Many of us are hesitant to travel right now, and understandably so. With that being said, I’ve been dreaming of the beach since Covid lockdown day #1, so I pleaded for a family escape. Taking the pandemic into consideration, we selected a destination that was peaceful and desolate, and found ourselves in Oxnard, California, a sleepy Southern California beach town by the beautiful Channel Islands Harbor.
Where to Stay
The oceanfront Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach by Hilton is the only area all-suite beachfront resort- and it radiates perfection. All 250 rooms have a private bedroom, spacious living room, and two full marble baths. Definitely book an oceanfront suite sitting atop a lush lawn and a few footsteps to the sand.
And that’s exactly what makes this place great: the location. You really can’t get closer to the beach. It’s not overly packed with people; in fact, it was simple to practice a 6-foot distance between fellow vacationers. Kids have their choice of running in the grass or building sandcastles… all at their fingertips.
The rooms are comfortable- overly accommodating a family of five. Our suite had a kitchenette and dining table, making it easy to dine in (in pajamas).
Yes, the property has an impressive pool, waterfalls and streaming lagoons, but due to health regulations, it was closed. With that being said, it didn’t matter- we were there for the beach. There to be undisturbed. There to let go, take a break, forget about the world... and be kids with our kids. We didn’t need the amusements we often seek during vacay; instead, we took a covid-friendly simplistic route, packing ourselves on the beach, tossing a football, digging in the sand, and flying kites.
What to Do
Your Embassy Suites vacation will not be packed with plans- especially during these crazy times. Instead, bring your kids’ scooters and let them cruise the beachfront path amidst rolling sand dunes. Pack games and have a picnic on your personal lawn. Rent a Surrey bike (right outside the property), or simply chill- isn’t that the point of vacay? But if you happen to crave a little adventure, take a drive through the area- Oxnard sits convenient to Ventura, Ojai, Santa Barbara, and Malibu.
What to Eat
Dining is quite different during covid; we preferred avoiding restaurants and instead opted for takeout. Truth be told, we ordered the most fantastic pizza every night; like seriously, every night. Titled “Toppers,” this adorable pizza place is delicious (order the Pepperoni Express and Jalapeno Poppers).
And since you have an in-room fridge, stock up on sandwich stuff for lunch (there’s also a microwave), and enjoy the resort’s complimentary made-to-order breakfast.
SoCal is known for May grey and June gloom, so prep for chilly summer temps. But don’t let that stop you! There’s nothing like sitting on the sand cozied in sweatshirts listening to the sound of the sea.