Attractions

From the historic Mission San Luis Rey to the quirky California Surf Museum, you'll find plenty to look at and do at these family attractions in Oceanside. Whatever your preference, recreational opportunities in Oceanside compliment every lifestyle. With tennis courts, 6 miles of beachfront roadways excellent for jogging, biking or rollerblading, there is definitely fun to be had. Watersports enthusiasts will find the Harbor a mecca for conveniently launching, renting, and servicing boats, kayaks, and jetskis. Finally, fishing aficionados can try their skill at surf-fishing along the coastline, or simply drop a line off along our famous 1,942 foot pier and wait for the fish to bite.

With legendary surf conditions, thriving history, and some of the best weather in the world, Oceanside is a divine destination that invites its past, present, and future guests to visit time and time again. Our prime location is the ideal home base to explore nearby area attractions including Disneyland, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Sea World, La Jolla, Old Town, Balboa Park, Coronado, San Juan Capistrano, Knott's Berry Farm, Catalina Island and Universal Studios.

Beaches

Over 3.5 miles of white sandy beaches make Oceanside the ideal place for sunning, surfing, and sandcastle building. Take a leisurely stroll along the water or bring your pole for some great surf fishing. With plenty of parking and easy beach access, Oceanside presents one of the finest beach areas on the west coast. Harbor beach alone offers more than 16 acres of clean level sand, and handicap “sand" wheel chairs are available for use at each lifeguard tower. Enjoy a day at the beach and don't forget your sunscreen!

Oceanside Harbor

Unlike most ports, all boats are visible from a two-lane asphalt drive encircling its shoreline. Fine restaurants, picnic tables, and a Harbor Village with shops, eateries, and a lighthouse, along with the nearby Harbor Beach combine to offer the seafarer and motor visitor an enchanting experience of color and atmosphere. Oceanside's Harbor is a mecca for sportfishing, whale watching, boating and other water-oriented activities. The Marina inside the harbor has sloops ranging in length from 25-51 feet. Transient moorings and limited RV beach camping are available. Harbor Days is a scheduled annual event held the 3rd weekend in September.

Oceanside Pier

The historic Oceanside Pier is a prized community resource as well as a monument to its citizens' persistence in seeing that a pier remains a part of its oceanfront recreational facilities. At its current 1,942 feet in length, it remains one of the longest wooden construction recreational piers on the West Coast. From its reach, viewers can peer into the entrance channel of Oceanside Harbor, a 900 + boat recreational marina that sits along the northwest borders of the city. The pier is a recreational common ground for Oceanside, a place where young and old, fisherman and surfer, tourist and residents mingle, stroll, and sit to watch the waves or the sunset while enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. While a fishing license is required for surf fishing on the beach, no license is needed for fishing off the pier.

Mission San Luis Rey

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, named in honor of St. Louis, King of France, is located in a secluded valley four miles east of Highway 5 in Oceanside. Founded in June 1798 by Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, the Mission is one of the most architecturally impressive of all the California missions. Built of adobe and faced with brick, it is a composite of Spanish, Mexican, and Moorish styles. For over thirty years the mission prospered under the direction of Father Antonio Peyri. By 1801, over 300 Indians had been enrolled in the mission, making it one of the most populous in California. After secularization in the 1830's, the mission grounds were used for bullfights and later, as a military post by U.S. troops. In 1893, the mission was rededicated as a Franciscan seminary. Today, the "King of Missions" includes a picnic area, museum and gift shop. The newly developed San Luis Rey Valley Conference Center & Garden's, located at the Mission, is equipped to accommodate conventions, conferences, banquets, as well as weddings, it covers 17,500 square feet of space with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment - a perfect meeting place!

Heritage Park

Heritage Park Village & Museum centers around an idyllic Main Street lined with many of historic Oceanside's original buildings. The first General Store, the Portola Inn, the Blacksmith Shop & Livery Stable, a doctors office, the Old City jail, Libby School and the Blade newspaper building provide an ambient backdrop for education programs, special events and social gatherings of all kinds.

Recreational Activities

Oceanside's recreational opportunities are geared to fit every lifestyle. The city boasts 3 golf courses, numerous tennis courts and over 6 miles of beachfront roadway just perfect for jogging, biking or rollerblading. Known as a mecca for watersports, our 260 slip Harbor has a convenient boat launch area and offers services for boat, kayak and jetski rentals. Helgren's Sportfishing Inc. operates daily sportfishing charters going out of the Harbor, and also offers Whale Watching Tours from December through March. Try your hand at surf fishing along our coastline, or simply drop a line off the end of our 1972 ft pier and wait for the fish to bite. Oceanside also hosts numerous amateur and professional surfing contests through out the year.

Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base

The world's largest U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Training Base is located in North Oceanside. It is considered a "recreational" paradise with its military community of over 36,000 spread over 125,000 acres. The camp is well recognized for its interest and effort toward ecology and the preservation of natural resources. With its three mountain ranges and varied geographical terrain, Camp Pendleton has earned its title as an "Ecological Oasis of Coastal California." Home of the First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton is situated on what was once a Spanish land grant called Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores. The area's natural beauty has been changed as little as possible, making Camp Pendleton a modern military base in the heart of a little piece of history.

Guajome Regional Park

Nestled in the serene and historic San Luis Rey valley, Guajome Regional Park is a beautiful ecological preserve featuring native chaparral vegetation. There is a wonderful lake perfect for fishing and trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Quiet, modern campsites are available year round.

Oceanside Municipal Airport

A half-mile of highway allows you to travel a half mile; a half-mile of airport runway will allow you to travel anywhere you choose. Over the last century, civil aviation has become an integral part of the U.S. economy, a key catalyst for economic growth.

There has been an airport in the San Luis Rey Valley since the 1930's. The Oceanside Municipal Airport is a paved and lighted landing facility, providing tourists and businesses and alternate mode of transportation into our city. In addition, the Oceanside Airport serves as a flight training facility for our future airline and military pilots, not to mention a possible astronaut or two. The airport is also used, regularly, by Life Flight Medical Services as well as other emergency services. The Oceanside Municipal Airport is truly an asset to our city.

Buena Vista Audubon Society Nature Center

At the absolute southern edge of Oceanside, you'll find the Buena Vista Audubon Society's Nature center. Sited on the Buena Vista Lagoon, the Center offers a variety of natural history experiences. In the course of an afternoon, you can walk amid native plants to see views of the lagoon and its bird life, discover tracks along the shore that reveal the night's animal visitors, tour the garden of native plants, find the world's tiniest mammals in one of the exhibits of local habitat, learn what endangered species live in the lagoon and challenge your children with nature games.

California Surf Museum

Until the California surf Museum was opened, very little had been done in an organized way to preserve the history of surfing, its boards, or its fascinating artifacts. At a time when the historical roots of many beach communities are rapidly changing and/or disappearing, the California Surf Museum is rising to the challenge of providing a strong link between the oceans, many ocean sports, and the lifestyles of the community. The museum is actively locating, collecting, documenting and preserving historic surfing related artifacts and memorabilia. Through a series of rotating exhibits, the California Surf Museum presents a varied picture of the many facet of surfing.

Oceanside Museum of Art

Oceanside Museum of Art is a cultural jewel location in downtown Oceanside with a view of the Pacific Oceans and the historic Oceanside Pier. The museum is housed in a classic Irving Gill designed building that represents the flavor of Southern California in the 1930's. Providing North San Diego County with a variety of programming that compliments its progressive exhibition schedule, OMA presents five provocative exhibits each year.

Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-4 and Sunday, 1-4. Admission is $5, seniors, students and military $3. For information call, 760-721-2787 or visit the website at www.oma-online.org .

 
Sunshine Brooks Theater

Operated by New Vision Theatre, the historic Sunshine Brooks Theatre is home to a series of year-round quality productions. New Vision produces some exceptional community theatre and is responsible for refurbishing the hall into a facility supportive of concerts as well as Oceanside civic events. For more information and a current show schedule, call (760) 529-9140 or visit www.SunshineBrookTheatre.com.

Sunshine Brooks Theater Website

 

Heritage Park Village Museum

Nestled among the rolling hills of historic Oceanside Valley , Heritage Park features the original buildings of downtown Oceanside . These original structures date from the turn of the century and feature the City's first General Store, the Blacksmith Shop & Livery Stable, the Portola Inn, the old city jail, a doctor's office, Libby School and The Blade Newspaper. The charm of yesteryear is beautifully captured in this historic park which serves as a dramatic backdrop for special events, education programs, and social gatherings of all kinds. The park grounds are open to the public daily from 9am-4pm. The buildings are open on Sunday afternoons from 1pm-4pm. Detailed guided tours are offered weekends during the summer months. For information please call (760) 433-8297.

 

The Star Theater is a community-based theater that is rented out for a variety of performing arts groups. Performances include music, drama, lectures, concerts and visual arts. Star Theater N Coast Highway Oceanside , CA 92054 (760) 721-9983

Oceanside Star Theater Website

 

Mira Costa College offers student based performances of Dance, Theater, Film, Music and Special Events. Mira Costa College (760) 795-6815.

Mira Costa College Website

 

The Oceanside Historical Museum preserves Oceanside history through memorabilia, photography, and research archives. Tours are available. Oceanside Historical Museum. 305 Nevada, Oceanside , CA 92054 (760) 722-4786.

Oceanside Historical Museum Website

 

The Kruglak Gallery offers a diverse range of contemporary exhibitions of interest to both students and the general public. The gallery is located in the Mira Costa College Student Center on the Oceanside Campus. Hours are Monday - Thursday, 10am – 3pm and Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, 6 – 7:30pm. Admission is free. (760) 795-6815.

The Kruglak Gallery Website

Rosicrucian Fellowship

Brilliantly situated on a dramatic bluff overlooking the historic Oceanside Valley , the Rosicrucian Fellowship offers sanctuary from the demands of the modern world. Operating as the International Headquarters, the Fellowship aims to unite Christianity with science. There are two daily services offered to visitors who visit this National Historical Monument .The Rosicrucian Fellowship is located at Mission Ave. and Mesa Drive . For more information please call (760) 757-6600.

Prince of Peace Abbey Retreat House

The Prince of Peace Abbey is a Benedictine Monastery situated on a mesa overlooking the San Luis Rey River Valley and the Pacific Ocean . It was founded in 1958 by monks of St. Meinrad's Archabbey in Indiana . The facility serves as a retreat house and gardens for those seeking spiritual renewal. For more information please call (760) 430-1305.

Rancho Guajome Adobe

Rancho Guajome hacienda depicts a unique example of Anglo-Hispanic architecture built on an original Mexican land grant. Distinguished as a National Historic Landmark for its contribution to our nation's history, the rambling twenty-room adobe ranch house, built with huge profits from the cattle boom of the 1850's, bustled in its heyday with extravagant fiestas, lively rodeos, and constant visitors. Noted author Helen Hunt Jackson stayed at Guajome while she gathered material for her famous novel Ramona. Guajome County Park also offers a rich riparian area, marshes, spring-fed lakes, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping.

Buena Vista Audubon Society Nature Center

At the absolute southern edge of Oceanside , you'll find the Buena Vista Audubon Society's Nature Center . Sited on the Buena Vista Lagoon, the Center offers a variety of natural history experiences. In the course of an afternoon, you can walk amid native plants to see views of the lagoon and its bird life, discover tracks along the shore that reveal the night's animal visitors, tour the garden of native plants, find the world's tiniest mammals in one of the exhibits of local habitat, learn what endangered species live in the lagoon and challenge your children with nature games. The Center is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Take Coast Highway to 2202 South Coast Hwy. Phone: (760) 439-BIRD (2473).

Farmer's Market

The Farmers Market is a delightful way to mingle with the locals and experience our fresh, homegrown, organic produce, botanicals and scrumptious baked goods. Located in historic downtown on Pier View Way , the Farmers Market is held every Thursday morning. For more information, call Main Street , Oceanside (760) 754-4512.

North County Model Railroad Society

Come and see the Museum Quality HO Gauge Model Trains displayed in Boney's Marketplace, at 1820 Oceanside Boulevard. Hwy 5, one block East on Oceanside Blvd. Thursday 3:00 – 6:00 pm and Saturday 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. Hwy 5, one block inland on Oceanside Blvd. (760) 722-7366.

North County Model Railroad Website

Camp Pendleton

The largest United States Marine Corps amphibious training base, this former Rancho provides unique insight into the native chaparral (coastal desert) landscape in which urban Southern California was built. Camp Pendleton 's motto is "Preserving California's Precious Resources" as it is home to endangered species and contains many historical landmarks. Originally named by the Portola Expedition (the famous Portuguese explorer) "Santa Margarita y Las Flores," the base was dedicated in 1942 in the name of Major General Joseph H. Pendleton, famous for his vision of Southern California coastal lands as ideal Marine Corps training grounds. The 125,000+ acre site's ownership history reflects dramatically the history of California and the nation. In order to visit the base, guests must show identification, proof of insurance and proof of registration at the gate. Two museums are available for one-and-a-half hour tours on the base. For tour information call (760) 725-5569.

The Museum of Making Music - A Division of the NAMM Foundation

Founded in 1998 under NAMM's organizational umbrella and with its sponsorship, the Museum of Making Music explores the multifaceted history of the American music products industry from its beginnings in the 1890s to today. Housed at NAMM Headquarters in Carlsbad, California (north San Diego county), the Museum tells stories of hard work, challenge, inspiration and pioneering innovation, and reveals the profound relationship between the industry, popular music, and global culture.

The Museum serves as a resource for the community of NAMM members through the preservation, interpretation and sharing of the industry's collective history in a public museum context. In addition, it reveals the unique and often unknown story of the music products industry to the general public. And, through intimate concerts, films, discussions, hands-on workshops, volunteer opportunities and programs for underserved youth, the Museum opens doors to enable people of all ages and walks of life to find their way into the richly kaleidoscopic world of music making.

The Museum of Making Music

 

 


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