From hiking, biking and golf to every beach and water activity known to man, Oceanside is the ultimate outdoor playground, complete with year-round sunshine. Local businesses offer everything from fishing and boating equipment to scuba and snorkeling gear.
Over 3.5 miles of white sandy beaches make Oceanside the ideal place for sunning, surfing, and sandcastle building. Take a leisurely stroll along the water or bring your pole for some great surf fishing.
With plenty of parking and easy beach access, Oceanside presents one of the finest beach areas on the west coast. Harbor beach alone offers more than 16 acres of clean level sand, and handicap “sand" wheel chairs are available for use at each lifeguard tower. Enjoy a day at the beach and don't forget your sunscreen!
More about Oceanside Beaches
Unlike most ports, all boats are visible from a two-lane asphalt drive encircling its shoreline. Fine restaurants, picnic tables, and a Harbor Village with shops, eateries, and a lighthouse, along with the nearby Harbor Beach combine to offer the seafarer and motor visitor an enchanting experience of color and atmosphere. Oceanside's Harbor is a mecca for sportfishing, whale watching, boating and other water-oriented activities. The Marina inside the harbor has sloops ranging in length from 25-51 feet. Transient moorings and limited RV beach camping are available. Harbor Days is a scheduled annual event held the 3rd weekend in September.
Businesses in or near the Harbor
The historic Oceanside Pier is a prized community resource as well as a monument to its citizens' persistence in seeing that a pier remains a part of its oceanfront recreational facilities. At its current 1,942 feet in length, it remains one of the longest wooden construction recreational piers on the West Coast. From its reach, viewers can peer into the entrance channel of Oceanside Harbor, a 900 + boat recreational marina that sits along the northwest borders of the city. The pier is a recreational common ground for Oceanside, a place where young and old, fisherman and surfer, tourist and residents mingle, stroll, and sit to watch the waves or the sunset while enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. While a fishing license is required for surf fishing on the beach, no license is needed for fishing off the pier.
Brief History of the Pier
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, named in honor of St. Louis, King of France, is located in a secluded valley four miles east of Highway 5 in Oceanside. Founded in June 1798 by Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, the Mission is one of the most architecturally impressive of all the California missions. Built of adobe and faced with brick, it is a composite of Spanish, Mexican, and Moorish styles. For over thirty years the mission prospered under the direction of Father Antonio Peyri. By 1801, over 300 Indians had been enrolled in the mission, making it one of the most populous in California. After secularization in the 1830's, the mission grounds were used for bullfights and later, as a military post by U.S. troops. In 1893, the mission was rededicated as a Franciscan seminary. Today, the "King of Missions" includes a picnic area, museum and gift shop. The newly developed San Luis Rey Valley Conference Center & Garden's, located at the Mission, is equipped to accommodate conventions, conferences, banquets, as well as weddings, it covers 17,500 square feet of space with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment - a perfect meeting place!
More about the Mission.
Morning Farmers Market
Mingle with locals and experience Southern California’s bounty of locally grown produce and flowers. Enjoy ocean views while browsing gourmet baked goods, pre-packed specialty foods and regional crafts. Freshly prepared hot foods are available for breakfast and lunch.
Thursday mornings, 9am – 1pm
Pier View Way and Coast Highway
Main Street Oceanside
Main Street Oceanside Website
“Oceanside’s Weekly Gathering”
Food and music abound at this very popular outdoor market just steps from the pier. The family friendly event features live entertainment and a wide array of ethnic and traditional hot foods offering to tempt you – be sure to come for dinner and stay for the sunset. Includes 170 booths of shopping, fresh and ready gourmet baked goods and pre-packaged specialty goods to take home, locally grown produce and floral, kids activities and more – something for everyone!
Thursday evenings, 5:00 – 9:00 pm.
Pier View Way and Coast Highway
Main Street Oceanside
Main Street Oceanside Website
Heritage Park Village & Museum centers around an idyllic Main Street lined with many of historic Oceanside's original buildings. The first General Store, the Portola Inn, the Blacksmith Shop & Livery Stable, a doctors office, the Old City jail, Libby School and the Blade newspaper building provide an ambient backdrop for education programs, special events and social gatherings of all kinds.
Oceanside's recreational opportunities are geared to fit every lifestyle. The city boasts 3 golf courses, numerous tennis courts and over 6 miles of beachfront roadway just perfect for jogging, biking or rollerblading. Known as a mecca for watersports, our 260 slip Harbor has a convenient boat launch area and offers services for boat, kayak and jetski rentals. Helgren's Sportfishing Inc. operates daily sportfishing charters going out of the Harbor, and also offers Whale Watching Tours from December through March. Try your hand at surf fishing along our coastline, or simply drop a line off the end of our 1972 ft pier and wait for the fish to bite. Oceanside also hosts numerous amateur and professional surfing contests through out the year.
Sports and Recreational Activities
Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base
The world's largest U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Training Base is located in North Oceanside. It is considered a "recreational" paradise with its military community of over 36,000 spread over 125,000 acres. The camp is well recognized for its interest and effort toward ecology and the preservation of natural resources. With its three mountain ranges and varied geographical terrain, Camp Pendleton has earned its title as an "Ecological Oasis of Coastal California." Home of the First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton is situated on what was once a Spanish land grant called Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores. The area's natural beauty has been changed as little as possible, making Camp Pendleton a modern military base in the heart of a little piece of history.
More about the Base.
The Oceanside area has several beautiful golf courses:
El Camino Country Club
Emerald Isle Golf
Marine Memorial Golf Course Camp Pendleton
Oceanside Golf Course
More about Golf in Oceanside
Guajome Regional Park
Nestled in the serene and historic San Luis Rey valley, Guajome Regional Park is a beautiful ecological preserve featuring native chaparral vegetation. There is a wonderful lake perfect for fishing and trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Quiet, modern campsites are available year round.
Oceanside Municipal Airport
A half-mile of highway allows you to travel a half mile; a half-mile of airport runway will allow you to travel anywhere you choose. Over the last century, civil aviation has become an integral part of the U.S. economy, a key catalyst for economic growth.
There has been an airport in the San Luis Rey Valley since the 1930’s. The Oceanside Municipal Airport is a paved and lighted landing facility, providing tourists and businesses and alternate mode of transportation into our city. In addition, the Oceanside Airport serves as a flight training facility for our future airline and military pilots, not to mention a possible astronaut or two. The airport is also used, regularly, by Life Flight Medical Services as well as other emergency services. The Oceanside Municipal Airport is truly an asset to our city.
Buena Vista Audubon Society Nature Center
At the absolute southern edge of Oceanside, you’ll find the Buena Vista Audubon Society’s Nature center. Sited on the Buena Vista Lagoon, the Center offers a variety of natural history experiences. In the course of an afternoon, you can walk amid native plants to see views of the lagoon and its bird life, discover tracks along the shore that reveal the night’s animal visitors, tour the garden of native plants, find the world’s tiniest mammals in one of the exhibits of local habitat, learn what endangered species live in the lagoon and challenge your children with nature games.
California Surf Museum
Until the California surf Museum was opened, very little had been done in an organized way to preserve the history of surfing, its boards, or its fascinating artifacts. At a time when the historical roots of many beach communities are rapidly changing and/or disappearing, the California Surf Museum is rising to the challenge of providing a strong link between the oceans, many ocean sports, and the lifestyles of the community. The museum is actively locating, collecting, documenting and preserving historic surfing related artifacts and memorabilia. Through a series of rotating exhibits, the California Surf Museum presents a varied picture of the many facet of surfing.
Oceanside Museum of Art
Oceanside Museum of Art is a cultural jewel location in downtown Oceanside with a view of the Pacific Oceans and the historic Oceanside Pier. The museum is housed in a classic Irving Gill designed building that represents the flavor of Southern California in the 1930’s. Providing North San Diego County with a variety of programming that compliments its progressive exhibition schedule, OMA presents five provocative exhibits each year.
Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-4 and Sunday, 1-4. Admission is $5, seniors, students and military $3. For information call, 760-721-2787 or visit the website at www.oma-online.org.
More about Arts, Culture and Entertainment in Oceanside.
Considered the hub of Southern California, Oceanside is just a short distance from Southern California Attractions and surrounding areas. Oceanside’s prime location is the ideal home base to centralize oneself to explore nearby area attractions including Disneyland and California Adventure, Legoland, the Museum of Making Music, the San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park, and Sea World.