Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or a bachelorette weekend, or just reaffirming the bonds of sisterhood, O’side is a great place to escape with your girlfriends. And since no girl gang is alike, you can tailor your travel plans based on whatever your crew is passionate about (and yes, wine drinking counts as a passion). Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite things to do on your next girls’ trip.
There are two huge reasons to take a self-guided tour of the O’side art murals. One, because they’re an amazing example of public art and a big part of our O’side identity. And two, because Instagram (or TikTok – you do you).
The Oceanside Museum of Art exhibits works by lesser-known luminaries of the art world, including several local artists. You’ll find light installations, paintings, sculpture, glasswork, ceramics, and more. Nearby, you can check out the studio spaces on Artists’ Ally.
Sorry, terrible pun. But the California Surf Museum does use its impressive collection of vintage surfboards to chronicle the history of wave riding and explore the influence of surf culture on SoCal beach towns including our very own O’side.
Always wanted to join the dawn patrol? There are numerous surf schools in O’side, and you can arrange for a group or private lesson tailored to your experience and ability. (Just want to look the part? Surf shops all over town have the gear and the goods to help you channel your inner surf babe.)
O’side is super bike friendly, and rental shops around town have a variety of cruisers and city bikes so you can get around like a local. (Or, if you don’t want to break a sweat, consider an e-bike or an electric scooter from Ride O’side or Pedego Electric Bikes.
Yep, O’side’s got plenty of surf and sunshine, but if you’re looking for some indoor adventure, even the most seasoned climber can find a new challenge at Vital Climbing Gym. And if scaling a wall isn’t your thing, they offer several Yoga and Aerial classes as well.
The O’side coastline is home to an astonishing variety of marine life. Be awe-inspired when you set sail from the harbor on a two-hour whale and dolphin spotting catamaran cruise with Oceanside Coastal Expeditions.
Behind the big yellow doors at The Seabird, find traditional and holistic wellness rituals plus salon services at Sunny’s Spa & Beauty Lounge—everything from mani- pedis to reiki to bodywork and skin care.
You can raise a glass at tasting rooms and wine bars around O’side while learning as much—or as little!—as you want about the winemaking craft.
Start your tasting adventure a few miles inland from the beach, where Beach House Winery has ocean views and bottles their own single-varietal vintages. Orfila Winery—making wine in the nearby San Pasqual Valley—has an official O’side tasting room downtown near the pier.
You can bring your own picnic to Coomber Craft Wines and discover their house wines while listening to live music (bonus: Coomber is also pet friendly).
And in South O, you don’t want to miss the Privateer Marketplace & Wine Bar, which sources, sells, and pours distinctive and interesting wines from all over the world, including some from San Diego County vineyards.
Or, for a memorable evening, grab your girls and set sail on the Oceanside Adventure catamaran, which departs the Harbor each evening for a sunset wine cruise (with appetizers!).
The beer scene in O’side has earned a national reputation and a passionate local following. Local Tap House (locals just call it “LTH”) has a chill vibe and a rotating selection of 20 local beers on tap, plus bar snacks and a pitch-perfect menu of comfort food.
A bit further down South Coast Highway, Bagby Beer has earned accolades for its “Three Beagles” English-style brown ale (among others!), proving that styles beyond hoppy IPAs have a home in O’side (there’s a full food menu, too).
Founded by Oceanside locals, South O Brewing Company is a modern-day brewery and an easy find right along the famous Pacific Coast Highway. Also, in the heart of South O, Pour House has a range of draughts, local and otherwise, plus cocktails, wine by the glass, burgers, entrees, and shared plates.
And the always sexy rooftop at The Brick is home to Cococabana rooftop bar, for tiki cocktails, music and sunsets for days .
Sun’s up and it’s grub time! In the heart of downtown, Petite Madeline Bakery on North Coast Highway is a hometown fave, serving up omelets and crepes and heavenly pastries with a heaping side of O’side vibes. Tres cute.
The brunch spread at Piper at The Seabird Resort includes a toast bar for whipping up DIY avocado toast; and on Sundays, Masters Kitchen & Cocktail considered by many as “The best brunch in O’side,” serves legendary waffles and house made biscuits and gravy alongside classic cocktails. The Bloody Mary’s are tasty, but try The Alamo, it will get your day started just right.
Midday, we like to hang at Craft Coast Beer & Tacos because O’side celebrates tacos, mulitas, nachos, and world-class craft beer. For fast-casual, we’ll grab the karaage chicken sando at Naegi, serving artful Japanese sandwiches on soft Hokkaido milk bread.
Or at the Harbor, we’ll keep it old school with a fish & chips basket at Harbor Fish & Chips and watch the sea lions bask in the sun. We’re also keen on the Flying Pig—it’s a little more gastropub, with a stellar cocktail menu and dishes like the bacon and pickled serrano Mac ‘n Cheese, the Grilled Pork Sando and the Pig Burger rounding out its pork-inspired burger offerings.
O’side has one of the hottest food scenes in SoCal, but no matter how elevated the cuisine, the vibe is always down to earth (yes, you can wear your flip flops).
In South O, at the Wrench ‘n Rodent Seabasstropub, Chef Davin Waite and his talented crew of fish wizards serve up fresh sashimi, nigiri, and specialty rolls like the tasty Hedgehog roll.
When you need a pasta or pizza fix, try Blade1936, where your hand-made pies come straight from their woodfired oven to your heart—plus a world-class wine list.
And these days, O’side restos are redefining boutique hotel dining. One of the hottest reservations is Valle at the Mission Pacific Hotel, where Chef Roberto Alcocer is gunning for Michelin glory, celebrating the food and wine of Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe region.
The Fin Hotel has The Switchboard, with Hawaiian fare like crispy Hua ‘Alani duck or house made vegan kimchi fried rice.
And finally, when you’re craving a truly memorable dining experience, there’s Matsu, which San Diego Magazine called the Best New Restaurant of 2022—a 48-seat fine-dining restaurant serving a 10-course tasting menu focusing on the traditions and techniques of Japanese food married with Southern California terroir.
And if you want even more choices, try a culinary walkabout organized by Carl & Linda’s Walking Food Tour, you’ll explore four to five destinations in either North O’side, Heart of O’side, or South O over the course of about three hours, getting a history lesson about the community and the scoop on each spot as you stroll (and eat, of course).
On a girls’ trip, you want two things out of your hotel: style and amenities.
On the waterfront, The Mission Pacific Hotel has 161 rooms and suites, majority with ocean views and balconies and a rooftop pool with private cabanas, lounge seating, and hot tub Jacuzzi.
And if you need some spa time, you can book treatments at Sunny’s Spa & Beauty Lounge next door to The Seabird Resort.
The Green Room began its life as a 1950s era motel, and today boasts individually curated rooms with custom art from local artists, mid-century modern furnishings, Moroccan rugs, and even private patios. It features designer studios and one- and two-bedroom suites with kitchenettes that are perfect for groups.
And the rooms at The Brick give major design vibes while—thanks to tiki bar Cococabana on the rooftop and the Q&A Restaurant and Oyster Bar on the ground floor—negating the need to ever leave the building. Unless of course you’re headed to Frankie’s next door for a cocktail.
Or check out the numerous O’side property rentals available through sites like Airbnb. You’ll find everything from inland estates to beachfront condos.
For more lodging options, click on the Stay page of the website and find the place to suit your needs.