Oceanside, California, is a seaside community north of San Diego. The town is known for beautiful beaches, great dining, and plenty of nearby attractions. The city is bordered by the U.S. Marine Corp's Camp Pendleton to the north, and much of the city reflects this military influence.
Must see in Oceanside, California
First time visitors should cruise the harbor area, and take in the sights—surfers, sailors, fishing vessels, and beautiful sunsets. Plan a visit to one of the city's great museums, such as the Oceanside Museum of Art or the California Surf Museum. Golfers should plan a day for a round at the Oceanside Golf Course, and discover the amazing views from the top of the 13th hole.
Where to stay in Oceanside, California
- Families with young children and an interest in the military should consider staying in the north, near Camp Pendleton. You may witness maneuvers on the beach or pilots practicing overhead.
- Beach lovers and those who enjoy nightlife should stay near the harbor, and visit the Oceanside Pier.
- Large parties should consider renting condos, which can be quite affordable.
When to go to Oceanside, California
Oceanside enjoys average temperatures in the 60s and 70s throughout the year, so visitors can enjoy the beach and other outdoor activities all year long. A favorite time to visit is the last week in September, when the city celebrates Harbor Days. The festival involves arts and crafts displays, food booths, sand castle contests and military displays. The event is free to attend.
Where to get lost in Oceanside, California
The Oceanside Harbor is a place to spend a day. You can watch the surfers dominate the waves or the fishermen unload their boats.Observe nature, sea lions and sea birds are plentiful. The best way to enjoy the scenery is to rent a paddleboard (near the Jolly Roger Restaurant), and explore in style.
The best deal in Oceanside, California
Shoppers should visit Carlsbad Premium Outlets, which is located about 15 minutes south of Oceanside off the 405 freeway. The center features more than 90 name-brand stores, offering fashion, sports equipment, baby gear, and more.
Transportation in Oceanside, California
The area is ripe with public transportation, including trains, public buses, taxis, Uber, and charter services. A car is needed if you want to visit nearby southern California attractions, such as the San Diego Zoo, Disneyland, or Legoland.
Getting In from San Diego International Airport
Visitors to the area will usually arrive through the San Diego International Airport (SAN) or John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County. Nearby McClellan-Palomar Airport (CLD) in Carlsbad is a few minutes south, and travelers can connect through Los Angeles Airport (LAX). Shuttle services and taxis are readily available to transport visitors to Oceanside.
Local tip for visitors to Oceanside, California
Surfers (and those who like to watch) should head to the beach at dawn. The best surfing occurs at low to medium tide, and the jetty at the mouth of the San Luis Rey Rivers is known for its fabulous barrels. (Free parking at Harbor Village.)
Author's bio: Connie Jankowski is an award-winning writer and a seasoned traveler. She has lived in southern California for about 30 years.