Oceanside, California is a coastal community in North San Diego County. Whether you live in Oceanside or are just visiting, there’s always plenty to do in this quintessential California beach town. Below are 8 fun things to do in Oceanside. Get out there and enjoy!
No visit to Oceanside, California would be complete without getting your toes in the warm sand. The seaside city is lined with over 3 miles of white sand beaches along the Pacific Ocean. Although they are all connected, each beach area in Oceanside has its own name and unique vibe. Head to Harbor Beach and the areas that surround the pier if you want to be in the action and enjoy a variety of beach amenities. If you’re looking for a more relaxed and quiet beach experience, check out Buccaneer Beach, Breakwater Beach, and Tyson Street Beach. You can learn more about Oceanside’s various beaches here.
Mission San Luis Rey
Oceanside is home to Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, a historic Spanish mission and National Landmark. This beautiful mission is often referred to as the “King of the Missions” because it is the largest of the 21 California Missions. The mission is open daily to the public and features a Retreat Center, meeting spaces, a cemetery, a gift shop, the historic church and a museum.
Oceanside Pier is one of the West Coast’s longest wooden piers, measuring 1,942 feet long. Visitors to the pier can enjoy a leisurely stroll out over the Pacific Ocean while watching surfers catch waves below and fishermen catch fish from the pier. At the end of the pier is the famous Ruby’s Diner, a 1940s-style diner serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Oceanside Harbor Village
The Oceanside Harbor Village and Marina is a popular hub for dining, shopping, and watersports, including boating, canoeing, sailing, scuba diving, jet skiing, stand-up paddle boarding, and whale watching excursions.
Oceanside Sunset Market
The Oceanside Sunset Market, hosted by MainStreet Oceanside, is a renowned weekly street fair and farmers market featuring live music and up to 200 merchants on four city blocks. Sunset Market has been a free, family-friendly event in Oceanside since 2007 and can be found every Thursday from 5-9pm on Pier View Way, west of Coast Highway in Downtown Oceanside.
Oceanside also offers several great museums. At California Surf Museum, you’ll find surfboards, surf art, memorabilia, surfing equipment, photographs, magazines, and videos that capture, preserve, and chronicle the sport’s art, culture and heritage.
Oceanside Museum of Art is a premier regional art museum offering several highly praised contemporary art exhibitions per year in addition to classes, lectures, docent tours, parties, concerts, films, and culinary events.
Oceanside Transit Center is the first of eight train stations between Oceanside and downtown San Diego where passengers can take The COASTER commuter train along the coast of San Diego County. The the entire COASTER route takes about an hour to travel and offers breathtaking coastal scenery. More than 20 trains run on weekdays, with additional service on the weekends.
Oceanside is known for many fantastic restaurants and offers several options for fresh seafood. One of the top-rated restaurants in Oceanside is Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub, serving inventive sushi and seafood dishes made with local fish and produce.
Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen offers rustic, American cuisine made with organic, local ingredients when possible. Looking for some good ol’ Southern BBQ in Oceanside? Miss Kim’s by That Boy Good won’t disappoint and neither will Felix’s BBQ With Soul.
San Diego County is also known for its fish tacos. You can get some of the best at Miramar Fish Tacos & Beer in Oceanside.
If you’re looking for the full beach-town breakfast experience, Beach Break Cafe is a fun cafe adorned with surf memorabilia and is located just a few blocks from the beach.
Another favorite restaurant in Oceanside is Local Tap House & Kitchen, a rustic-chic restaurant offering global dishes, craft beers and cocktails.
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