Featured Photo: @imaginemygalaxypro
Unique and Unexpected Things To Do in Oceanside
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!
Sunset Helicopter Experience
Riding a helicopter over the scenic coastline is something to behold, and Waverider Helicopter Tours in Oceanside allows you to get those sunset pictures that are both unforgettable and completely unique!
This ‘Sunset Tour’ gives riders the chance to capture the beautiful coastline, waves and historical Oceanside Pier from a unique vantage point that would otherwise be unavailable. The 30 minute trip leaves just before sunset and flies over the iconic pier giving you breathtaking views of the sun setting over the ocean. These flights are available for up to three riders at the same time, and can be booked at Waverider Helicopter Tour Packages.
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!
Self Guided Mural Tour
If you’ve ever driven through downtown or south Oceanside there’s a good chance you spotted a few colorful murals along the way. The love of the arts runs deep in Oceanside, so much so our city is defined by the California Arts Council as one of fourteen state-recognized cultural districts! This passion is most obviously portrayed on the exterior of many downtown buildings, both new and old, which often feature vibrant colored murals that seem to almost pop off the walls.
With over two dozen murals within our coastal neighborhood, the best way to view them all is to take a self-guided tour. No need to aimlessly search however, we’ve done the hard work for you by compiling the location and a picture of each mural so that you can create your own route and stop by all of your favorites for that perfect urban selfie!
Click on the top, left map icon to expand specific mural location information
Click on the top, right icon to open in Google Maps application
Paddle Board and Kayak Experiences
Fat Tire Electric Scooter Rentals
Want to ride in style along Oceanside’s beautiful coastline and downtown area? Look no further than Ride O’side‘s electric fat tire scooters! Permitted in bike lanes and along bike trails, the scooters top out at 20 miles per hour and thanks to their large tires ride smooth and stable! Rentals are available by the hour or by the day to fit your needs and schedule.
BONUS: Riders can pick up Visit Oceanside’s bike map for tips on where to ride and sites to see along the way. Available at Oceanside’s California Welcome Center, the pocket-sized map features handy information such as route descriptions and rate of difficulty, unique sightseeing opportunities and even places to fuel up before, during and after a ride.
Oceanside Harbor Excursions
Enjoy Oceanside’s quaint New-England style Harbor Village, complete with shops, restaurants and a lighthouse! The harbor is a charming spot to go on an ocean adventure by chartering a relaxing sailboat at sunset with Pacific Coast Sail Charters, embarking on a thrilling whale-watching expedition with Oceanside Adventures, or joining a sport fishing excursion hosted by Oceanside Sea Center or Helgren’s Sportfishing! While visiting the harbor, you can embrace a chill vibe by packing a picnic and taking in the picturesque view of docked sailboats while listening to our O’riginal sea lions barking and playing in the water.
iFLY Oceanside is the newest indoor skydiving facility to land in North County San Diego. Experience the feeling of weightlessness in a safe and controlled environment inside their state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel. iFLY is fun for the whole family, with children as young as 3 years of age to adults as old as 103 able to fly!
Thursday Market Day
Thursday’s are some of the best days in Oceanside, with people coming from far and wide to participate and experience the wonderfully diverse Farmers Market taking place every week, year round. Located centrally in downtown Oceanside, visitors will be treated to an expansive sea of pop-up tents filling the streets, each with their own unique sights and smells that contribute to a visceral experience that will have your senses firing on all cylinders!
Going from 9am to 1pm, the Farmers Market is the perfect place to pick up fresh local produce, blooming and fragrant flowers, gourmet treats, freshly baked goods, organic honey and more. The Farmers Market doesn’t stop there, unlike other similar markets this one also features dozens of craft booths that offer jewelry, clothing, soap and lotions, local photography and more in addition to food booths for those craving a ready-made meal such as panini sandwiches, gyros, and crepes.
There is no shortage of fishing opportunities in Oceanside! With long expansive shores and jetties, two fishing piers that allow for license-free fishing and a number of sports fishing charters in the harbor ready to help you catch the big one, you’re sure to find a great spot to reel in your next catch. For those that want an entirely different experience, one that requires no fishing rod, no lures and has to be seen to be believed, look no further than Southern California’s famous Grunion Run!
Every year hundreds to sometimes thousands of grunion, a small 5-6″ silvery fish, ride the waves onto the shore purposefully beaching themselves as part of their remarkable spawning behavior. This momentous event occurs March through August for three to four days at a time, following a full or new moon and immediately after the tide has reached its highest point. The grunion run schedule is split into two parts, open season and observation only. During open season kids under 16 years old, and those 16+ with a California Sport Fishing License are allowed to catch the grunion. The catch? You must use your bare hands only, no traps or nets are permitted so expect to get a little wet and sandy!
Because this is a natural phenomenon, there is no guarantee you will see the grunion on any given night. To help increase your chances however, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have put together a schedule of expected grunion runs to maximize your chances of seeing this incredible spectacle. To learn more about these fascinating fish and this bizarre behavior, as well as when to go out to see them, click here.