Keepin’ it real since 1888.
If you can tear your eyes away from the stunning horizon, the best people watching—in a town full of great people watching—may well be at Oceanside’s historic wooden pier. Jutting far beyond the breakers, it’s an iconic photo backdrop, a stage for artists and performers, a deep-water access point for amateur anglers, and an ideal perch for catching the elusive green flash at sunset.
First built in 1888, the Pier was destroyed by raging seas in 1890, rebuilt between 1894-1896, and destroyed again in 1902. The structure you see today dates to 1987, and its opening drew tens of thousands from all over SoCal to celebrate. Strong and indominable, it’s a testament to the strength of Oceanside.
The bait shop at mid Pier has rod rentals, fishing tackle, bait, and snacks—basically everything you need to cast your line but luck. In shallower waters you may reel in such locally abundant species as sand bass, butterfish, and halibut, while in deep water, anglers go for mackeral, bonito, kelp bass, rockfish, and even barracuda.
High above the waves and well beyond the breakers, at the tip of the pier you’re in prime territory for spotting whales and dolphins. While dolphins (and seals and sea lions) frolic in the surf below, note denizens of the deep like humpbacks and blue whales when they spout billowy plumes from their blowholes.
Originally built in 1919, in 2012 the amphitheater at the foot of the pier was dedicated in loving memory of O’sider and former San Diego Charger Junior Seau. Today it hosts concerts (The Black Keys and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs played in 2009) and citywide cultural celebrations like Juneteenth and Cinco de Mayo.
The pier is a short walk from downtown O’side where you’ll find metered parking on North Cleveland, North and South Myers, Pier View Way, and The Strand, as well as some free parking on Seagaze and the 24-hour lot on North Tremont.