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Oceanside, California
San Diego Beach Vacations

San Diego County's Oceanside is the home of Camp Pendleton, the world's largest U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Training Base. As you enter the city along Highway 5, a huge sign states "No Beach Beyond Our Reach." Because of the military influence, Oceanside features a younger population than surrounding cities such as Carlsbad and Solana Beach. Located 35 miles north of San Diego, 83 miles south of Los Angeles and 16 miles south of Orange County (the OC), Interstate 5 (San Diego Freeway) intersects the city 1 mile east of the Pacific Ocean.

Claiming the 2nd best weather in the nation, Oceanside beachfront has two attractions.  There's a beautiful, 1,942-foot wooden pier and 3.5 miles of beaches where sunbathing, swimming and surfing are very popular. Then there's a 1,000-slip public marina and harbor with fishing boats leaving daily for the local seas to take sports fishing groups and individuals out for the day to catch a bounty.

Three and a half miles east of the beach stands the beautiful Mission San Luis Rey, the place where Oceanside began and grew into the city that currently boasts a population of under 200,000. Going to the "ocean side" was a popular weekend retreat for rancho families living in the warmer inland areas near the mission. 

Harbor Beach is Oceanside's largest beach, offering everything from surfing to volleyball. The Oceanside Harbor, adjacent to Harbor Beach, has many amenities including the Marina Inn Hotel and a variety of shops. In the harbor, you can spend the day on a deep-sea fishing boat, whale watching during the seasonal migrations, rent kayaks or visit the marina. Fishing is an option from the jetties. Harbor Beach has three lifeguard towers, Towers 10, 12, 14. Tower 10 at the south end of Harbor Beach, is nearest the south jetty. Tower 12 is situated in the middle of the beach, and Tower 14, at the north end of Harbor Beach, is near north jetty. Harbor Beach features barbecue grills, picnic tables, snack bar, gazebos, fire rings, volleyball courts (you must provide your own net), restrooms, showers, and telephones. Free parking and pay parking lots are available in the lots east of the Harbor.

Breakwater Way is a quiet, family beach located just south of Oceanside Harbor. It is popular with surfers and volleyball players. Surfers must walk to the jetty in the summer months when the beach is closed to surfing in front of Lifeguard Tower 8. The river jetty is where the San Luis Rey River meets the ocean. A sandbar is often formed here and creates a good surf break. The area at the mouth of the river mouth is usually one of Oceanside's least populated beaches. This location features barbecue grills, picnic tables, volleyball courts (you must provide your own net), fire rings, restrooms and showers. A pay parking lot is located at the east end of Breakwater Way and east of Pacific Street. Metered Parking is also available along Pacific Street.

Pier View North beaches north of Oceanside Pier have much more sand than those south of the pier and provide more space for those visiting the beach. The Pier Amphitheater on the south side of the pier makes for a quiet, relaxed location on the north side. There are two lifeguard towers north of the pier (Towers 2 and 4). During the summer months, an area is closed to surfing. This beach Pier View North features volleyball courts on the sand (provide your own net) and a small pay parking lot right off of the Strand.

Pier View South beach area south of the Oceanside Pier is Oceanside's most popular beach. Surfing, bodyboarding, and body surfing contests are held at Oceanside Pier throughout the summer. There are also various events that are held in the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater. The pier itself is a beautiful walk and a popular fishing spot as well. During the summer months, the area from Tower 1 south is closed to surfing most of the day. The area will be marked with a black ball as well as swim-surf signs and black-and-white checkered flags that indicate the boundaries. The surfing area is from Lifeguard Tower to 100 feet from the pier and is closed to all other water activities. No water activity is allowed within 100 feet of the pier. The Pier View South beach features covered picnic tables, benches, barbeques, fire rings, pay phones, and vending machines. Close to downtown shops and eateries.

Tyson Street Beach, also known as Tyson Street Park, is within walking distance of the Oceanside Pier. Lifeguard Tower 5 is located here. Stairs are provided for beach and park access from Pacific Street. Surfing is not permitted here during summer months. There's a grass lawn with picnic tables, benches, playground, snack stand (in the summer months), restrooms, showers and public phone. Pay parking lot located where Seagaze meets South The Strand, while metered parking is available on Pacific Street. Two handicapped parking spaces are available on The Strand.

Wisconsin Street Beach is located at Wisconsin Street and The Strand. The south Strand is a one-way, southbound street that parallels the beach. There is a ramp just north of lifeguard Tower 7 for access to the beach. This is Oceanside's least frequented beach. During high tide, water comes all the way to the rocks, leaving very little or no beach at all. The ocean in this area is open to all water activities. This beach features a snack shop, restrooms, showers, and a public telephone. Pay parking lot and parking along Pacific Street.

Oceanside Boulevard Beach offers more actual beach than its neighbor, Buccaneer Beach. All along the beachfront, there are private homes facing the ocean. During the summer months there is an area directly in front of the lifeguard tower (Tower 9) approximately 200 ft., that is designated for swimmers, waders, and bodyboarders only. There is a very large rock that sits in the surfline approximately 300 feet south of the lifeguard tower and can be seen at low tide. Parking is available along Pacific Street and the neighboring streets.

Buccaneer Beach at 1500 South Pacific Street, 1/2 Mile north of Cassidy, is approximately 150-feet wide and features a sandy break in the wall of condos that separates Pacific Street from the Oceanside breakers. There's a park with a play lot for kids, full basketball court, barbeque grills, public restrooms, picnic tables, snack bar, showers and public telephone, plus free parking in a lot.

Heritage Park Village and Museum is an historic region featuring Oceanside's original buildings that include a General Store, Portola Inn, Blacksmith Shop & Livery Stable, a doctors office, the Old City jail, Libby School and the Blade newspaper building.

California Surf Museum on Highway 101 traces the historical roots of surfing through a series of rotating exhibits.

Oceanside Museum of Art is located in downtown Oceanside with a view of the Pacific Oceans and the historic Oceanside Pier. Housed in a classic Irving Gill designed building that represents the flavor of Southern California in the 1930ís, it features five provocative exhibits each year. Call: 760-721-2787 

Information supplied by the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce