Tuesday, May 24, 2016


By Eva Fydrych

Welcome to Oxnard!
A Peaceful Retreat on the Pacific Coast

Palm trees on Mandalay Beach (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Last month, Fashion Studio Magazine attended the 14th Annual NATJA Conference & Marketplace in Oxnard, California.

The event took place from 4 - 8 April 2016 and featured professional development workshops, networking sessions, tours and activities.

Sunny Coastal City

Oxnard, the gateway to California’s Central Coast, is a city rich in history and diverse cultural attractions. With miles of uncrowded beaches and Mediterranean weather, Oxnard is a world-class tourist destination popular with visitors all year round.

Named for the brothers who founded the sugar beet factory, Oxnard features historic downtown, a picturesque boating harbour, vibrant culture, international cuisine, and friendly community.

Exploring Mandalay Beach (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

“Though Oxnard is the largest city in Ventura County, this welcoming community offers a casual seaside vibe, uncrowded beaches, an abundance of outdoor recreational activities, and a refreshing year-round Mediterranean climate.

Just a few miles west of the 101 freeway, you can dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean along a stretch of beautiful white sand beaches with inviting names like Hollywood and Mandalay.” - Discover Oxnard 

Channel Islands Maritime Museum (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Enjoying the first day at the beach (Photo by Effrain Villa)

Unique architecture / Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort (Photo by Eva Fydrych)

Relax & Rejuvenate

Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort is one of California Coast’s most scenic beachfront resorts. Featuring stunning Colonial-style architecture, lush tropical gardens with lagoons and waterfalls, an outdoor heated pool, fully equipped fitness centre, and in-room spa services, the resort is an excellent place to relax and unwind.

Located on beautiful Mandalay Beach, the hotel offers 250 spacious one- and two-room suites with marble bathrooms, separate living areas, and private balconies.

Recommended Treatment: East-West Massage

An intensive massage experience combining the best of both worlds - oriental pressure point technique (for liberating tension) and classic Swedish massage techniques (enhancing circulation and promoting relaxation). 1 hour for $135 or 90 min for $175.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Hotel entrance (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine

Photo courtesy of Hilton

Destination Downtown

Historic Heritage Square in downtown Oxnard is home to picturesque Victorian houses that have been restored and replicated. A family owned and operated La Dolce Vita Restaurant, located in the McGrath house, offers authentic Italian and Mediterranean fusion cuisine in elegant surroundings. For more information visit: www.theldv.com and HeritageSquareOxnard.com.

“Oxnard blends cultures and cuisines into a multitude of tasty offerings. Indulge your appetite for Brazilian moqueca, Filipino, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican, Thai, and even five star kosher delicacies.” - VisitOxnard.com

Heritage Square (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Delicious cupcakes by Lena Campos / Prime Cake (934 S. A St, Oxnard, 805.758.4486)

NATJA members dining al fresco at Heritage Square

edible magazines at La Dolce Vita (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Wine Tasting & Fine Dining

California’s Central Coast is famous for its great wines and Oxnard is a perfect place to start your journey!

At Herzog Wine Cellars, one of Southern California's largest wineries, guests can experience a wine making legacy spanning nine generations in a modern, state-of-the-art winery. Situated inside Herzog Wine Cellars, Tierra Sur restaurant uses only seasonal ingredients, sourced fresh from local farmers. Year after year, Tierra Sur continues to be among the highest ZAGAT rated restaurants in Southern California. Highly recommended! 


The California Welcome Center Oxnard organises a one-stop tasting for all local wineries and is open seven days a week (from 9:30AM to 8:00PM).

Dinner at Tierra Sur (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Time to Shop

Indulge in some retail therapy at The Collection - Oxnard’s newest shopping and dining destination. You can find an eclectic mix of major retailers, boutiques, fashion-forward brands and outfitters here (think Victoria's Secret, H&M, Gap, LOFT, Target). For more details, have a look at their official website: www.thecollectionrp.com.

Explore the Harbour

Scarlett Bell Paddlewheel Riverboat offers relaxing cruises and excellent dining experience. There is nothing better than exploring the beautiful Channel Islands Harbor from the boat! For more information visit: www.scarlettbelle.com.

For some maritime history lessons and a 500 year-old collection of stunning ship models, visit Channel Islands Maritime Museum (open daily 11-5): www.cimmvc.org.

Scarlett Bell Paddlewheel Riverboat (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

View from Scarlett Bell Paddlewheel Riverboat 

Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine

Channel Islands Harbor

Dinner cruise on Scarlett Bell Paddlewheel Riverboat

Scarlett Bell Paddlewheel Riverboat (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Let’s Get Active

Mark Lamm, professional surfer and owner of Channel Islands Kayak Center, offers stand up paddle boards and kayak rentals, lessons, and tours. The company has its own private floating dock and is open seven days a week. 


Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary, known as “America’s Galapagos”, is a perfect day trip from Oxnard. Public boat transportation is available year-round by the park concessionaire Island Packers. Whale watching, snorkelling, diving, hiking, backpacking, camping, biking, and boating - there is something for everyone to choose from!

First time on the paddle board!

Paddle boards from the Channel Islands Kayak Centre (Photo by Eva Fydrych)

Upcoming Events

  • Oxnard Salsa Festival (July 30-31) - Plaza Park, Downtown 
  • Downtown Summer Concerts (August 5,12,19) - Heritage Square 
  • Oxnard Multicultural Festival (October 1) - Plaza Park, Downtown 
  • Galaxy of Gems Expo (November 19-20) - Oxnard Performing Arts Center 

Getting There

Oxnard is situated between Santa Barbara and Malibu, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Amtrak trains and connecting Thruway buses serve the Oxnard Transportation Centre in Downtown Oxnard. Daily service is provided by the Coast Starlight, Pacific Surfliner, and Thruway buses connecting to San Joaquin trains. For more information call: 800.USA.RAIL or visit: www.amtrak.com.

Pacific Surfliner (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Catching up with work (Amtrak offers free onboard Wi-Fi on most routes throughout the country)

Stunning views from the Pacific Surfliner 

Pacific Coast seen from the train (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)


The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) was founded by Dan Schlossberg and Bob Nesoff 25 years ago. NATJA’s mission is to provide educational and networking opportunities to help members excel in their craft and exceed their professional expectations.

Since 1991, the North American Travel Journalists Association, based in Southern California, has brought together travel writers, photographers, editors, bloggers and tourism professionals to promote travel and leisure activities to the public.

Now, 25 years after its humble beginnings, NATJA has more than 400 active members worldwide and an awards competition that annually draws close to 900 entries.

NATJA members (Seema, Rich, Eva) enjoying the Opening Reception at Embassy Suites

 Opening Reception at Embassy Suites (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Selfie time! (Laszlo, Effrain and Eva at the Opening Reception at Embassy Suites)

Sunset at Mandalay Beach (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

“Find your place. Find your quiet side, your wild side, your creative side, your romantic side, the freedom to be you.” - venturacountycoast.com


*Special thank you to Embassy Suites, NATJA, and Visit Oxnard for hosting Fashion Studio Magazine in April 2016.


  1. This post brought back great memories of the conference. Oxnard is indeed a peaceful retreat.

  2. I enjoyed this, it took me back and you saw a lot of Oxnard that I missed.

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