Oceanside lies along the southern California Coast about a 45 minute drive from Santa Ana. It is the first town in San Diego County, that motorists arrive at, after leaving Orange County, and the location of Camp Pendleton Marine Base. It is a favorite seaside resort area with palm-lined beaches – of which there are about eight open to the public; cozy inn suites with harbor and ocean views as well as large resort type hotels, with their own beaches and swimming pools.
Visitors will delight in the views of over 950 pleasure boats docked at the Marinas, quaint village shopping areas, top-name restaurants and cafes, RV Parks and picknic areas overlooking the harbor and ocean. The very active can stroll or jog on the 3.5 miles of city beaches.
The most known feature of Oceanside is the Pier at 301 N. The Strand, which in many ways is the heart of Oceanside. It extends about a quarter of a mile into the ocean (1942-feet) and is a beautiful walk for visitors as well as a popular spot for fishermen, who line each side of the wide pier. At the extreme end of the Pier is a 50’s style restaurant – Ruby’s – serving food and drinks, along with exceptional views. There are two entrances – at street level – to the pier, with sloping wheelchair ramps and stairs going down to the beach below, where on one side there is parking and places to eat and on the other places to rent water-related equipment. The main street, along the shore is called “The Strand“.
Just south of Oceanside Pier is one of the most popular beaches – Pier View South – where surfing, body boarding and surfing contests are held in the summer. It is one of the most crowded, due to its proximity to restaurants, hotels, shopping and the Pier Plaza Amphitheatre, located at 200 N The Strand, Oceanside.
Another popular beach is the Tyson Street Beach and Park, which is within walking distance of the Oceanside Pier. Beach access is provided by stairs, and due to the location of the park – just a few feet from the beach – it is great for picnics. Parking is available on nearby Pacific Street.
Oceanside Harbor located at the northwestern part of Oceanside has one section with watersport rentls and a small commercial fishing fleet, the other section is a Marina with over 900 permanent slips, a sidewalk that goes about two miles around the entire harbor, and benches and picnic tables to rest awhile or do a little people, boat and sea bird. There is also Harbor Village, a collection of speciality shops, restaurants and a lighthouse – reminiscent of a quaint fishing village. Just south of the Harbor is Harbor Beach, Oceanside’s broadest beach, with picnic areas, children’s play area and a campground with parking for RV’s near the jetty. In the right season Whale watching trips can be taken from the harbor.
Perched on the Peninsula, surrounded by the ocean and marina is the Oceanside Marina Inn, just across the San Luis Ray River is the Blue Whale Resort, and near the Oceanside Pier is the Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort – three of the most ideal places to spend the weekend or longer.
For those who prefer to add a little sightseeing, in between their days on the beach, there is Mission San Luis Rey, 4050 Mission Avenue, Oceanside. The Mission was founded in 1798, the present church was built in 1811 and is the third one built on this location. There is a Museum and visitors can take a self-guided tour to see the Spanish Renaissance, Moorish and Spanish Colonial architecture.
The Pier Amphitheater is situated on the south side of the Oceanside Pier at 200 N The Strand, and hosts concerts and special events, mainly in the spring and summer. In October the city hosts two event filled days – Harbor Days – featuring Arts & Crafts exhibits, fun activities and the new Beach area stage “Nail ‘ Sail Competition, along with Military, Police and Fire displays.