LGBTQ Travel Guide to Oceanside 

Classically charming, eclectic, and always genuine, Oceanside is Southern California’s most authentic beach town. Visitors enjoy a quintessential California coastal escape that includes wide sandy beaches, a quaint New England-style harbor, historic wooden pier, and charming bungalow neighborhoods. Perfectly situated between metropolitan San Diego and Los Angeles, Oceanside is the ultimate launching point for your Southern California getaway. Oceanside is easily accessed by car from Interstate 5 and can also be reached by rail with daily stops at the Oceanside Transit Center from Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner, San Diego’s Coaster and Sprinter, and Orange County’s Metrolink.

Oceanside’s Inclusive Community

North County LGBTQ Resource Center Logo

Oceanside is the proud home to the North County LGBTQ Resource Center whose mission is to foster and empower the North County LGBTQ community by providing a safe space, advancing awareness and visibility, and sustaining equality and inclusiveness. They also host Certified LGBTI Competency Training, in which city organizations including police, fire, hospitals, and school districts have all taken part in, resulting in the City of Oceanside recently earning a 100% score on the Municipal Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign.  

Human Rights Campaign Equality

Dining

Oceanside has a flourishing and diverse culinary scene with everything from casual burgers and pizza to modern sushi and fresh seafood. In recent years, Oceanside has particularly become a hot spot for family-owned, creative gastro pubs serving coastal-inspired, farm fresh fare. Located at the west end of San Diego’s “Hops Highway,” Oceanside is home to numerous craft breweries with more on the way! For a fun way to explore a taste of our epicurean delights, explore LGBT owned, Carla and Linda’s Walking Food Tours in this quick video.

Shopping

San Diego Gay Travel Oceanside Shopping

You will love walking from store to store admiring all of the unique items on display, including clothing both vintage and boutique, hand-made products from bath soaps to dream catchers, and collaborative spaces that house makers, artisans, and retailers alike. Thursday is market day in Downtown Oceanside with our morning Farmer’s Market and our afternoon Sunset Market, loaded with international cuisine, eclectic merchandise, gourmet packaged food and live entertainment. Learn more about our shopportunities.

Theater

San Diego Gay Travel Theater Oceanside

Oceanside’s downtown walking district includes five theaters, three of which are historic. Visitors can catch the latest movie at the Regal, an outdoor concert at the beach-side Junior Seau amphitheater, or a variety of year-round quality productions, music concert series and film festivals at The Brooks, Historic Coast or Star Theaters. See our Event Calendar for upcoming shows.

Independent Film Buff? Held every August, Oceanside International Film Festival officially kicks off a season of various film festivals, which are conducted annually in San Diego County and usually continue through the Fall.

Museums and Galleries

Oceanside is a designated California Cultural Arts District; one of only 14 in the state. Visitors can explore the rich cultural and historic heritage of the region through its variety of arts and cultural attractions. Event calendars are being filled with monthly art walks, exhibit openings, cultural festivals, and musical performances featuring local and well-known artists alike. The city has experienced a lot of growth and development since its establishment in 1888, and preserving its historical charm remains a top priority. By converting old buildings into hip new hangout spaces and supporting cultural gems the city is preserving the authentic personality that is Oceanside. The Oceanside Mural Initiative (OMI) plans on adding ten murals, boosting Downtown Oceanside’s reputation as a public art destination.

Explore Regional Attractions

Rides at LEGOLAND

Visitors can enjoy Oceanside’s charm and its regional attractions while being just a short drive from world-famous attractions including: LEGOLAND California, Disneyland, SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Balboa Park, Birch Aquarium at Scripps and Universal Studios Hollywood with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

For the adults, Downtown San Diego is famous for its large open bay, hot nightclubs, thriving arts scene, and infinite dining options, not to mention its clothing-optional Black’s Beach. Just across the bay, you’ll find Hotel Del Coronado which was prominently featured in several movie productions, but most famously in Some Like It Hot (1958).

Tip: Stop and see the Hotel Del and other San Diego points of interest on the Old Town Trolley Tour. Buy your tickets for the Old Town Trolley and other regional attractions at the California Welcome Center – Oceanside. 

Oceanside and Greater San Diego LGBTQ Events

Dine Out for Aids Oceanside Gay and Lesbian Travel

Dining Out for Life

(April) – Dining Out For Life® is an annual fundraising event involving the generous participation of volunteers, corporate sponsors and restaurants. In exchange for their financial support, restaurants are listed in a city-wide marketing campaign in an effort to increase customer traffic.

June Jubilee LGBTQ San Diego Gay and Lesbian Oceanside

North County LGBTQ Resource Center Gala 

(June) – The gala is a main source of funding for the Center. All are welcome to buy tickets and join this joyous, fun, and worthy fundraiser.

FilmOut San Diego LGBT Festival 

(June) – The annual San Diego LGBT Film Festival is a four-day event that includes international, documentary, short and feature films, striving to show the very best of the newest crop of LGBT-themed film and video selections available.

San Diego Pride Oceanside Gay and Lesbian Travel San Diego

San Diego Pride 

(July) – One of the Nation’s largest pride celebration includes three days of music, rallies, parties, speakers, and of course, the San Diego Pride Parade.

AIDS Walk & Run 

(September) – Each year, more than 8,000 individuals, teams, social clubs, local businesses, schools and universities, faith organizations will come together for AIDS Walk & Run to remember those who have been lost to the disease and raise funds to support the more than 18,000 San Diegans living with HIV/AIDS.

San Diego Gay Travel Oceanside

Oceanside’s Pride by the Beach

(October) – A day-long pride celebration including family-friendly entertainment, over 100 vendors, inspirational speakers, food, and a children’s garden.