The smell of the ocean breeze is in the air. Lush tropical flora and fauna interweave seamlessly into the waterfalls, fountains, and meandering pathways leading to the crystal blue sky and sea. In our ocean view suite, my three-year-old uses her binoculars to search for dolphins, whales, and diving pelicans searching for their breakfast in the crashing, foamy shore. Their search for food reminds us of our own grumbling tummies, so we get dressed and head down to the complimentary cooked-to-order buffet. Instead of diving for our food, we sample tasty muffins, croissants, omelets, bacon, eggs, and fresh orange juice. The day’s itinerary: immerse our family in the stunning beauty, majesty, and awesome fun of the Pacific outside our balcony and end the evening watching the sun shimmer its way down and eventually over the water’s edge.
Although this vacation feels like an island paradise away from it all, it holds a surprising secret. Instead of requiring passports, expensive airfare, and the eating away of a family nest egg, my family sits happily on the beach just 60 miles north of Los Angeles in the little beach town of Oxnard, California. Our hotel, as stunning and luxurious as it may be, is actually the budget friendly Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel and Resort.
Some things my family loved about the Embassy Suites include the economic price tag and luxurious feel; the two full marble bathrooms just perfect for getting a larger family up and out the door; the complimentary evening reception full of yummy treats and tasty beverages for both kids and grown ups; and the on-site activities like stunning pools, access to sand toys, beach games, tennis courts, ping pong, and even basketball.
Read my full review of the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel and Resort
Explore the rest of Oxnard including Channel Islands National Park: