Oxnard is located in Ventura County, between Ventura and Thousand Oaks. It lies along U.S. Highway 101 near Lake Casitas and the Pacific Ocean.
In 1542, Portuguese explorer Juan Cabrillo sailed into nearby Point Mugu lagoon and claimed the area for King Charles I of Spain. Father Junipero Serra founded Mission San Buenaventura in 1782 as the midway point between the San Diego and Monterey missions. The town got its name from a family that began its first industry, a sugar beet factory in the late 1800s.
Today, Oxnard is among the nation's fastest-growing cities. Its economy is centered on agriculture and related processing, mining and military bases, has also encompassed industry, commerce and oil refining. Point Mugu is the site of a Navy missile range. Oxnard is the jumping-off point to Los Padres National Forest and the Santa Barbara Islands. The city is noted for mild weather and fine beaches.
Oxnard is part of the Ventura, California metro area.