Oceanside – Swim. Sip. Dine. Stay. Bike. Explore.

IMG_3687Oceanside is a small, casual beach community to explore by foot or bicycle. Located next to Camp Pendelton and along the Pacific Ocean, Oceanside is a terrific vacation destination for couples and families. Here are some great things to see and do:

SWIM There is a swim side and surf or paddles board side near the lifeguard stations. Visitors and locals enjoy walking the longest wooden pier on the West Coast. It is approximately 1,942 feet long and a great place to watch the surfers, fish with your own pole or rent one at the bait shop, and grab a meal at Ruby’s Diner at the very end of the pier.

SIP The Stone Company Store offers a unique beer garden and tasting room set in the heart of Oceanside. Visitors and locals ride their bikes or walk over to order a flight of 4 oz. pours for $1.50 each. They also serve 8 oz. pours for $3 and 16 oz. pours for $5.50. We sat out on the patio in the wooden lounge area among large stones and a drought tolerant garden, sipping an ebony colored smoked Porter with overtones of chocolate and coffee. The Stone Delicious IPA was a spicy and citrus IPA with a lemon candy zing.

DINE Enjoy lunch or dinner at Hello Betty. Located on the corner of the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, this is the quintessential surfing IMG_3685dining spot with beach decor, a sparkling gold dune buggy, innovative seafood fare and craft cocktails. At sunset this place is packed with locals and tourists enjoying fish tacos with a margarita. It’s beach causal with a great menu.

STAY If you are staying overnight the SpringHill Suites by Marriott is an excellent choice with spacious suite-style rooms, a rooftop pool, jacuzzi and fitness center. Most rooms have beach and ocean views with a sitting area, desk, flat screen television, microwave, balcony and full bathroom.

This LEED certified property offers a complimentary hot and cold breakfast until 10 a.m. with waffles, scrambled eggs, bagels, cereal and fresh fruit. Park your car with the valet and leave it in the secure underground garage throughout your trip.

BIKE Under the Pier you can rent bicycles of various types including tandem at Wheel Fun Rentals. Ride along The Strand and over to the Coastal Rail Trail along a paved mile trail. It’s located two blocks west of the trail’s north end near IMG_3722Tyson Street Park.

There is another paved bike trail along the San Luis Rey River Trail. It’s a 7.2 mile ride between Neptune Way on the west end and the College Bridge on the west end. The trail follows the course of the San Luis Rey River and is mostly flat. It’s a local favorite among cyclists, walkers and inline skaters.

EXPLORE Walk to the California Surf museum to learn about the history of the surfboard. There are a variety of boards on display and exhibits about various surfers, including Bethany Hamilton. 312 View Way, Oceanside (760)721-6876.

A few blocks up is the Oceanside Museum of Art offering a interesting exhibit of 100 San Diego Artists works in a 100 year historical span. The museum is housed in a classic Irving Gill designed building that represents the flavor of Southern California in the 1930s. IMG_3702

Between the SpringHill Suites and Oceanside Beach is the historic Dr. Graves vacation house built in 1887. The charming Queen Anne Cottage and is known as the Top Gun House filmed in the movie Top Gun released in 1986.

Get a haircut. Oceanside offers a Barber Shop on almost every block.

Come visit the new and improved Oceanside. It will impress all of your senses. To learn more about Oceanside, go to: www.visitoceanside.org.

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