Camp Pendleton Travel

Oceanside shares its northern border with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.  Located approximately 38 miles from downtown San Diego and 82 miles south of Los Angeles, it’s the Corps’ largest West Coast expeditionary training facility, encompassing more than 125,000 acres of Southern California terrain. 

Camp Pendleton is a training ground for various tactical forces across all the armed forces, with a particular focus on infantry and amphibious sea-to-shore training.

Camp Pendleton is a closed based and only persons who have official business or a sponsor on base will be granted access. Whether you’re visiting Camp Pendleton for a wedding or event, for work as a contractor, for specialized training, or to visit a service member, consider staying in Oceanside as your home base. We would like to extend a special welcome to friends and family traveling to Camp Pendleton for their loved ones homecoming. 

Tips for driving on Camp Pendleton:

  • Read the Base Access rules and plan ahead to avoid delays.
  • Make sure you have a valid ID and proof of car insurance and registration.
  • When approaching the gate, use the visitor lane, roll your window down with ID in hand, and tell the guard specifically where you are headed. Be prepared, to have to pull over and have your information closely reviewed.
  • Once on base, FOLLOW ALL TRAFFIC LAWS.  MPs (Military Police) keep a close eye on vehicles and you will get get a ticket for even the slightest infraction.

Per Diem Hotels Near Camp Pendleton

Lodging and billeting in Oceanside, near Camp Pendleton, gets you closest to Camp Pendleton’s southern entry points including Main Gate, San Luis Rey Gate (back gate), and Las Pulgas Gate. These gates have the best access to Base Headquarters, Mainside, Del Mar Beach and Marina, La Casa Del Mar, Pacific Views Event Center, Naval Hospital, Lake O’Niell, Wounded Warrior Battalion, Tactical Systems Support, Amphibious Assault Craft Unit, and Camp Pendleton Base Air Terminal. Most hotels in Oceanside offer military, veteran, and government discounts, but those offering per diem rates are listed below.

If traveling to Camp Pendleton for Project Convergence and need lodging that does not qualify for government per diem, see the additional deals added specifically for the exercise occurring in October 2022. 

Special offers for Project Convergence

Best Western Plus Oceanside Palms

Best Western Plus

909 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside

  • Offer: 10% off regular rate
  • Booking Contact: info@bwplusoceanside.com
  • Promo Code: PC
  • Distance to Main Gate: 1 miles
  • Last Day to Book: Until supplies last

Brick Hotel & Pacific Vacation Rentals

The Brick Hotel

408 Pier View Wy, Oceanside

  • Offer: Varies
  • Promo Code: WETHANKYOU (Press Redeem)
  • Distance to Main Gate: 1.5 miles
  • Last Day to Book: Until supplies last

Club Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort

Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort Tile Edit

333 Myers Street, Oceanside

  • Offer: 15% off regular rate
  • Booking Contact800-989-6901
  • Distance to Main Gate: 2 miles
  • Last Day to Book: Until supplies last

Project Convergence

A Light Armored Vehicle, with 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, departs the Landing Craft Air Cushion on Red Beach during the Marine Air- Ground Task Force demonstration for the 75th Anniversary on Camp Pendleton, Calif., June 14, 2017. The demonstration allowed civilians to observe Marines as they recertified their qualifications before deployment. (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Betzabeth Y. Galvan)

Large-scale exercise that brings 1,000+ additional troops and personnel to Camp Pendleton. October 1-25, 2022

Military Reunions

Oceanside Military Reunion Recon 50

When it’s time to gather again to celebrate your service, reminisce with those whom you served with and reflect on the memories shared, choosing a destination that understands, embodies, and honors military life should top your list.

World Famous Mud Run

World Famous Mud Run Mud Pit Camp Pendleton

The Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Mud Run® is the world’s grittiest event featuring challenging 10K and 5K runs with rolling hills, river crossings, two 5-foot walls, three massive mud pits, tunnels, slippery hill, a cargo climb and much more! 

Marine West Expo

Marine West Expo Camp Pendleton Oceanside

Marine West is an annual military expo held on Camp Pendleton. This expo features the latest technology in weaponry and warfare tools. Companies, manufacturers, and inventors exhibit to demonstrate, show videos, and answer questions about their products.

Military Special Events in Oceanside

Oceanside Operation Appreciation
Oceanside Operation Appreciation
Harbor Days PC: Lauren Milner
Harbor Days PC: Lauren Milner
Oceanside Indepence Day Parade | Oceanside, CA
Oceanside Independence Parade
Fleet Week San Diego Military Special Events Camp Pendleton
Fleet Week San Diego
2017 MCAS Miramar Air Show
Miramar Air Show
San Diego Veterans Day Parade
San Diego Veterans Day Parade

Camp Pendleton Trivia

"Chesty", Camp Pendleton Mascot

Fun Facts

  • Camp Pendleton was named for Major General Joseph H. Pendleton.
  • The Marine Corps paid $4,239,062 for the 122,798 acres.
  • While more than 38,000 military family members occupy base housing complexes, Camp Pendleton expands to a daytime population of 70,000 military and civilian personnel.
  • Marine mascots are named in honor of Lieutenant General Lewis “Chesty” Burwell Puller, one of the most decorated Marines in the Corps’ history, according to his official biography.  The first depot mascot was introduced in 1939.
  • Initial construction of Camp Pendleton took only five months to complete.
  • In 1953, Devil Pups was founded on Camp Pendleton for youths ages 14-17 to gain self-confidence and learn to take responsibility for their actions after retired Marine Corps Colonel Duncan Shaw, Sr., learned that a group of teenagers burned an American flag at a Southern California high school . The program still exists today.
  • In 1975 Camp Pendleton was the first military base in the U.S. to provide accommodations for Vietnamese evacuees in Operation New Arrivals; over 50,000 refugees came to the base in the largest humanitarian airlift in history.
Camp Pendleton in the Movies
Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

TV and Movie History

Camp Pendleton is attractive to film producers due to its close proximity to Hollywood (appx 70 miles) and its acres of preserved rolling hills and coastline. Productions and movies filmed at Camp Pendleton include:

  • Gung Ho (1943)
  • Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) starring John Wayne
  • Flying Leathernecks (1951) starring John Wayne and Robert Ryan
  • Gomer Pyle (TV series 1964-1969) Camp Henderson was loosely based on Camp Pendleton as well
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep (TV series 1976-1978)
  • MacArthur (1977) starring Gregory Peck
  • Heartbreak Ridge (1986) starring Clint Eastwood
  • Pearl Harbor (2001) starring Ben Affleck
  • Battle: Los Angeles (2001) starring Nia Peeples
  • Green Dragon (2001) starring Patrick Swayze
  • The Last Ship (2018) starring Eric Dane
  • Purple Hearts (2022) starring Sofia Carson