Oceanside is proud of its 3.5 miles of clean, soft, white sandy beaches allowing one to enjoy a variety of fun activities. Surf or bodyboard in the rolling waves. Play Frisbee or a game of volleyball on the warm sand. Run or rollerblade along the pedestrian-friendly Strand. Sunbathe and relax in the glorious sunshine. Oceanside Beaches are world famous for international surfing and skating competitions, IronMan Triathalons, and speed boat and outrigger races.
What you Should Know About Beach Bonfires
Beautiful Harbor Beach is Oceanside's largest beach, offering everything from surfing to volleyball. The Oceanside Harbor, adjacent to Harbor Beach, has many amenities including the Marina Inn Hotel and a variety of shops. In the harbor, you can spend the day on a deep-sea fishing boat, whale watch, rent kayaks or visit the marina. Fishing is an option from the jetties. Harbor Beach has three lifeguard towers, Towers 10, 12, 14. Tower 10 at the south end of Harbor Beach, is nearest the south jetty. Tower 12 is situated in the middle of the beach, and Tower 14, at the north end of Harbor Beach, is near north jetty. Harbor Beach is a beautiful venue that has something to offer everyone.
Amenities: BBQ grills, picnic tables, snack bar, gazebos, fire rings, volleyball courts (you must provide your own net), restrooms, showers, and telephones. Free parking and pay parking lots are available in the lots east of the Harbor.
Businesses Near the Oceanside Harbor
Pierview North-Breakwater Way
This is a quiet, family beach located just south of Oceanside Harbor. It is popular with surfers and volleyball players. Surfers, however, will have to walk down to the jetty in the summer months when the beach is closed to surfing in front of Lifeguard Tower 8. The river jetty is where the San Luis Rey River meets the ocean. A sandbar is often formed here and creates a good surf break. The area at the mouth of the river mouth is usually one of Oceanside's least populated beaches. This is partly because it is open surfing only, and because it's a bit of a walk from the parking areas. Children often like to play in the river mouth; this is not advised because it poses a safety concern due to the strong currents and the potential for high levels of bacteria in the river.
Amenities: Barbeque grills, picnic tables, volleyball courts (you must provide your own net), fire rings, restrooms and showers. A pay parking lot is located at the east end of Breakwater Way and east of Pacific Street. Metered Parking is also available along Pacific Street.
The beaches north of Oceanside Pier have much more sand than those south of the pier and provide more space for those visiting the beach. Due to the Pier Amphitheater being situated on the south side of the pier, there are fewer activities and events that occur on the north side and the pier. This often makes for a quiet, more relaxed atmosphere. There are two lifeguard towers north of the pier (Towers 2 and 4). During the summer months, an area is closed to surfing (blackballed) but open for all other water activities. The surfing and swimming area will always be marked with checkered flags and swim-surf signs.
Amenities: Volleyball courts on the sand (provide your own net) and a small pay parking lot right off of the Strand.
Pier View South
The beach area south of the Oceanside Pier is Oceanside's most popular beach. If you don't mind crowds, you will be comfortable here. Surfing, bodyboarding, and body surfing contests are held at Oceanside Pier throughout the summer. There are also various events that are held in the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater. The pier itself is a beautiful walk and a popular fishing spot as well. Due the beachgoers in this area, there are 2 lifeguard towers (towers 1 & 3) relatively close together. Lifeguard Tower 1 sits directly south of the pier and Tower 3 sits approximately 300 feet south of Tower 1. During the summer months, the area from Tower 1 south is closed to surfing most of the day. The area will be marked with a black ball as well as swim-surf signs and black-and-white checkered flags that indicate the boundaries. The surfing area is from Lifeguard Tower to 100 feet from the pier and is closed to all other water activities. No water activity is allowed within 100 feet of the pier. Amenities: covered picnic tables, benches, barbeques, fire rings, pay phones, and vending machines. Close to downtown shops and eateries.
Tyson Street Beach
Tyson Street Beach, also known as Tyson Street Park, is within walking distance of the Oceanside Pier. Lifeguard Tower 5 is located here. Since the park is just a few feet from the beach, it is great for picnics. Stairs are provided for beach and park access from Pacific Street. Due to crowds in this area during the summer months, it is necessary to prohibit surfing here for the safety of swimmers and waders. The area will be marked with a black ball flag, checkered flag and swim-surf signs. Amenities: Wide grassy play yard, picnic tables, benches, playground, snack stand (in the summer months only), restrooms, showers, and public phone. Pay parking lot located where Seagaze meets South The Strand, while metered parking is available on Pacific Street. Two handicapped parking spaces are available on The Strand.
Wisconsin Street Beach
Wisconsin Street Beach is located at Wisconsin Street and The Strand. The south Strand is a one-way, southbound street that parallels the beach. There is a ramp just north of lifeguard Tower 7 for access to the beach. This is Oceanside's least frequented beach due to the beach being narrow. When the tide is high, the water comes all the way to the rocks, leaving very little or no beach at all. The ocean in this area is open to all water activities. Amenities: Snack shop, restrooms, showers, and a public telephone. Pay parking lot and parking along Pacific Street.
Oceanside Boulevard Beach
Oceanside Boulevard Beach offers more actual beach than its neighbor, Buccaneer Beach. All along the beachfront, there are private homes facing the ocean. During the summer months there is an area directly in front of the lifeguard tower (Tower 9) approximately 200 ft., that is designated for swimmers, waders, and bodyboarders only. For safety precautions, this area is closed to surfing and will be marked by checkered flags and swim-surf signs. There is a very large rock that sits in the surfline approximately 300 feet south of the lifeguard tower and can be seen at low tide.
Amenities: Parking is available along Pacific Street and the neighboring streets.
1500 South Pacific Street, 1/2 Mile north of Cassidy.
Barely 150 feet wide, this beach is more like a sandy break in the wall of condos that separates Pacific Street from the Oceanside breakers. You'll find this family beach frequented by sun worshippers working on their tans.
Amenities: Park with jungle gym, full basketball court, barbeque grills, public restrooms, picnic tables, snack bar, showers, and public telephone. Free parking lot.
BEACH SAFETY TIPS
Compliments of the City of Oceanside Beaches, Parks, and Rec. Dept.
Safety Tips-- The beach can be a safe and enjoyable place by simply following these ocean safety guidelines:
- It is a good idea to familiarize oneself with surf/ocean conditions by asking a lifeguard, and observe the surf warning flags on active lifeguard towers:
- Keep in mind that ocean conditions can vary and change quickly from one location to another.
- Remember that rip currents cause 95% of all rescues. Be able to identify rip currents and learn how to get out of them by swimming parallel to the shore.
- Use swim fins. You can swim safer, faster, and catch waves more easily. If fish use them, why can't we?
- Swim and board surf in designated areas.
- Avoid diving head first into water or allow your head to be driven down to the bottom. This can cause paralysis, spinal injury, or even death!
- Attention Parents! Keep an eye out for inshore holes. Water that is waist deep for you may be over your child's head.
Rip currents are the most common hazards found at the beach. Mistakenly called "undertow" or "rip tides", they form when water pushed shoreward by waves rapidly returns seaward by way of a river-like current. They can be identified by looking for the dirty, sometimes foamy, water moving seaward through the waves. To get out of one, stay calm and swim parallel to shore until you are out of the flowing current (usually about 50 yards).