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.

Marine West Expo

Marine West Expo Camp Pendleton Oceanside

Military Reunions

Oceanside Military Reunion Recon 50

World Famous Mud Run

World Famous Mud Run Mud Pit Camp Pendleton

Pier 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.

For contractors, military reunions, basic training graduations and groups traveling to Camp Pendleton needing 5 or more rooms, or requiring an extended stay, please contact our Group Travel Department for personal and customized service.

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

Military Related Blogs


5 Things You Didn’t Know About Camp Pendleton

Oceanside shares its northern border with Camp Pendleton, the largest military base in California.

Goat Hill Park Oceanside Bonfire

Operation Hang Out

Come hang out and play together in Oceanside where you and your crew can reconnect while enjoying a shared outing.

Oceanside Military Wedding Copyright Lavish Lark

Military Weddings: To Base or Not to Base

These are a few things to consider when making your decision to have your wedding on base or off base.

Bike Wheel Fun Strand Oceanside

3 Days of Fun in the Sun

We’ve created this 3-day itinerary, highlighting some of the fantastic things you can explore and experience in Oceanside over three days.

Group Travel Oceanside Hello Betty

Booking Incentives

Stay in Oceanside and receive client REWARDS.