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. But as they say, with every new year comes a new and improved you, and that sentiment is no different for O’side. With the addition of new dining experiences, lodging accommodations and family-friendly activities, you’re not going to want to miss out on all that Oceanside has to offer in 2021! Check out these 10 reasons why you’ll want to make Oceanside your next bucket list destination.
New Dining Spots
Matsu, Valle, The Green House, Roots Craft Juice, Frankie’s, Le Citron, Craft Coast, The Switchboard
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 2020 Michelin-honored Dija Mara, several new establishments are gearing up to make a splash. Enjoy new dining experiences like Matsu, 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. As SanDiegoVille reports, “During construction, Matsu will operate a to-go exclusive eatery dubbed Naegi (meaning “sapling” in Japanese), which will focus on Japanese fried chicken karaage, katsu sandwiches and onigiri rice balls. Eick will continue providing area restaurants with Japanese milk bread buns, rolls and loaves, which will also become available to the public.” Matsu is expected to open in late June 2021.
Oceanside’s highly anticipated Mission Pacific Hotel welcomes celebrated Valle de Guadalupe Chef, Roberto Alcocer, in his new restaurant endeavor, Valle. Eater San Diego shared Alcocer’s new eatery will be the SoCal “gateway to Baja’s wine country,” in addition to noting the renowned “chef grew up in Ensenada and worked in high-profile kitchens, including Michelin-starred La Broche in Madrid, Spain and Mexico City’s Pujol, number 12 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, before returning to the area to open Malva Cocina de Baja California in 2014.” Valle is set to open July 2021.
Another restaurant to try out on your culinary tour is The Green House. This spot is serving up the tastiest plant-based sandwiches and vegan essentials your mind could dream up! Built on the pillars of healthy, this new dining option marries ethical food being both convenient and delicious.
Veteran-owned Roots Craft Juice is here to bring you pressed juices, nut mylks, fresh smoothies, açaí bowls, and craft toasts! You can always expect the freshest hand-crafted, locally sourced organics, and quality recipes when visiting.
Fall 2020 brought new eats that we are continuing to taste into the new year. Restaurants that recently opened included The Switchboard Restaurant & Bar, offering fresh Hawaiian-inspired cuisine, Craft Coast Beer & Tacos, serving hand-made tacos and exceptional craft beer and Le Citron, plating delicious menu items with a global influence.
Unique Craft Coffee Shops
Bliss Tea & Treats, Bound Coffee Co., Communal Coffee, North County Roastery, Vigilante Coffee
2021 is adding to the Oceanside Caffeine Crawl with new spots for those looking for a serious (caffeine) buzz! Bliss Tea & Treats, Communal Coffee, Bound Coffee Co., North County Roastery, and Vigilante Coffee are all coming to town. Visit one of Oceanside’s many distinctive coffee and tea shops. Delight in discoveries such as comic books, vintage vinyl 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.
Oceanside’s on the map when it comes to coffee shops, with a different flavor and setting at each location. Not into coffee? Most craft cafes will offer a variety of local specialty teas, kombucha, cocoa, pastries and treats. Check out O’side Sips for the ultimate guide to locally crafted beverages.
The Sea Bird Resort, Mission Pacific Hotel, The Brick Hotel
The best way to truly experience all Oceanside has to offer is to truly immerse yourself in the culture by staying at a breathtaking lodging accommodation. As one of two new Hyatt Resorts opening this year, The Seabird Resort is a gorgeous new, family-friendly hotel with indulgent amenities, inventive eateries, complete with a pool and spa.
Directly north of The Seabird Resort will be 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 will be home to the newly renovated Graves House – most well-known for it’s on camera appearance in the film Top Gun. Be sure to drive by and see the photo worthy renovation when you visit.
Explore a historical retreat in Oceanside! Built in 1888, the Schuyler Building was originally a two-story unit operating as Schuyler Hardware store. Now this historical building will be transformed to become a new boutique hotel and restaurant, named The Brick Hotel. Keep an eye out for updates on the grand opening of this new addition to Pier View Way. New cocktail lounge: Frankie’s Oceanside, located adjacent to the hotel, is also part of the project and opened in early 2021.
New Ways Of Shopping Local
101 Marketplace, Badlands Vintage, Blooms Design House, Tremont Collective, Thrift & Thrive
There are many new opportunities to shop locally in Oceanside this year! For example, 101 Marketplace offers visitors an antique and consignment shop to peruse along the iconic Coast Highway 101. Thrift and Thrive opened in February 2021, offering a fun look at thrift, vintage and estate stores with a market filled with local finds and thrifting crawl events. You can even get creative over at Blooms Design House, a European inspired and California made shop with a focus on flowers, plants, gifts and home décor.
Coming summer 2021, Tremont Collective is an inspired warehouse conversion in the heart of coastal Oceanside. The Collective houses lifestyle retail and artistic office space, as well as food, drink, event and fitness establishments influenced by the North County San Diego coastal lifestyle. The new construction will offer visitors a chance to “meander around the Collective. Have a coffee, a bite to eat, a glass of wine, a craft beer, an artisan flatbread. Up your fashion game. Get a workout in. Get some work in. Catch a film. Meet some friends. Listen to some music. Get some flowers for someone special, like yourself.” A highly anticipated opening of Brixton Oceanside will also be featured at the Tremont Collective, their second experiential store. “The clean, classic design of the Brixton collection has a modern yet timeless feel, and each piece is constructed with the commitment to bringing our customers quality products they’ll want to hold onto forever.” Follow Tremont Collective for updates on the opening!
Badlands Vintage opened December 2020, a curated vintage furniture shop located in South Oceanside. As noted in San Diego Magazine, owner of Badlands Vintage, Brittany Joseph, “has had a knack for thrifting for most of her life. She started with vintage clothing, slowly building a closet of secondhand items, then expanded into finding vintage home goods as she started designing her own spaces and helping her friends with theirs. It felt like a natural move to turn it into a business and, when she moved to Oceanside five years ago, decided to do just that. She’s been running her online shop ever since, operating out of her home, warehouse, and a small pop-up in Sea Hive Marketplace. But this year, despite the pandemic, Joseph says her business grew exponentially. “So many people were at home suddenly and I think they realized they wanted to make their home a really comfortable and inviting place to be,” she says.
Educational Travel Experiences
Now more than ever, education and schooling calls for creativity and ingenuity! As you tailor your student’s curriculum 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 humble beach city is that it has a rich and fascinating history which continues to be unearthed, brought to light and honored in the downtown 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!
Ride O’side Scooters, Wheel Fun Surreys, The Wheelhouse Rentals
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. 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. A new addition to the rental scene, The Wheelhouse Rentals, opens June 2021 with e-scooters, mopeds, roadsters, onewheels and more!
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!
Soak in the Views
Some of the best photographic backdrops can be found right here in Oceanside! Plentiful classic Californian visuals like rows of palm trees and crashing waves on sandy beaches, coupled with spectacular sunsets night after night make for one photogenic city! Check out our list of the Best Places to Take a Photo in Oceanside.
Oceanside’s 3.5 miles of stunning coastline are waiting for you. Request your FREE 2021 Oceanside Visitor Guide! Get all the inspiration on dining, accommodations, activities and so much more delivered straight to your door as you dream up your future vacation.