PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA


Port Hueneme (pronounced "Y NEE MEE"), is located on the central California coast, 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 50 miles south of Santa Barbara. Neighboring communities include Oxnard, Ventura, and Camarillo. This little beach beauty that overlooks the Channel Islands is small but mighty and well worth the effort to find and explore.  With the force of approximately 2,000 military and civilian personnel located adjacent to the city at NAVSEA Port Hueneme Surface Warfare Center Division, Point Mugu Naval Base and California Air National Guard six miles southeast of Port Hueneme and the only deep water harbor between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area at the Port of Hueneme, this community means business.


All work and no play at the beach is impossible. Port Hueneme contains 4.5 square miles with a beautiful beach and pier at a 50-acre Hueneme Beach Park. This is where the community enjoys picnic areas, barbecue pits, a snack bar building with patio area, public restrooms and ample public parking.  Annual celebrations include a summer Beach Fest and Port Hueneme Harbor Days, which honors the Thomas Bard and the Bard Family, recognized as city founders.

 

Long before the industrial revolution transformed the coastal landscape, it is believed that Chumash Indians were the primary inhabitants of this region.  Hueneme is a Chumash word meaning "half-way" or "resting place." Chumash nation Canalinos Indians likely stopped at Point Hueneme as they passed between today's Point Mugu and the mouth of the Santa Clara River. The 'Point' is the closest spot (11 miles) from which to cross the Santa Barbara channel transiting between the mainland and Anacapa Island. 

In 1876, Thomas Bard constructed a wharf to serve as a port for shipping of food stuffs and goods grown and produced in this rich agricultural area known as the Gold Coast. Taking advantage of Hueneme Canyon, a 1500-foot (Bard's) wharf was constructed in 1872 to lighter goods between the coast and ships off shore.

 

By the early 1920s, lemons outstripped lima beans and sugar beets as the number one crop. In 1922, two giant Sunkist lemon-packing plants were built and Sunkist became one of the port village's largest employers.   A much needed port was crucial in the role of fulfilling a region's commercial interests. The port finally came to pass by Thomas Bard's son, Richard, who is credited with leading a charge for approval and formation of Oxnard Harbor District in 1937. 

 

Since that time, California has felt the threat of war several times. Only 60 miles away from Port Hueneme inn  Santa Barbara, you can see a marker commemorating an actual  Japanese attack. Military presence and remnants of such are visible throughout the state, with facilities such as  NAVSEA Port Hueneme taking its place as one of five locations that include San Diego, White Sands, New Mexico; Louisville, Kentucky; and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

 

Port Hueneme is home to the only city-owned and maintained beach park in Ventura County. Compared to Quimby Act Standards, the city's 90 acres of park land exceeds the statewide norm by more than one-third. Local facilities include a community center, library, historical museum, athletic center, and cultural arts center. 

 

Getting to Port Hueneme can be tricky. Here's how you do it:

Highway 101 - Northbound: 
Exit Vineyard Avenue 
Turn Left - go over freeway 
Continue on Vineyard. Stay in Right lane. 
Straight through light at Oxnard Blvd. 
Continue on Vineyard to Ventura Road. 
Turn Left onto Ventura Road. 
Continue on Ventura Road, approximately 8 miles. 
Ventura Road ends at a Stop sign.
At the stop sign, turn left and the beach will be on your right. 

Highway 101 - Southbound:
Exit Wagon Wheel Road
Turn right coming off the freeway at the first light 
(yielding to traffic). 
Turn left at the second light, and you will be on Ventura Road.
Continue on Ventura Road, approximately 8 miles. 
Ventura Road ends at a Stop sign.
At the stop sign, turn left and the beach will be on your right.

 


Hueneme Beach Park and Hueneme Pier are located off HUENEME BEACH PARK
Location: Surfside Drive at Ventura Road and Municipal Pier
(No lifeguards on duty in Fall/Winter)

PORT HUENEME HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Location: 220 Market Street; Port Hueneme, CA
Telephone number: 488-2023
Hours of operation:
Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

FRIENDS OF THE BARD MANSION
Friends of the Thomas R. Bard Mansion Inc. is a
non-profit organization supported solely by gifts,
grants, donations and memberships. Its goal is to
subsidize the preservation and restoration of the T.R.
Bard Mansion, Also known as the Officers Club, and
the surrounding Botanical Gardens. The mansion is a
national historical landmark built in 1912 by Thomas
R. Bard, Port Hueneme’s founding father and Ventura
County’s only elected United States Senator. Members
of Friends of the Bard Mansion may, subject to availability,
and by special arrangement, use the Mansion
for dining, meetings, luncheons, weddings, celebrations,
exhibitions, and group tours. Please call Georgia
Pulos, President, at (805) 986-9665, Orvene Carpenter
at (805) 985-2076 or Jeannette Moranda at (805) 488-
1914 for membership information.


PORT HUENEME HISTORICAL MUSEUM

The Port Hueneme Historical Museum was built in 1925 by architect Myron
Hunt, who also designed the Bard Mansion, Huntington Library and
Ambassador Hotel. The museum showcases a collection of historical artifacts, photographs and information about the Hueneme area. Open to the public Monday through Friday from around 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (call to confirm), it is located at 220 Market St., Port Hueneme, CA. Call (805) 488-2023. huenemechamber.com.

HUENEME BEACH SUNDIAL MEMORIAL

 

Hueneme Beach Sundial Memorial was designed by renown Santa Barbara sculptor Bud Bottoms and is comprised of bronze dolphins and gnomon that cast a shadow on the 20-foot diameter dial face oriented to Pacific Standard Time.  Situated in the center of a 36-foot diameter concrete plaza with a curving sand wall and seating area, this tribute to 88 passengers and crew who lost their lives aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 261 offshore of Port Hueneme near Anacapa Island on January 31, 2000, lists the name of each victim inscribed on individual bronze plates mounted on the perimeter of the dial.

The crash site is located between the mainland at Port Hueneme and Anacapa Island, with the sundial serving as both a memorial to the those who lost their lives on a flight and crash caused by failure of jackscrews on the plane worn thin and lacking lubrication, and residents of Port Hueneme for their help in the recovery effort.

Visitors can see the Sundial Memorial from Hueneme Beach parking lot B off Surfside Drive near the gazebo.

 Oxnard aerial view

Beach Resort - Embassy Suites - Mandalay Beach


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