An emerging cultural town on the coast bustling with theaters, museums, galleries, and practicing artists.

One of California’s first 14 designated cultural districts, Oceanside Cultural District is home to an eclectic, emerging art scene. Along historic Highway 101 and the Pacific Ocean, with an iconic pier and amphitheater, you will find a unique destination with an abundance of cultural resources.

Oceanside Museum of Art is a premier regional art museum and a leader of arts and culture. The California Surf Museum connects with nontraditional arts audiences while honoring local surf culture. The historical Sunshine Brooks and Star Theatres provide opportunities for all ages and introduce professional theatrical expression to thousands of schoolchildren each year.

Cultural events are varied, colorful, and celebratory as well as educational, featuring dance, music, and food. The district is home to MainStreet Oceanside’s Farmer’s Market and Sunset Market, San Diego County’s top weekly food and music street fair. Tattoo artists recognize the area’s military historical heritage with much of their work, and Artist Alley provides an interactive experience for all with practicing artists and artisans. Restaurants, wineries and breweries in the district highlight local artists and musicians.

ARTS AND CULTURE EVENTS
OMA Oceanside Museum of Art Dia de los Muertos
OCEANSIDE CULTURAL DISTRICT OVERVIEW
DISTRICT MEMBER INFORMATION
California Surf Museum
District Highlights
1. OCEANSIDE MUSEUM OF ART
Oceanside Museum of Art Exterior

Oceanside Museum of Art is a premier regional art museum and a leader of arts and culture in San Diego. In addition to several highly praised contemporary art exhibitions per year, museum programming includes classes, lectures, docent tours, parties, concerts, films, culinary events, and chartered travel to other cultural art venues and destinations.

2. OCEANSIDE PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Oceanside Public Library is the cultural heart of Oceanside, empowering the community by promoting literacy, information access, civic engagement, cultural inclusiveness, and openness to new ideas. The Library’s programming ranges from art gallery exhibits to concerts, art classes, literacy services, book clubs, writers groups and large scale cultural events. The Library is the lead organization of the Oceanside Cultural District.

3. STAR THEATRE
Star Theater

The Star Theatre is a non-profit community theatre located in heart of downtown North County San Diego in Oceanside. This theatre is family-owned and was built in 1956. The Star Theatre Company has been producing theatre for 30 years, as well as providing a safe environment for youth and adults for over two decades.

4. ARTIST ALLEY
Artist Alley First Friday Art Walk

Artist Alley located between Mission Ave and Pier View Way in Downtown Oceanside serves as home to many striving artists, with its art venues, colorful murals, family fun activities, and fun boutiques. 

 

5. SUNSHINE BROOKS THEATER
2019 Oceanside Tourism Summit

The Brooks Theatre, formally known as the Sunshine Brooks Theatre, is located in downtown Oceanside and is operated by the Oceanside Theatre Company. The Oceanside Theatre Company produces a broad range of can’t-miss productions, live music events, educational theatre and outreach programs to the community and more.

6. CALIFORNIA SURF MUSEUM
California Surf Museum Oceanside

The California Surf Museum was founded in 1986 and has been in operation for three decades serving tens of thousands of annual visitors from over 40 nations around the globe. With a permanent collection which chronicles the history of surfboards and wave-riding, the museum also offers many revolving exhibits each year. In its current museum-quality space, it has acquired a rare set of archives and collections gathered over more than 30 years, comprising one of the world’s richest troves of surfing history.

7. RISING STAR DANCE COMPANY
Rising Star Dance Company

Rising Star Dance Company’s overall mission is to instill the love of dance in our young students. To plant the seeds that allow a passion for performing arts to grow and flourish, in a gentle manner.

8. JUNIOR SEAU AMPHITHEATER
Oceanside Pier Amphitheater Indie Jam

The Junior Seau Beach Amphitheater is located just south of the Pier, at Pier View South beach and is a prime location for outdoor concerts, surf contests, festivals, special events, galas, theater and more. A staple of entertainment in Oceanside, the Amphitheater provides surf and sound to locals and visitors alike. Renovations will be taking place at the amphitheater through 2021.

9. REGAL CINEMAS OCEANSIDE 16
Regal Cinemas Oceanside Christmas

Theater complex with multiple screens featuring new release films, plush seating & concession stand.

10. COASTAL MUSIC STUDIOS
Coastal Music Studios

Coastal Music Studios specializes in private music lessons for students of all ages and is the premier music & teaching studio in Oceanside.

 

11. HILL STREET COUNTRY CLUB
Hill Street Country Club

The Hill Street Country Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to shaping the growing arts and culture scene in Oceanside and the surrounding North Country region. They create an inclusive and diverse atmosphere that reflects the socioeconomic landscape of our community.

 

12. OCEANSIDE TATTOO - THE ARCADE
oceanside tattoo

At The Arcade they strive for perfection with an immaculate studio as well as the best artists in San Diego County. Oceanside Tattoo is made up of artists that have been tattooing professionally for over 20 years. The Arcade also houses a rare look into the history of tattooing on the west coast. covering multiple era’s of tattooing, these images were created in times when America was going through social and political change.

13. MAINSTREET OCEANSIDE
Mainstreet Oceanside

Mainstreet Oceanside is focused on enhancing the economic, social, cultural, and environmental well-being of historic and traditional commercial districts located in downtown.

14. OCEANSIDE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
1924 Historical South of the Oceanside Pier and bandshell

The Oceanside Historical Society serves the community through its museum, website, publications and walking tours. Most services, including the museum and history walks, are free. Their mission is to gather, preserve and share the history of beautiful Oceanside.

15. CYNTHIA'S ARTISTIC EXPRESSIONS

Cynthia’s Artistic Expression is a family owned art gallery and studio founded by two Gulf War Navy veterans. They are dedicated to serving the greater community with an emphasis on therapeutic art healing for veterans and active duty service members. They specialize in museum quality fine art and custom sip and paint parties.

16. OCEANSIDE TRANSIT CENTER
NCTD Coaster Train

The Oceanside Transit Center is a major railway interchange in Oceanside, California, serving both intercity and suburban/commuter services. The station is a hub for North County Transit District, including the Coaster, Sprinter, and Breeze Buses. In addition, the station is used by Amtrak, Metrolink, and Greyhound Lines.

17. OCEANSIDE PIER
Oceanside Pier at Sunset

At 1,942 feet, the historical Oceanside Pier is one of the longest wooden piers on the West Coast. Take a leisurely stroll out over the Pacific Ocean, watch the surfers ride a wave, fishermen catch a fish, or grab a bite to eat at the famous Ruby’s Diner located at the end of the pier.

krismarkovich-wrenchandrodentmural

Murals in Oceanside

Oceanside is the home to dozens of beautiful and striking murals which engage the community, and help to make our city more inviting and walk-able. Check out our mural map which highlights each mural’s location!

Supergirl Pro Surfer

3 Ways to Experience O'side Surf Culture

This summer you can experience the thrill of the City’s surf vibe without a wet suit. From a premier surf event featuring top female pros to new exhibits at the iconic surf museum, Oceanside’s surf-related fun goes way beyond the waves.

Arts and Culture Events
MSLR Dia de los Muertos 101031_0233 sRGB-80

Dia De Los Muertos Festival

This traditional Mexican Holiday dating back thousands of years celebrates and honors the memories of the deceased with colorful displays, face painting and more. This free public festival includes altars, traditional dancers and entertainment, a classic car show and a shopping mercado filled with traditional food vendors. 

Filipino Cultural Day

Filipino Cultural Festival

The Annual Filipino Cultural Celebration offers attendees a day filled with Philippine dancing and music, colorful costumes, special performances, and delicious Filipino and international cuisine. In addition there are crafts and activities for children. Event admission is FREE and open to the public. 

Artist Alley First Friday Art Walk

First Friday: Oceanside Art Walk

Celebrate the thriving arts and culture scene in the heart of downtown Oceanside. The First Friday: Oceanside Art Walk will showcase live performances, music, poetry, art education, and culinary and pop-up art galleries showcased in local businesses and public spaces. 

Juneteenth Oceanside Jazz Festival

Juneteenth Multicultural Celebration and Jazz Festival

This day-long celebratory event is hosted by the NSDC NAACP. Attendees will enjoy, shopping, food, youth activities, and other informational and health awareness booths. Live Gospel and Jazz entertainment will also be presented throughout the day.

El Noche Mexicana Oceanside

Noche Mexicana 

The largest North San Diego County event commemorating Mexican Independence Day.  The event will includes local Latino bands, singers and dancers. The event closes with a representative from the Mexican Consulate, who will present a re-enactment of the Grito de Dolores (“Cry for Independence”). 

OIFF Oceanside International Film Festival 2017

Oceanside International Film Festival

The Oceanside International Film Festival includes five days’ worth of independent cinema featuring a robust schedule of 30+ film screenings, panel discussions, Q&A’s, an awards ceremony and more! This is one awesome cinematic celebration!

OMfest Oceanside

OMfest

OMFest is a ‘moveable musical feast’ offering the community at least 4 music events each year. Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation via OMFest offers our community several venues, a diverse mix of musical genres performed by student, avocational, & professional musicians showcasing the wide range of talent in our community. Their goal is to showcase our local performing artists and to provide audiences with wonderful musical experiences.

Oceanside Pride by the Beach

Pride by the Beach

Pride by the Beach is the largest coastal Pride Festival in California. Located in the heart of Oceanside at the Civic Center plaza the all age, family friendly Pride festival features a giant game section, with mainstage performances,a carnival type youth zone and a Tot lot. Includes over 100 exhibitors will be in attendance offering resources, Pride gear and flags, candles, jewelry and more.

Samoan Cultural Celebration

Samoan Cultural Celebration

This week long public event includes traditional dancing, live music and performances, cultural competitions, food and local vendors.

ARTS IN O'SIDE
DISTRICT MEMBER INFORMATION

Oceanside Cultural District – one of the state’s first 14 designated districts!

The California Cultural Districts program aims to assist Californians in leveraging the state’s considerable assets in the areas of culture, creativity and diversity. As initially set out in the enabling legislation, AB 189, a cultural district is generally understood as a well-defined geographic area with a high concentration of cultural resources and activities.

 Cultural districts foster increased opportunities for artists, craftspeople and other small businesses to contribute to local economy, and promote preservation and reuse of historic buildings and other structures. They also provide a focal point for celebrating and strengthening the unique cultural identity of the community and promote opportunity without generating displacement or expanding inequality.

Download Oceanside District Map
Oceanside Cultural District Guide Image

Printable guide and map of the locations in Oceanside.

 

Download California Cultural District Brochure
California Cultural District Brochure

Brochure featuring all fourteen cultural districts in California. 

The California Cultural Districts program was developed by the California Arts Council, in partnership with Visit California and Caltrans.

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.