Nothing is more enjoyable than exploring the west coast in an RV. An Oxnard to Santa Monica road trip will take you along California Route 1, which will give you amazing views of the ocean as you drive. There are several state parks and beaches along the way, so you can get some sun during your trip. Once you reach Santa Monica, there is a beach, a pier, and much more to explore, so make sure you plan enough time for your trip to truly enjoy the experience.
Channel Islands National Park
The only national park long this route is Channel Islands National Park. It is a haven located off the coast, so it should be the first stop on your road trip itinerary from Oxnard to Santa Monica. The isolated islands have unique plants and animals that are not seen in the surrounding areas. The national park encompasses five of the eight islands in this part of the ocean, and it is about 250,000 acres. Hiking, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, and diving are common activities enjoyed at the park. Don't forget to visit the painted cave, which is the largest sea cave in the world.
Point Mugu State Park
Point Mugu State Park, which is about 15 miles south of Oxnard, is an area with diverse terrain. There is an amazing coastline that you can visit as well rocky cliffs, river canyons, and valleys all within the park. There are more than 70 miles of trails to explore in the park, which vary in difficulty for hikers to enjoy.
Leo Carrillo State Park
Leo Carrillo State Park is another stop that you will want to make on this trip. It is a state park with four beaches, which provides 1.5 miles of coast to enjoy, so you can even get your feet wet while visiting the area. Swimming, surfing, and snorkeling are common activities in this park, but wildlife is also plentiful for those who enjoy watching animals. If you want to take a break from the water, there are also plenty of trails that you can hike in the park.
Malibu Creek State Park
Malibu Creek State Park is only about 25 miles north of Los Angeles. In the park, you can enjoy the stunning vistas that the canyons provide while taking some pictures to make sure the memories last. There is a volcanic swimming hole in the park that you can check out as well. Wildflowers are abundant in the area, and there are places where you can go rock climbing. Hiking and biking are common activities that can be enjoyed here as well. When it comes to wildlife, there are deer, foxes, owls, herons, rattlesnakes, eagles, and you may even spot mountain lions roaming in the tall grass.
Topanga State Park
Topanga State Park is another California state park that you will encounter during your road trip from Oxnard to Santa Monica. The park has several trails that you can explore, and some of the trails even connect to Will Rogers State Park, which is close by. At the bottom of the Santa Ynez Trail, there is a breathtaking waterfall that you will not want to miss.
Point Mugu Missile Park
Point Mugu Missile Park is a unique park with a collection of planes and missiles to explore instead of grass, trees, and flowers. It is a great place for history buffs to enjoy, and the best part is that the park is free to explore, so you can spend as much time as you want here. Point Mugu Naval Base is also nearby. Make sure to get a picture of the Polaris Submarine-launched ballistic missile because it makes a great picture for your memories.
Harrison's Reef is a diving location that is located off the coast of Malibu. There are boulder piles in the water here as well as shelves and a kelp forest that is worth exploring. The reef is approximately a mile long, about 200 yards off of the coast. There is plenty of wildlife to look at in this reef, so the long swim to the dive location is well worth it. If you are not a strong swimmer, be careful around the kelp because there may be a current.
Point Dume is a state beach that you will find on this Oxnard to Santa Monica RV road trip. There are about 34 acres of sand along the mile of ocean. There are also rocky coves that you can explore. Fishing, surfing, and diving are great fun at Point Dume, but if you'd sooner explore the land, there is a hiking trail across the dunes that you will love. There is a fantastic view of the Santa Monica Bay from here, and from December to March, you can see a grey whale migration from this location.
Escondido Falls is a destination that you will find on this waterfall hike about 3.8 miles from the coast. The upper tier of the falls is 150 feet, and on the trek to the falls, you will cross a few creeks where the water could get high at times. There is also a lower waterfall that is 50 feet in the air, so for those that are less experienced hikers, this may be ideal for you.
Corral Canyon Park
Another park that you will want to visit if you like to hike and enjoy spending time in nature is Corral Canyon Park. It is about 1,000 acres, and there is a 2.5-mile hike that you can enjoy at the park. The view from the highest elevation, which is 550 feet above sea level, is amazing, especially since it will give you a view of the ocean below. Bike riding is not permitted on this trail, but dogs are welcome to join you during your walk.
Port Hueneme, CA
Port Hueneme is a small beach city that can be found towards the beginning of this trip. There is a lighthouse that you can visit while you are passing through this city, and you can also charter a boat in this city to take you to the Channel Islands National Park. There is even a historical society museum in this city that can help you learn about the area's history. California campgrounds and dump stations are plentiful nearby, so find a place to stay for a day if you’d like.
Malibu is a more laid back version of Los Angeles, so you will be relaxing here and enjoying the beach life. If you prefer to hike, there are plenty of options nearby to explore, like the Grotto Trail or Solstice Canyon. If you have a horse with you, there are even options to take rides through the trials and get an amazing view of the ocean below.
Zuma Beach is a favorite stop in Malibu because it's one of the few beachs that allows alcohol, so adults can enjoy a unique beach experience. Unfortunately, there is a parking fee of $40, so make sure you prepare for that expenditure during your trip. There are also wine safaris here that you can enjoy. You can enjoy some wine and feed exotic animals in Malibu while exploring a vineyard that is over 1,000 acres. Spend some time at the Malibu Country Mart as well if you like to shop. If you would like to extend your trip and stay overnight, find a California Campground or RV Park nearby.
Pacific Palisades, CA
One of the cities that you will pass through while exploring the Pacific Coast Highway is Pacific Palisades. The ridge trail at Temescal Gateway Park offers an amazing view of Santa Monica. There are also several parks nearby, including Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park and Santa Ynez Canyon Park. Since this area is so close to Santa Monica, you may want to look for a campground here before you reach the end of your trip.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Oxnard to Santa Monica, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Oxnard or Santa Monica.