Oceanside Bucket List

Seize the day! Are you seeking inspiration for your next adventure?  Look no further than Oceanside in beautiful sunny Southern California! Our adventure bucket list is a mix of out-of-the-ordinary, pushing the limits and WOW– that’s just super cool types of activities.

What is a bucket list? So many books, movies and autobiographies have inspired people to step outside of their daily lives to try new things. Creating a list of dreams, goals or experiences that you want to accomplish is a great way to enjoy a new place or even your hometown. A bucket list can contain little and large accomplishments, the main component is creating a list targeting new life experiences.

If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page. ~Mark Houlahan

Explore by Bike

Cyclist Biking The Strand Oceanside
family bike ride, things to do in Oceanside, CA

Oceanside has a variety of fun and exciting bike routes that range from leisurely coastal cruises to endurance routes. All routes start and end in Oceanside, allowing the rider the opportunity to explore the surrounding communities.

One of the most popular trails is the Bike to Mission San Luis Rey routes, inviting cyclists to ride from the Oceanside Pier to Mission San Luis Rey and back. This is an ideal ride for those that are looking for a half-day experience where you can ride out to the Mission, take a tour, eat a packed lunch and return to downtown Oceanside.

Click to see additional Oceanside Bike Trails.

Whale Watching

Humpback Whale Oceanside Adventures
Oceanside Adventures Kids and Family

Go wild with an eco-adventure in Oceanside! Year-round whale watching cruises are leaving Oceanside Harbor daily. Throughout the year, guests are amazed to see the rich marine life and diversity of wildlife living along the San Diego shoreline; ranging from blue or gray whales (seasonal), dolphins, sea lions and pelagic birds. Whether you are looking to join an existing tour or to charter a private tour, there are many options available to you.

Click here to learn more about whale watching tours and charter services.

Skydiving and Helicopter Tours

Get a birds-eye view of Oceanside when you go on a skydiving or helicopter adventure.  With the wind in your hair and a smile on your face, soar along the shoreline and take in the spectacular ocean views.

Coastal Skydiving

Whether you are 18 or 90 years old, skydiving is a popular bucket list activity or an unexpected gift for anyone on your list. Skydiving with GoJump Oceanside is a one-of-a-kind experience, offering the only coastal skydiving experience in Southern California. Visitors can take the plunge while taking in the spectacular views of Southern California’s coastline: with views of San Diego to the south and Catalina Island and Dana Point to the north.

Waverider Helicopter Tour - Oceanside

Helicopter Tours

Waverider Helicopter Tours is Oceanside’s first helicopter air tour attraction! They provide an exciting and unforgettable experience for all who are looking to view the beautiful San Diego County Beaches and captivating back-country scenery from a unique perspective. Your experience will be sure to last a lifetime as you take an exhilarating ride in a helicopter, with the Pacific Ocean on one side, and picturesque scenery on the other!

iFLY Indoor Skydiving Oceanside

Indoor Skydiving

At iFLY Oceanside you’ll zoom like a soaring bird over the ocean. iFLY indoor skydiving is the sensational, breathtaking head rush of simulated “true freefall” conditions within a powerful vertical wind tunnel. Nothing holds you down as you float wirelessly, on a smooth cushion of high-powered clean air. You’re completely detached, feeling the absolute freedom to glide in any spherical direction, untethered. 

Deep Sea Sport Fishing

Harbor Village Water Boat Sport fishing
Sea Star Charters Sportfishing

For the casual fishing experience, make your way to the Oceanside Pier or to the smaller fishing pier located within Oceanside Harbor.  If you are looking for something a little more adventurous, cruise out of Oceanside Harbor on a half-day or full-day deep sea sport fishing voyage. The catch of the day will vary based on the season.

Click to learn more about Fishing in Oceanside.

Eat, Pray, Love

Mission San Luis Rey

Need an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life? How about reaping the benefits of peace, serenity and inner reflection through one of the programs offered at either Mission San Luis Rey or Prince of Peace Abbey?

Mission San Luis Rey hosts regular Quiet Monday retreats, allowing guests to unwind and remember what silence sounds like.  Attendees are invited to bring a journal, read a book or meditate in the beautiful private garden.

Nestled in the quiet hillsides of northwest Oceanside, Prince of Peace Abbey monastery is open to guests and the public for silent prayer or for participation in the Mass and prayer services of the monks throughout the day. Groups or individuals are invited to reserve time, space, room and board for their own retreat and reflection programs at the monastery.

Endurance Challenge

Biking Pier Strand RAAM
Biking in Oceanside IRONMAN

Whether your goal is to participate in a marathon, triathlon or endurance bike race, fitness challenges are a bucket list favorite and can be a fantastic gift to yourself. With an average temperature of 70 degrees, Oceanside is the perfect place to train or participate in an endurance challenge. Fitness-minded travelers of all levels and abilities are drawn to the area because of the abundant recreational options.

Some of the athletic events that currently call Oceanside home include the IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside triathlon, Race Across America cycling event, the World Body Surfing Championships, Labor Day Pier Swim, Bike the Coast-Taste the Coast, and O’side Turkey Trot. Check out the Oceanside Event Calendar for the next endurance event.

Witness the Green Flash

Grab your camera and head to the coast for the chance to catch a glimpse of the elusive “green flash” as the sun sets in Oceanside. This exciting and free phenomenon is something everyone should see once in their lifetime. Oceanside’s famous wooden pier provides the perfect vantage point for spotting the flash- especially on evenings with a clear horizon over the Pacific Ocean.

Design a Custom Surfboard

Surfing Waves Oceanside, CA
Supergirl Pro Surfer

Famous for having the most consistent surf conditions in Southern California, Oceanside is the ideal location to have a custom surfboard made just for you. Have your pick from over a dozen surfboard manufacturers, many of which manufacture their creations in an area called “Shaper’s Alley.”

Oceanside has been at the forefront of surfboard design and manufacturing since the 1950s and is home to popular and well-known shapers such as Donald Takayama, Gary Linden (Linden Surfboards), Michael Baron (Byrne Surfboards), Jason Bennett (Chemistry Surfboards), Javier Huarcaya (XTR), Hank Byzak (Pure Fun Longboards), and Pat Mulhern (Wave Riding Vehicles).

Click to learn more about Surfing in Oceanside.