Oceanside Restaurants, Activities & Events (2024)

A Classic Southern California Beach Town

Located at the northernmost end of San Diego’s coastline, Oceanside is home to some of Southern California’s widest beaches, historical landmarks and a distinct Southern California surf culture.

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 & co*cktail invites diners into a 1930s, former auto repair shop for craft co*cktails 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.

California Welcome Center Oceanside

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.

California Cultural District Designation

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 Transit Center

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!

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ThePort of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed...

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Oceanside Restaurants, Activities & Events (2024)


What day is Oceanside Street Fair? ›

JUNE LINEUP 🌅 We're welcoming a summer of sounds every Thursday from 5-9pm 🎶 Oceanside Sunset Market Street Fair is at Oceanside Sunset Market Street Fair.

What is special about Oceanside? ›

Located at the northernmost end of San Diego's coastline, Oceanside is home to some of Southern California's widest beaches, historical landmarks and a distinct Southern California surf culture.

What is there to do in the Oceanside Marina? ›

The Oceanside Harbor is a great place to launch your sailboat for high-sea adventure. The Harbor also offers whale watching and sport fishing tours, kayak and small boat rentals.

Is Oceanside a military town? ›

Camp Pendleton is located in North San Diego County, in Southern California. The base is adjacent to the City of Oceanside, a military town, by the Main Gate in the south. The City of Fallbrook borders our base to the east, right outside the Fallbrook Naval Weapons Station Gate.

Why does Oceanside do fireworks on July 3? ›

The Oceanside Parks and Recreation Department will host an incredible fireworks display on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, in a joint celebration of Independence Day and the 136th anniversary of the City's incorporation on July 3, 1888.

What day is the San Diego County Fair? ›

June 12 - July 7.

What is the most popular beach in Oceanside CA? ›

The beach area south of the Oceanside Pier is Oceanside's most popular beach.

Why is Oceanside water brown? ›

“There's a natural reaction for people to think it's dirty. But this sort of bloom is clearly not connected to pollution at the border, said Clarissa Anderson at the Scripps Oceanography Institute "It's a natural oceanic phenomenon.” Known as the red tide, the color is created by large groups of plankton in the water.

What is the race population in Oceanside CA? ›

In 2022, there were 3.13 times more White (Non-Hispanic) residents (76.9k people) in Oceanside, CA than any other race or ethnicity. There were 24.6k White (Hispanic) and 23.4k Two+ (Hispanic) residents, the second and third most common ethnic groups. 37.7% of the people in Oceanside, CA are hispanic (65.5k people).

Can you sleep at Oceanside beach? ›

Overnight camping is allowed in Parking Lot 12 September 15 to May 15 only. Pay parking lot fees are $10.00 (September 16-May 14) and $15.00 (May 15-September 15) from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m., $20.00 from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., a total of $30.00 per day (September 16-May 14) or $35.00 (May 15-September 15).

Is Oceanside expensive? ›

The cost of living index for housing estimates the cost of housing in Oceanside to be 215.6% of the national average. This makes it one of the most expensive cities in the US.

Why is there a pipe on Oceanside beach? ›

Pipes remain on the beach in Oceanside in hopes that sand replenishment will resume. Surfers at the mouth of the San Luis Rey River walk under a pipeline installed to carry sand from the harbor to beaches near the pier.

Why is it called Oceanside? ›

Going to the "ocean side" was a popular weekend retreat for rancho families living in the warmer inland areas. The two words were eventually merged in to "Oceanside". When Hayes petitioned for a post office, he submitted the name Oceanside and put the small community officially on the map.

What show is based in Oceanside? ›

Animal Kingdom

Can civilians go on Camp Pendleton? ›

All unescorted visitors are required to obtain a DBIDS credential/pass in order to gain authorized access to Camp Pendleton. Unescorted visitors must be sponsored or on official business. Visitors will have their identity proofed & vetted, and be issued an appropriate DBIDS credential/pass at no cost.

What is Oceanside, NY known for? ›

Oceanside is known for some of its popular attractions, which include: Marine Nature Study Area. Barrier Brewing Company. South Shore Craft Brewery.

Is Oceanside worth visiting? ›

This is also the ideal destination for families looking to explore Southern California thanks to its central location between Los Angeles, Orange Country, and San Diego. Famous attractions such as LEGOLAND California Resort, San Diego Zoo, and Disneyland California Resort are all just a short drive or train ride away.

Where is Oceanside in The Walking Dead? ›

Oceanside is a walled fishing village in AMC's The Walking Dead, located on the coast of Virginia. Originally a beach cabin resort, it was settled by a group of refugees from Hollowbrant Outreach Recovery after they attempted to fight the Saviors, a group of extortionists that terrorized their community.

What is the difference between oceanfront and Oceanside? ›

Oceanside means it does NOT face the ocean orthe pool areas. Oceanfront means it does face both the ocean and poolareas. All Oceanside villas and rooms are located on the side of thebuilding. The views from all Oceanside units are of the next doorbuilding and parking lots.

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