Mussel Shoals, California, Just Around the Bend on 101


Just around the bend on Highway 101 along California’s shoreline you’ll find Mussel Shoals, a rocky beach near Oil Piers on the Ventura County Coast. It sounds like some distant place where names like Possum Ridge are common. Mussel Shoals is well known by local Rincon surfers and jet-skiers who slip into the Pacific for exciting rides.

Just down the road is the town of La Conchita where houses overlook the highway and beach. The town has bounced back more than once from tragedy when the hills next to the village moved and buried several houses. Permanent markers can be seen on the hills, commemorating the towns people who lost lives in the accident several years ago. Tourists often stop in La Conchita to buy gasoline or purchase avocados and fruits from road side stands and convenience store. At one time there was a banana farm that grew a variety of tropical bananas sold to tourists passing by on their way to neighboring Santa Barbara, or traveling between San Diego and San Francisco.

Be sure to stop and visit this road stop. The meals served at Shoals Restaurant and a bit pricey, but the views are simply amazing. It’s a hidden gem in plain view.


There’s one hotel along the road, Cliff House Inn, where you can spend the night or grab a bite to eat at Shoal’s Restaurant. The hotel is offering some low rates for the holidays! (

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