Long stereotyped as a military town for its proximity to the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Reserve, Oceanside has matured into a thriving community and a popular beach destination in its own right. A recent culinary boom has put it on the map as a dining destination as the town is filled with colorful eateries, brew pubs, and patios for post-surfing happy hours.
- The oldest café on the West Coast’s historic Highway 101, the 101 Café is a ‘50s-style malt shop filled with vintage photos of Highway 101 in its heyday. Breakfast is served all day and you don’t want to miss the chocolate cake.
- Set out at the end of Oceanside Pier, Ruby’s Diner offers cool ocean breezes in a ‘50s diner setting with old-fashion favorites like burgers, fries and milkshakes.
- Savor fresh seafood while taking in a view of the Pacific Ocean and Oceanside Pier at the hip, yet still casual 333 Pacific.
- Wrench and Rodent serves up fresh innovative sushi in an eclectic setting.
- Masters Kitchen & Cocktail invites diners into a 1930s, former auto repair shop for craft cocktails and New American cuisine.
- Hello Betty Fish House offers one of O-side’s best happy hours for street tacos, sliders, oyster shooters and craft beers outside on their sprawling patio.
- Founded in 1798 and known as the “King of the Missions,” Mission San Luis Rey is California’s largest mission and a symbol of the early mission legacy. Take a guided or self-guided tour of the grounds, which includes a museum with historical artifacts and the cemetery.
- From Oceanside Harbor, you can embark on myriad water activities, from kayaks, sail boats, paddle boards and jet skis to sportfishing charters and whale watching tours.
- Drive down the coastline on Historic Highway 101 from laid-back Oceanside to luxurious La Jolla enjoying the diverse and vibrant coastal communities along the way that capture the true essence of a Southern California beach vacation.
- Spanning 1,942 feet, the Oceanside Pier provides a perfect setting for fishing, walking and watching the surfers. If the weather is clear, you can see as far south as La Jolla and the Coronado Islands or as far north as Catalina Island.
- Preserving California surf culture and chronicling its art and heritage, the California Surf Museum near the Oceanside Pier houses a permanent collection of historic boards, photographs and videos. Colorful and educational displays spotlight the sport of surfing and the legends who braved the waters over generations.
- Oceanside’s picturesque Harbor Village, home to a cluster of shops, restaurants, a sportfishing center and eye-catching lighthouse, is reminiscent of an old California fishing village. Set along the water, within close proximity to the beach, this little village offers the perfect place for an afternoon of soaking up local color.
- A popular and prestigious surfside tradition is the Annual World Bodysurfing Championships, which takes place in August at the Oceanside Pier and Beach. International and U.S. bodysurfers, equipped with only a pair of swimming fins, ride and perform on waves as they compete for the prestigious championship title.
- One of the oldest of the Ironman's, the Ironman Oceanside attracts a large number of professional athletes for the 1.2 mile swim in Oceanside Harbor, a 56-mile bike ride through the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base and a 13.1-mile run along the Pacific Ocean.
- Mission San Luis Rey is the setting for the Annual Inter-tribal Powwow, hosted by the San Luis Rey Luiseno Mission Indians. Tribal members from all over the U.S. come to share their culture with the community. One highlight of the event is the fancy and grass dancing competition. The tribes also showcase their artwork, crafts, jewelry and food.
- San Diego County's largest festival of its kind, Dia de los Muertos at Mission San Luis Rey is a day for remembering and honoring deceased loved ones, with over 20 community altars and visitor-created chalk altars. It’s a time of celebration with traditional food and a carnival for the kids.
The California Welcome Center in Oceanside is open 7 days a week and provides local, regional and state maps, visitor guides, discount attraction tickets and hotel reservations.
Based on its richly vibrant and authentic concentrations of art, culture and creativity, Oceanside has been designated as one of 14 California Cultural Districts, which showcase some of the unique artistic identities that drive California’s culture. The districts help promote authentic grassroots arts and cultural opportunities, increasing the visibility of local artists and community participation in local arts and culture. Balboa Park and Barrio Logan are also official California Cultural Districts.
Oceanside is a major transportation hub with multiple connections within San Diego County and Southern California. The Oceanside Transit Center sits a block from the ocean and a few blocks from downtown Oceanside, making the train a convenient and easy alternative to driving.
- The Pacific Surfliner links Oceanside with San Diego, Anaheim and Los Angeles, plus extended service to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
- The Coaster runs to downtown San Diego and includes stops in Sorrento Valley, Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad.
- The SPRINTER light rail train system connects Oceanside and Escondido along the Highway 78 corridor, with 15 stations on the 22-mile line.
Discover the wide sandy beaches and active marine harbor in Oceanside, California – plan your visit today!