Being a small beach town, you might think that all of Port Hueneme’s secrets have been uncovered, but whether you’re new to the area or have lived here all your life, we wanted to put together some of the most interesting facts about Port Hueneme that make up why it’s a truly special place filled with history and incredibly kind, hard working people.

Below are some interesting things that you never knew about Port Hueneme, California.

1. How to Pronounce ‘Hueneme’
Derived from a Chumash Indian word, ‘Wynema’, the name Hueneme means more than just a confusing word to pronounce. The word means ‘resting place’, most likely named for its location as a coastal point.

But how do you actually pronounce it? Locals know, of course, but if you’re new to the area, it’s best to keep an open mind with this one. That being said, if you take one piece of direction, you’ll be good to go.

Take the ‘hue’ and just say ‘why’. The second half is spelled like it sounds: “Y NEE MEE”

2. A Farmers Paradise
Port Hueneme is part of an area called the Oxnard plain which is known to have extremely fruitful land in regards to agriculture. Products like walnuts, lemons, and oranges are only a few examples of what this fertile land produces. To give you an idea of just how much this area produces, it’s estimated that Port Hueneme provides California with 25% of sugar beets, 50% of its walnuts and almonds and 60% of its cotton. A farmer’s paradise, that’s for sure.

3. This Port Goes Green
Not only does the beach town host plenty of beach cleanups and recycling events, but they also continue to hold the title of Greenest US Port per the 2017 International Green Shipping Summit. Port Hueneme is even set to launch the world’s first ship to provide zero-emission avocados to Ventura County and the whole of California. Port Hueneme loves to go green!

4. Light the Way
The Port Hueneme lighthouse has become a landmark for this California beach town, but many don’t realize it’s actually the second building to stand in its place. The first lighthouse was built in 1874 but it was destroyed in a storm in 1938. The existing structure you see today was built in 1940 by the U.S. Coast Guard. This art deco style tower is open year-round, every third Saturday of the month with free admission.

5. Cannabis Culture
You might have known that cannabis is legal in the city of Port Hueneme, but you might not know that Ventura County decided to choose the city as its model program, and the only city in the county that can legally open cannabis dispensaries. For now, cities like Oxnard, Ojai and Camarillo are looking at Port Hueneme as the example of how cannabis dispensaries can affect the community. Just in the last few months, dispensaries in the town of Port Hueneme have banded together to do a lot of good for the community, including saving the fireworks show in the July 4th celebration this year and even donating much-needed beds to local homeless shelters.
6. Surfing is Life
Beach towns in California are usually known for their surf culture, and Port Hueneme is no exception. Surfers here are holding a lot of pride for their strip of the beach, and sometimes to a fault. The cities’ beaches have been known to host some fairly territorial surfers, so if you’re not living in Port Hueneme, it might be best to just sit this one out. Overcrowding of the beaches, and the ocean, have become a problem (especially in the summer) as the surfers in this town just try to hold on to what they love the most: the waves.

7. In the Navy
Hueneme’s port opened in 1940 by the founder, Richard Bard, known fittingly as the “Founder of the Port”. But after Pearl Harbor, the government found that the location and resources of Port Hueneme would make for an ideal posting of national security. Today, half of Port Hueneme is inhabited by Naval Base Ventura County, creating a prime economic resource for the area.

8. Home to the #1 State Licensed Cannabis Dispensary in Port Hueneme
That’s right, Hueneme Patient Consumer Collective (HPC for short) is the #1 State Licensed Cannabis Dispensary in all of Port Hueneme! With a huge selection of marijuana products and an amazing, knowledgeable staff, HPC is the cannabis dispensary destination for all connoisseurs of this amazing plant.

Finding out little secrets of the place you are visiting or the place you’ve lived your whole life can always be a fun way to feel connected to it. As you can see, Port Hueneme is filled with interesting nuances and stories that help make up the city you see today.