OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA – Visitors to this southern California seaside city will nonetheless discover remnants of the times when it was finest often known as a spot for troopers stationed at close by Camp Pendleton to blow off steam. There are old-style film theatres and diners, and a lot of small barber retailers proudly flying the Stars and Stripes and providing haircuts for as little as $11.
The Changing Face of Oceanside, CA
But issues have begun to alter in Oceanside. A brand new Wyndham resort appeared just a few years in the past by the water. SpringHill Suites by Marriott adopted. And then got here the Mission Pacific and the Seabird, two glowing, boutique motels with rooftop bars that sprung up in former parking heaps overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Goodbye, greasy bacon and eggs, good day avocado toast.
“Fifteen years ago, nobody wanted to come downtown,” says Kim Heim of the Oceanside Business Association. “There would be military guys in the bars and fights spilling out in the streets.” (I did some research on the historical past of the city and skim that there was billboards alongside the freeway advising of us to “Tan Your Hide in Oceanside.”)
Oceanside Street Market
Heim determined a avenue market would possibly herald of us who’d been hesitant to enterprise downtown. There have been some early clashes, “but eventually the interests of the many outweighed the interests of the few,” he stated.
“All of a sudden, it was ‘boom!’ The public adopted the market. And now we get 400,000 people a year.”
During the day, you’ll discover distributors promoting t-shirts, candles, and California-themed gear. At night time, the distributors are supplemented by roughly 100 meals vans, providing every part from Greek meals to real Thai and thick, wealthy cream puffs.
Kim shuffles off and comes again with a big plate of southern Thailand-style Pad Thai, which has a touch of coconut and is totally fabulous.
A Food Lover’s Dream
“I wanted food to be the real focus,” Heim says. “And I wanted it to be authentic. The empanada truck is run by a fellow from Venezuela. The Pad Thai truck is run by a family from Thailand.”
The market was flooded with folks from all walks of life on the night time we visited. People noshed on ribs, North African-style hen, and Hong Kong noodles as they walked alongside the market’s 4 metropolis blocks, that are closed off to vehicles. On the sting of the market, a girl of a sure age was sitting alone singing present tunes your grandmother would know. In the center of the motion, a big band was taking part in the ska tune “Monkey Man.”
“I don’t think this market would work in Del Mar or La Jolla,” each posh suburbs of San Diego. But it really works in Oceanside, attracting numerous folks from each San Diego County and close by Orange County.
“People like to rub elbows with other people in an authentic setting,” Heim tells me. “Here you’ll find people who can’t rub two nickels together mingling with millionaires. And you can’t tell them apart.”
The Sunset Market is a terrific spot to mingle with locals, and save on a pleasant meal. See what’s on on the Sunset Market right here.
Flashy Hotels and Rooftop Pools
The most grabby new arrivals are Mission Pacific and Seabird Resort, each flashy motels with rooftop swimming pools and bars, loads of vibrant native artwork, and a distinctly youthful really feel.
The Mission Pacific has a really good high ground bar with craft cocktails and nice views of the town and the seashore, together with Oceanside’s 1,942-foot-long (592 meter) pier, stated to be the longest picket pier on the west coast of the U.S. There’s additionally a beautiful pool.
Seabird Resort is a little more family-oriented and exhibits “dive-in” motion pictures on the rooftop pool. You’ll additionally discover a enjoyable video games room with pool tables and vivid, main colors.
“The hotels were game changers for Oceanside,” stated Mission Pacific Marketing Manager Alison Norwood. “This was the largest beachfront development in San Diego County in the last 50 years.”
Things to do in Oceanside, California
Top Gun House
Resting on the entrance aspect of the Mission Pacific is a nice Victorian dwelling that was moved right here from one other a part of city. It was the seashore home featured within the authentic Top Gun film. The home now affords a spot promoting ice cream pies and shows memorabilia from the film.
Oceanside Coastal Trail
If it’s essential to work off one of many ice-cream pies, attempt renting a motorcycle and taking a journey alongside the town’s paved coastal path. This coastal path is a straightforward biking path that runs 4.7 miles alongside the waterfront. The plan is to develop it to 44 miles to run between Oceanside and San Diego.
Kayaking and Sea Lions
Another nice strategy to work up a sweat is a kayak journey within the tidy Oceanside harbor, the place you’ll discover every part from humble houseboats to gleaming yachts. The harbor is also dwelling to large sea lions, who typically relaxation on a raft that was constructed for them however appear to favor lounging on the again part of no matter boat tickles their fancy. Take a minute to admire among the intelligent boat names as you glide alongside, together with Deep Devocean, Liquid Liability, and Kelpless, which maybe belongs to a Neil Young fan.
Kayaking: Boats for Rent affords up kayaks for $30 for an hour or $40 for 2 hours. They even have stand-up paddleboards, electrical boats and different leases. There’s a pleasant village on the harbor, with a waterfront restaurant, small retailers and a espresso place.
Mission San Luis Rey
Tucked up within the hills you’ll discover Mission San Luis Rey, the most important of the 21 missions constructed by Spanish explorers who have been attempting to transform native Indians to Christianity (and take their land). It’s an attractive, white construction with hovering arches and a reasonably chapel. There’s additionally a pleasant museum that tells the story of the Spanish missions, in addition to the indigenous individuals who have lived right here for hundreds of years.
Mission San Luis Rey is a good spot for anybody excited by California historical past. Visit Mission San Luis Rey to assist plan your go to.
The Oceanside Pier is a nice place to soak up the sundown or watch surfers in motion. This well-liked landmark is likely one of the longest picket piers on the West Coast extending 1,942 ft into the Pacific. Take a stroll alongside this historic landmark that dates again to 1888. It is all the time buzzing with exercise and there are a number of eating places and cafes close by with different facilities together with restrooms and fishing gear leases.
Oceanside Pier has been featured in lots of Hollywood movies and TV exhibits together with Top Gun. See what’s occurring at Oceanside Pier.
Oceanside Museum of Art
Back downtown is the nice Oceanside Museum of Art. When we visited we discovered a wide selection of work together with wild pop artwork, sunny landscapes, wavy, metallic sculptures, and work by native Black artists. The Oceanside Museum of Art is a vivid, compact spot for artwork lovers. Visit their web site for present occasions and exhibitions
Oceanside Surf Museum
A brief stroll away is the Oceanside Surf Museum, which shows a monstrous, heavy wooden board utilized by Duke Kahanamoku and the board that legendary surfer Bethany Hamilton was driving in Hawaii when she was attacked by a shark and misplaced her arm. The retailer additionally sells surf books, espresso mugs, and classic Hawaiian shirts.
The California Surf Museum is a must-visit for anybody who enjoys browsing, or watching surfers in motion. Visit their web site for extra particulars.
How to Get to Oceanside, CA
One of the large benefits to Oceanside is that it’s situated on a practice line that connects San Diego with Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. The practice station is a pair blocks from the seashore and a five-minute stroll from the principle downtown motels. A journey from San Diego prices solely about $20 USD and takes simply an hour. The practice additionally stops within the booming seashore city of Carlsbad, which has a nice downtown and a beautiful seashore.
Where to Stay in Oceanside
The Mission Pacific is a beautiful boutique property throughout the road from the seashore that’s a part of the JDV by Hyatt assortment. Most rooms have a minimum of a partial ocean view. The rooftop bar serves up luscious cocktails in a horny setting. Their Hi-Low restaurant serves up contemporary California fare and has a pleasant out of doors terrace, whereas Valle options delicacies by award-winning Chef Robert Alcocer. For the rooftop bar, attempt the Moonlight cocktail with gin, strawberry and hibiscus tea.
Next door, The Seabird Resort, a Destination by Hyatt property, is a bit more youthful and flashy, however simply as nicely finished. There’s additionally a beautiful spa, and a small kiosk promoting Top Gun paraphernalia. Both motels have tons of native artwork that’s curated by the Oceanside Museum of Art.
Where to Eat in Oceanside
Craft Coast Tacos and Beer serves up good, native beers and good tacos. The guacamole may use a lift of spice.
Beach Break Cafe is a good, surf and skateboard-themed breakfast spot in south Oceanside. The avocado omelette appeared to have half an avocado stuffed inside, and the eggs got here with a small mountain of potatoes.
The Lab Collaborative serves up every part from burgers and pasta to jerk pork and steak salad. The wine costs have been fairly affordable after we visited.
For extra data on visiting Oceanside, California try VisitOceanside.org