Oceanside is a top destination for Military Reunions. Return to where it all began at Camp Pendleton.
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.
If you haven’t been back to Oceanside since your early days in the military, you might be surprised to see how much Oceanside has blossomed. While there are a few remaining memorable haunts, several of our military surplus stores, barber shops and raucous bars have been replaced with craft breweries, wine bars, boutiques and chef-inspired dining experiences. While we still hold true to our military values and honor our Camp Pendleton neighbors, you will find Oceanside still an unpretentious beach town, now bursting with young entrepreneurs and their growing families.
Founded on July 3, 1888, Oceanside is located along the beautiful Southern California coastline and considered the gateway city between metropolitan San Diego and Los Angeles. A classic Southern California beach town, Oceanside enjoys a rich history as an ideal place to stay and experience California’s casual spirit. The city boasts a number of important historical and cultural attractions such as Mission San Luis Rey (The King of Missions), California’s longest wooden pier, vintage 101 Café, 1920’s era Robert’s Cottages, Top Gun House, California Surf Museum and the Oceanside Museum of Art.
The city has served as a film location for dozens of Hollywood productions and was once the preferred getaway of many of Hollywood’s elite. Bordering Camp Pendleton, Oceanside has long enjoyed a strong relationship with the U.S. military and a deep commitment to the men and women serving the nation. Today, with 3.5 miles of sandy beach, a quaint New England-style harbor and a stellar year-round climate, Oceanside is a highly sought-after location for enjoying active pursuits including surfing, kayaking, boating, fishing, bike-riding, skydiving and more.
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Oceanside’s Military History
World War II saw Oceanside grow from a sleepy little town to a modern city. With the construction of the nation’s largest Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, on her border, the demand for housing and municipal services exceeded supply. The best illustration of the tremendous growth of the city is found in the census figures. The population of Oceanside jumped from the 1940 figure of 4,652 to 12,888 in 1950. In 1952 a special census showed the city’s population exceeding 18,000 as the Marine Base grew with the Korean War and more service-connected families moved into the area.
Today, 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. The base is a training ground for various tactical forces across all the armed forces, with a focus on infantry and amphibious sea-to shore training. It’s the Corps’ largest West Coast expeditionary training facility, encompassing more than 125,000 acres of Southern California terrain. There are several museums and tours available to groups on base including, Mechanized Museum, Ranch House Complex, Camp Talega Quonset Huts, and the World War II and Korea LVT Exhibit.
Camp Pendleton contains the largest undeveloped portion of coastline in Southern California. The ecosystem includes beaches, bluffs, mesas, canyons, mountains and Southern California’s only free-flowing river. There are more than 1,000 species of plants, fish and animals, some of which are either threatened or endangered. Wildlife and habitat protection is a top concern of all who live, work and train at Camp Pendleton.
Visit Oceanside’s list of area special event and banquet venues, vendor referrals, and local accommodations is one stop shop for event information. This guide includes Oceanside’s venues categorized by type and includes capacity details, contact information, and catering options. The guide also includes group dining locations along with activities and excursions for your entire group to enjoy together! Prefer to chat? Call Dana Higgins for personal planning assistance at 760-637-9953.
“Throughout the planning process, the Visit Oceanside Group Travel Team worked tirelessly to match my hotel, transportation, event requirements with Oceanside’s resources. Their dedication, expertise, initiative and recommendations far exceeded my expectations and quickly met my reunion goals. ” – C. Kershaw – Recon 50