Holiday Away: Calm the Commotion with the Ocean
Sometimes when families gather together for the holidays it can be a stressful time for all involved. This year, why not use up your remaining vacation days and consider Oceanside for a beach holiday getaway for a fun and festive family reunion, and leave the planning to us.
Our family friendly destination was rated by USA Today as having one of the most ideal climates. Our high temperature averages are in the 60s in November and December with 0% chance of snow and 100% chance of sand. Our November and December sunsets are as spectacular as any of the best holiday light displays.
Having accommodations with space for friends and family to convene is key when planning a multi-generational vacation. Look for resorts offering pools, hot tubs, BBQ and picnic areas, game rooms or kid’s activity centers. Another important amenity for some extended stays may be fully equipped kitchens so family meals can be prepared and enjoyed together. Oceanside’s Harbor Village and Downtown are vibrant shopping and dining areas. Choosing a hotel within walking distance of either will make exploring easier and convenient.
North Coast Village (pictured) is a vacation home condo complex featuring studios, one, two, and three bedroom condos. A rare oceanfront property with resort-style amenities include a fitness room, pools, spas, outdoor and indoor gathering spaces and even a koi pond as the resorts centerpiece. Read More about Lodging in Oceanside
KEEPING THE FAITH
For many families, it’s important to stay connected with their spiritual side during the holidays. Oceanside is an inclusive community with regional options for all faiths and beliefs. Our Religious and Faith-Based Travel Itinerary will give you some ideas on places to explore. The itinerary also includes a list of Oceanside and regional churches, temples and spiritual centers.
Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, the “King of the Missions,” is the 18th and largest in a chain of 21 California Missions established by the Spanish Franciscans in 1798. This historic Catholic mission has a very active congregation, and while Mass is usually held in the Serra Center, they do hold early morning Mass in the Old Mission. Photo: Mission San Luis Rey altar decorated for Christmas services
MEALS FOR THE MASSES
Oceanside is gaining a reputation for creative farm-to-table cuisine. Our chefs work closely with farmers to locally source ingredients and create menus around what’s available. This synergy has created a collaboration among many of our restaurateurs. Most of our restaurants will happily accommodate your group with a little notice, but do contact them in advance. Check out Oceanside’s Dining Scene
If you’re planning your reunion around Thanksgiving, leave the cooking to the professionals as several Oceanside restaurants are open on Thanksgiving Day. Hunter Steakhouse offers a turkey dinner with all of the fixings while 333 Pacific offers a less traditional three-course menu and has private group dining rooms for a cozy group gathering.
If the thought of getting your entire group to a restaurant for a sit-down meal causes your blood pressure to rise, then how about having it catered? Anything But Ordinary Catering can custom create a menu that is sure to please your crowd, however, if your holiday wouldn’t be the same without traditional Italian cooking, then contact Rosina’s Italian for home-style authentic cuisine that will even have your Nonni proclaiming “squisito!” Be sure to check with your hotel or vacation rental on their rules about bringing in a caterer.
Don’t forget to pick up your sweets and treats at Petite Madeline Bakery and Bistro. They have a wide selection from Tarts to Yule Logs and Macaroons to Macarons. Call ahead for holiday ordering. Photo: Macarons by Petite Madeline
FAMILY REUNION PLANNING ASSISTANCE
When planning your holiday family reunion or vacation in Oceanside, you are eligible to receive free planning assistance from us at Visit Oceanside. One contact to our Group Travel Department can get you proposals with rates and availability from many Oceanside hotels and vacation rentals. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll find the best fit for your group. We’ll contact the properties to arrange room blocks at a group rates and remain your single point of contact throughout the process to ensure streamlined communication. Download our Gathering Guide to get started!
ANNUAL HOLIDAY EVENT
This is a short list of events happening over the holidays. For current dates and times click here for our full event calendar.
Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights at LEGOLAND: Every day is a Holiday Snow Day at LEGOLAND® California Resort from late November to early January! With your admission ticket, enjoy Snow Tubing, Snow Play, our LEGO® Christmas Tree, and holiday treats. There is also a Nightly Tree Lighting Ceremony leading up to the Christmas Holiday. Contact the California Welcome Center – Oceanside for discounted attraction tickets.
O’side Turkey Trot: “Move your feet before you eat” Thanksgiving at Oceanside’s Annual PMCU Turkey Trot 5 mile or 5k run/walk on Thanksgiving every year. Event offers a costume contest, largest teams competition, live entertainment and finisher medals for all participants. This event is famous among our locals and gathers nearly 10,000 participants.
Rancho Christmas: Take a trip back in time and experience what the holidays were like in the mid-1800s. Rancho Guajome Adobe welcomes you to its annual Rancho Christmas celebration where you can see the historic 28 room adobe and 2 large courtyards dressed with more than 100 wreaths, garlands and centerpieces.
Downtown Oceanside Tree Lighting: Join in the kick-off to the Holiday Season with the city’s annual tree lighting. Enjoy children’s activities and Sunset Market Shops.
Christmas Concert & Dessert Reception: Mission San Luis Rey will be hosting a Christmas Concert in the beautiful historical church. Enjoy an evening of traditional holiday music performed by Premier Brass and Singers from the San Diego Opera Chorus. Following the concert, there will be a dessert reception in the Sacred Garden surrounded by thousands of twinkling lights.
Parade of Lights: Fishing boats, sail boats, yachts, kayaks and dingys dress up in holiday swag and circle the Oceanside Harbor to enchant onlookers at the harbor, restaurants and beach. Many of the boats feature people dressed up like Santa waving to the crowd.