Oceanside is a true southern California beach town with a very laid-back vibe. The city has great year-round weather, beautiful beaches, an historic wooden pier, a quaint New England-style harbor, and charming bungalow neighborhoods. In Oceanside you can explore everything from sea life through exciting ocean adventures, California history at the “King of Missions,” and surf culture at the California Surf Museum. It’s a playful and diverse destination, with personal expression and originality.
Weather & When to Visit Oceanside California
Temperatures in Oceanside feel nice most of the year, excluding some cold weeks in the winter. If you’re looking for the best time to visit Oceanside, the hottest months are July thru September where highs are regularly around 81.8°F and temperatures rarely dropping below 62.5°F at night.
The busiest months for tourism is May thru July. Prices for hotels and flights will be more expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. The least busiest month in Oceanside is November, and of course airfare and hotel rates will be substantially less.
Best Oceanside Attractions & Tickets
Explore California’s Coastal Redwoods
Commune with giants during this 4.5-hour exploration of the coastal redwoods of Muir Woods and stop in charming Sausalito. Escape the concrete jungle for the solitude and foggy climate of Muir Woods, a grove of 1,000-year old redwoods towering more than 260 feet. Then take a break in Sausalito, a picturesque seaside town offering a wealth of unique boutiques and hip cafes, before riding the ferry back across picturesque San Francisco Bay. A guide, park entrance fees, return ferry ticket and coach transport are included. Read more about San Francisco to Muir Woods Tour.
The Presidio – From the Main Post to the Golden Gate Bridge
Explore one of San Francisco’s most beautiful parks—and discover historical landmarks, public artworks, and scenic overlooks—on this hiking tour of the Presidio. Meet your guide at the park, and set off with just a small group for company: wear comfy shoes, as you’ll hike for roughly five miles. Learn about the military base that once occupied the area, hike past eucalyptus and redwood groves, ascend to the San Francisco National Cemetery Overlook for top-notch Golden Gate Bridge views, and more. Read more about The Presidio – From the Main Post to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Mission San Luis Rey Museum
Visit the Mission San Luis Rey, a National Historic Landmark founded in 1798. Your entrance ticket includes several parts of the mission property, and a self-guided tour of the museum. View Native American, Spanish, and Mexican artifacts Read more about Mission San Luis Rey Museum.
The Oceanside Pier is a must-see during your visit. Standing at a breathtaking 1,942 feet long, Oceanside Pier is the longest over-water wooden pier on the West Coast. Around the clock, the pier area is buzzing with activity from visitors taking a leisurely stroll, fisherman casting a line, and surfers catching a wave.
Oceanside Harbor is quietly tucked away from the unsuspecting eye. As you drive into the harbor and discover rows of docked sailboats, see people gliding by on top of paddle boards, and the array of restaurants and shops, you quickly realize that you have stumbled upon a hidden gem.
Things to Do in Oceanside
Segway Photography Tour
Walk and capture the 1,942 feet, historical Oceanside Pier. The Oceanside Pier is a great place to see Seagulls, Pelicans, Dolphins, Seals, Sting Rays and more. Optional is to visit the famous California Surf Museum. You’ll visit Oceanside Harbor, home to Harbor Village, a quaint New England-style destination. You will also be given personalized training and be coached about your camera/smartphone camera, gain an understanding of how to choose the right camera settings for the scene being photographed and incorporate framing and composition techniques to maximize the impact of the final image. Read more about Segway Photography Tour and Workshop.
Whale Watching Tour
Set sail from Oceanside during a whale watching excursion led by a certified naturalist guide. Board a comfortable 50-foot (15-meter) catamaran with covered areas for seating and cruise along San Diego’s coastline to spot whales and other marine life, getting as close as possible without disturbing them. Read more about Whale Watching Tours.
Helicopter Tour – Oceanside Harbor/Pier
You will see the Oceanside Harbor, Oceanside Pier, and the entire coastline of Oceanside on this amazing helicopter tour! Waverider Helicopter Tours is Veteran-owned and we provide an exciting and unforgettable experience for all who are looking to view the beautiful beaches and captivating backcountry of San Diego County, coastal Orange County, and Temecula Wine Country from a unique perspective. Your experience will be sure to last a lifetime as you take an amazing ride in a helicopter. Read more about Helicopter Tour – Oceanside Harbor/Pier.
North County Surf Academy
Their 1-1 surf lessons are uniquely tailored to the individual and their skill level. Their head coach and founder Duran Barr has over 20+ years of professional surfing experience and is an extremely advanced watermen. All of our instructors are CPR certified and make safety a top priority. The Oceanside Harbor is a perfect place to both learn how to surf or advance your surfing technique. Telephone: 760-643-7160 Web: North County Surf Academy
Sailing Blue Water Charters
Daily Sailing Charters Available year Round out of Oceanside Harbor just minutes away from your front door. Catalina Island excursions, and other coastline trips available for your pleasure. Experience a Sea Adventure and Create Wonderful Memories you will Cherish for a Lifetime. Telephone: 619-994-2438 Web: Sailing Blue Water Charters
Best Oceanside Restaurants
Ramen Menma $11 – 30
Visit Ramen MENMA to savor authentic, handcrafted gourmet ramen. White brick walls decorated with colorful posters enliven this cozy spot. Enjoy friendly service at this Mission Ave noodle house. You can even watch chefs assemble dishes at the central kitchen prep bar. Telephone: 442-500-8080 Web: Ramen Menma
Local Tap House & Kitchen $11 – 30
Local Tap House & Kitchen serves up global cuisine, craft beer and cocktails in a modern rustic environment. Executive chef Daniel Pundik sources fresh ingredients from nearby farms and purveyors. Dig into creamy avocado, tangy pico, silky ahi and house-made taro chips. Dip into seductive pools of salsa verde and green Sriracha crema. Taste the crunchy finish of corn, pepitas, sesame seeds and micro-greens. Telephone: 760-547-1469 Web: Local Tap House & Kitchen
Rim Talay $11 – 30
Here you’ll find healthy, authentic Thai cuisine. You can order an astounding 90% of the menu vegan or vegetarian. Dine alfresco in the outdoor patio. Sit inside for a more serene experience. Imported artwork and a feng shui bubbling fountain decorate the dining room. Telephone: 760-435-2007 Web: Rim Talay
The Whet Noodle $11 – 30
The Whet Noodle serves innovative ramen and Japanese inspired shared plates. Enjoy casual counter service and an eclectic vibe. Sit in the fun dining room punctuated by graffiti, paper lanterns and crimson walls. Prefer the outdoors? Head to the herb-filled back patio with string lighting and rustic picnic tables. Telephone: 760-453-2738 Web: The Whet Noodle
Harbor Fish & Chips $11 – 30
This friendly, family-owned spot opened over 40 years ago in Harbor Side Village. Order at the counter then sit in the nautical-themed dining room or at an outside picnic table. Enjoy picturesque boats bobbing in the water. Cooks batter, deep fry and serve these thick cut fillets piping hot. Telephone: 670-722-4977 Web: Harbor Fish & Chips
Best Oceanside Happy Hour Hot Spots
The stylish art deco Vodka Lounge features over 100 vodkas from around the world. Indulge in one of the many house signature martinis or inspired classic cocktails. Good picks are the Bramble On with Ketel One Citroen or the bourbon-based Manhattan. Telephone: 670-433-3333 Web: 333 Pacific
Master’s Kitchen & Cocktail
Master’s refined craft cocktail menu covers classics such as the Zombie or Irish Coffee. Creative spins on old favorites include the gin-based Master and Mule or the Masters Tai finished with a 7-year old rum float. Telephone: 670-231-6278 Web: Master’s Kitchen & Cocktail
Harney Sushi Oceanside
Harney’s superb sake menu represents the five main styles of Japanese rice wine. From fruity to floral to earthy, you’re sure to find a flavor profile to suit your tastes. The restaurant also offers imported Japanese and local craft beer and fine wines. During happy hour, consider pairing your drink of choice with an order of Half and Half. Telephone: 670-967-1820 Web: Harney Sushi Oceanside
Mission Avenue Bar & Grill
At Mission Avenue Bar & Grill you’ll find a family friendly “Cheers” type atmosphere both indoors and out. T here are over 40 California beers on tap and over 100 bourbons and whiskeys available. Mission Ave is actually Oceanside’s original whiskey bar. Telephone: 670-637-2222 Web: Mission Avenue Bar & Grill.
O’side Sports Bar & Grill
They are a laid back bar and grill in Oceanside on PCH, one block south of Mission Ave. They pride themselves in being a non-corporate sports bar with great food and cheap beer. You are gonna have a lot of fun when you get there! Telephone: 442-590-1090 Web: O’side Sports Bar & Grill
Best Oceanside Hotels
Best Western Plus Oceanside Palms
Recipient of TripAdvisor’s 2016, 2017 , 2018 and 2019 Certificate of Excellence, the Best Western Plus Oceanside Palms Hotel includes upgraded amenities in every room. Property amenities include a complimentary Hot Breakfast, Free Wi-Fi internet access, fitness facilities, complimentary parking, business center, pool & hot tub, gas barbecue & fire pit. Kitchenette rooms are also available for your next vacation or extended stay.
Southern California Beach Club
This beach side resort is one of the hot spots in Southern California. It’s location near the Pacific Ocean gives each guest the relaxation they need in a vacation resort. Stay in a studio, one or two bedroom condos for a relaxing experience. Each of the rooms include mini kitchens, sofa sleeper, dishwasher, microwave, 1 bathroom, and a private patio/balcony.
Holiday Inn Oceanside Marina – Camp Pendleton Area
The Holiday Inn Oceanside Marina – Camp Pendleton Area is a Full Service, Award Winning hotel located 700 yards from USMC Base Camp Pendleton’s Main Gate and minutes’ walk to the Oceanside Harbor and Beaches and with easy access to Interstate-5, accessing all of San Diego County.
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham San Diego Oceanside
Classic architecture with wrought-iron balconies meets contemporary style and amenities at our newly renovated hotel right on Highway 101. Each room features free Wi-Fi, a Flat-panel TV with HD channels and plug-and-play capabilities for your electronics, plush beds with triple-sheeted bedding, a microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, hairdryer and a spacious work desk.
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Oceanside
Plan your next stay at Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Oceanside. Unique among hotels in Oceanside, California, our state-of-the-art lobby provides greater flexibility and choices for our guests. At the center of it all is The Bistro, your destination for a great breakfast, or drinks and dinner during the evening. You’ll also enjoy inviting, flexible spaces where you can work or relax, and enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout.