10 Reasons to Visit Oceanside
With beautiful year-round weather, a stunning coastline, the largest wooden pier on the west coast, a quaint New England-style harbor and world-class surf, Oceanside certainly has a lot to offer. In addition to the city’s vibrant history and iconic landmarks, O’side continues to innovate and welcome new and exciting businesses and experiences throughout its diverse neighborhoods. With the addition of new dining options, lodging accommodations and family-friendly activities, you’re not going to want to miss out on all that Oceanside has to offer! Check out these 10 reasons why you’ll want to make our beach city your next bucket list destination.
New Dining Spots
CocoCabana, Hangar 76, Matsu, Q&A Restaurant, Shootz, The Lab Collaborative, Top Gun House, Valle
Calling all foodies! Oceanside’s booming restaurant scene is about to get even better! In addition to the already fantastic and award-winning restaurants, such as 2021 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand list honored Dija Mara, several new establishments are gearing up to make a splash. Enjoy new unique dining experiences like Matsu and Valle. Matsu is a Japanese-inspired fine dining concept by Executive Chef William Eick. With Matsu, William aims to showcase the roots of his culinary career and passion for Japanese flavors and techniques, in a progressively modern setting. Valle recently opened inside Oceanside’s highly anticipated Mission Pacific Hotel. Acclaimed Chef, Roberto Alcocer, brings a taste of Baja to Oceanside. Both chefs and new dining experiences will be vying to earn one of fine dining’s most coveted awards – a Michelin star.
Opening soon inside the historic Brick Hotel, Q&A Restaurant and Oyster Bar is bringing NOLA vibes to Oceanside. Named after executive chef Quinnton Austin, they will serve chargrilled oysters and other New Orleans eats. Housed on the Brick’s 2,100-square-foot rooftop is CocoCabana, a Caribbean-style cocktail bar with its own menu of small bites. What Now San Diego spoke with Owner Pete Cich of Grind and Prosper to hear more about each part of The Brick Hotel dining experience. “We’re opening up in phases, starting with Frankie’s Cocktail Lounge and Stone Beer. Q&A gives off a real New Orleans vibe, it’ll have a hidden patio running behind The Brick toward Tremont Street behind Frankie’s. CocoCabana on the roof will be a spin-off of Miss B’s Coconut Club, serving Caribbean food,” explains Cich.
Two highly-anticipated projects are set to open this year, the Top Gun House and Hangar 76. Top Gun House will be a vintage-inspired dessert lounge built inside the historic Graves House. The 140-year-old landmark was featured in the cult classic blockbuster movie “Top Gun” and has undergone a full restoration. This project will round up the six new dining options the beach resorts are bringing to Oceanside.
Hangar 76, operated by Carruth Cellars, is preparing to open its 14,500 square feet operation in early 2022. Dubbed Hangar 76 for its proximity to the Oceanside Municipal Airport and the CA-76 highway. San Diego Business Journal notes the multi-tenant location will house Carruth Cellars’ fourth tasting room as well as Tipping Pint Brewing Co. Additionally, Hangar will feature a cold-prep commercial kitchen open to local mobile food vendors.
A few more establishments new to the ever-growing dining scene include the Hawaii-meets-Baja-meets-San Diego restaurant Shootz Fish & Beer. Recently opening their doors inside Tremont Collective, pro-surfer Cheyne Magnusson and Executive Chef Davin Waite are bringing 360° sustainably-sourced poke, tacos and daily market specials to Oceanside. The Lab Collaborative (TLC), a new addition to downtown, is a showcase kitchen that invites you to view the process of cooking with locally sourced ingredients, community-driven chefs and artisan cocktails. Doughside Donuts, a local favorite established in 2016 as a gourmet handmade vegan donut shop, will open their first brick and mortar location in early 2022!
There are plenty of new O’side beverage spots as well! A few include the Rooftop Bar and The Shore Room located steps from the Oceanside Pier, The Lounge a speakeasy based out of Harney Sushi opening soon, South O Brewing Co. with revolving local food trucks such as Naegi, and the new cocktail lounge Frankie’s Oceanside, which has quickly shot up to the list of hottest cocktail bars in San Diego.
New Ways To Stay
The Seabird Resort, Mission Pacific Hotel, The Brick Hotel, The Green Room Hotel
The best way to truly experience all Oceanside has to offer is to immerse yourself in the culture by staying at a breathtaking lodging accommodation. As one of two newly-opened Hyatt Resorts, The Seabird Resort is a gorgeous new, family-friendly hotel with inventive eateries and indulgent amenities, complete with a pool and spa. Directly north of The Seabird Resort is the Mission Pacific Hotel. There you can also enjoy breathtaking ocean views, rooms with balconies, beautiful amenities and exciting dining options, in addition to a slice of O’side history. The Mission Pacific is home to the Graves House – most well-known for it’s on-camera appearance in the film Top Gun. Be sure to stop by and grab a photo when you visit!
Explore a boutique retreat in Oceanside! Located in downtown just two blocks from the Oceanside Transportation Center, The Fin Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton has a rich vibrant history going back to the 1920’s and is surrounded by places to shop, surf and dine. The Green Room Hotel is the newest boutique hotel located in South Oceanside. Their individually curated rooms are a nod to the surf and sound subcultures of Southern California from generations past and present. Slated to open in 2022, The Brick Hotel has reimagined a historic 1888 downtown building into a modern boutique hotel ideally located near museums, theaters, restaurants and the popular Thursday-night Sunset market. It features ten guest rooms, a ground-floor restaurant, rooftop bar, an outdoor cafe, cocktail lounge and access to neighboring beer garden.
Revived and refreshed, both SpringHill Suites and Courtyard by Marriott have recently completed renovations to complement the new development in Oceanside. Settled near Oceanside Boulevard, Courtyard San Diego Oceanside is located less than 1 mile away from SoCal Sports Complex, ideal for tournament travelers. The surf-inspired SpringHill Suites Marriott Oceanside has infused common spaces and guests rooms with an elevated and modern beachy vibe. “The Board House” off the lobby features a variety of recreational items from surfboards to bikes and beach towels that allow guests to experience Oceanside’s beach lifestyle and outdoor fun. You can even do a virtual tour of this property to prepare you for your stay along the coast!
Carrillo Pottery, Fine, Freeman Collective, Plantology, The Ozone, Tremont Collective
There are many new opportunities to shop locally in Oceanside! Plantology Cafe is a family-owned business providing top quality plants, pots and plant care while you sip your coffee. Fine is an art, culture and lifestyle store specializing in small batch, modern, one of a kind items from independent artists, designers and creators. Brighten up your space with a stop at Carrillo Pottery, a 5,000 square foot shop with indoor and outdoor pottery, specialty décor and artisan pieces made from local and Mexican creators.
Newly opened, Tremont Collective is an inspired warehouse conversion in the heart of coastal Oceanside. It’s home to nine local businesses: Brixton, Communal, The Annex Stab Magazine, Atacama, Bottlecraft, Shootz Fish x Beer, Verve Studios, and Al Fresko. Each boasts their own storefront in a communal 3,400-square-foot indoor-outdoor space where people can enjoy fresh eats, artisan shopping, and spin classes all in one place.
The same developers are crafting up another co-op in Oceanside, Freeman Collective, set to open Summer 2022.
The Ozone is retail reimagined. Located inside of the Mission Pacific Hotel, this is a destination for you to shop sought-after labels, lifestyle must-haves and vintage collectibles. From gifts, home-décor and art pieces to clothing and sports accessories, you will find a highly curated selection of products made by local brands, artisans, designers and artists.
To vacation in Oceanside is to truly live like a local during your stay. Spend just a few hours in our iconic coastal oasis and you’ll immediately pick up on the laid back vibe and calming atmosphere the serene, coastal landscape provides. Although there is fun to be had for any imploring thrill seeker, there are a range of experiences and escapes available for those who are looking for a customized wellness itinerary during their vacation.
Stretch and expand your flexibility at Black Sheep Yoga Studio, check out Cynthia’s Artistic Expressions for a little paint and art therapy and Sunny’s Spa & Beauty Lounge to indulge yourself in a spa day! The full service spa offers everything you could dream of. Deep-tissue massages, reiki treatments, gorgeous sauna facilities and a luxurious beauty lounge for rejuvenating facials, hair and nail services…the list goes on!
Unique Craft Coffee Shops
Bunker House, Communal Coffee, Jet Fuel Coffee Co., North County Roastery, Vigilante Coffee
Oceanside’s Caffeine Crawl has also welcomed some new spots for those looking for a serious (caffeine) buzz!, Bunker House, Communal Coffee, Jet Fuel Coffee Co., North County Roastery, and Vigilante Coffee , are all new to town. Visit one of Oceanside’s many distinctive coffee and tea shops. Delight in discoveries such as comic books, historic buildings and local artwork. Love lattes, cold brews or tantalizing teas? You’ll find your perfect pick-me-up at one of the many unique cafes around town.
Want to try a few of Oceanside’s many distinctive coffee and tea shops while you’re visiting? Check out our Craft Coffee Trail!
Educational Travel Experiences
We’re all about connecting your student’s learning curriculum to adventures in Oceanside! If you’re looking to keep them engaged and excited, we invite you to consider O’side as an extension of your classroom. Make the most of the city’s incredible natural landscape featuring beautiful marine life and aquatic lessons, in addition to the rich historical gems and artistic offerings your students can experience firsthand.
The opportunity for educational travel experiences are vast and diverse in Oceanside! Whether you’re schooling with a designated pod, roadschooling, worldschooling, unschooling, or classic homeschooling, Oceanside has activities that will enrich your program and be the perfect supplement to your curriculum.
Those who visit Oceanside today are greeted by a bustling downtown that is both walkable and inviting with its mixture of distinct, vintage and modern aesthetics. With visuals ranging from the Star Theatre’s large iconic neon sign towering over the sidewalk, to the more contemporary Oceanplace courtyard, to the fun and eclectic neighborhood atmosphere of South O, there is no shortage of diversity. Oceanside’s unique character goes far beyond its downtown variety. However, the best kept secret about our beach city is that it has a rich and fascinating history which continues to be unearthed, brought to light and honored more and more! Check out our Downtown Oceanside Historical Landmarks blog to learn more.
The Great Outdoors
Hiking, Unique and Unexpected Things To Do, Road Trips
Known for its iconic wooden pier, wide sandy beaches, picturesque harbor, bustling downtown and a growing reputation as the leading destination for foodies in San Diego County, Oceanside certainly has a lot to offer! But what about those that are interested in doing something a little more off the beaten path, a little quirky, and most certainly unique? Look no further, Oceanside has you covered with these awesome activities you might not have ever expected!
Change up your scenic views by exploring the great outdoors with breathtaking hiking trails in and around Oceanside. With our guide in hand and your shoes laced up, you’ll be sure to enjoy wide-open spaces and fresh air!
It’s time for a change of scenery…or better yet, it’s time to take the scenic route! Pack up the car and start your drive to one of California’s most iconic strips of the Coast Highway 101. Known for its laid-bike vibe, awesome locals and some of the best surf breaks along the coast, this beach city is unmatched when it comes to spirit and authenticity. Oceanside has grown to be a destination with a vibrant culinary and craft beverage scene, colorful public art painting the streets, unique attractions and experiences to enjoy, and so much more – making it the perfect place to park your car and create unforgettable vacation memories! Be sure to make a pit stop at the “Love Lock” sculpture, being installed between Oceanside Harbor and Harbor Beach, this summer!
Ride O’side Scooters, Mostly E-bikes, The Wheelhouse Rentals, Wheel Fun Surreys
Cruise the beach in style with these fun rental options in Oceanside! Looking for some two-wheel motorized fun? Ride O’side’s fat tire electric scooters offer a smooth yet exciting way to ride around our beautiful coastal town. Join in on the popular e-bike craze for a fun way to cruise O’side with Mostly E-bikes. For groups that like to take things at a slower pace, look no further than Wheel Fun Rentals and their fun two or four person surreys which can be rented right on The Strand, just below the Oceanside Pier. This is a “must-do” with kids for an afternoon of laughter and fun.
Take To The Sky
Waverider Helicopter Tours, iFly Indoor Skydiving, GoJump
For pictures that will blow away your friends and followers, consider booking the ‘Ultimate Selfie Package’ with Waverider Helicopter Tours. Riders will get the chance to not only fly without doors, but also take pictures with their feet hanging out over the edge for incredible photographs to share!
For those that prefer sticking closer to the ground but still want the rush of wind and the feeling of weightlessness, look no further than indoor skydiving at iFLY Oceanside. Utilizing a powerful vertical wind tunnel, your body will be lifted untethered on a smooth cushion of high-powered clean air. If you desire something even closer to skydiving ask about their virtual reality options, offering an immersive experience of iconic skydiving locations around the world.
For an unmatched view of the coast, the adventurous types can partake in a truly unique skydiving experience. The only one of its type on Southern California’s coast, GoJump Oceanside offers skydivers 13,000 feet in the air views that not only include the ocean and beaches below, but even San Diego to the south, Catalina Island to the west, and Dana Point to the north!