family vacations at the beach

The Best Family-Friendly Beaches in Oceanside

By Suzanne Davis

There’s only one thing better than a day at the beach. And that’s a day at the beach in Oceanside, where three miles of soft golden sands, frothy waves, and a picturesque pier await. The Seabird Resort sits just steps away from the shore…so close that you can taste the salty sea air from your private balcony.


If you’re traveling as a family, you may be wondering: which is Oceanside’s best beach for kids? Not every stretch of sand is worth schlepping the umbrellas and castle-building gear. Below, we break down the best family beaches in Oceanside for wee ones and tweens alike. 


A quick note before heading out on a day of surf, sand, and sea: While there are plenty of family-friendly Oceanside beaches, none of the beaches are dog-friendly. (You can take your pup with you for a stroll along The Strand.) Many beach options are within walking distance from The Seabird Resort but, if you’re taking the car, public parking is available along the road following the beach with meters that accept coins and at public parking lots.

Pier View North Beach

A quick stroll from The Seabird (make sure to reserve our complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas before heading to the beach), the relaxed bend of sandy shoreline known as Pier View North Beach is tucked under the stilted legs of the Oceanside Pier — built back in 1888. Volleyball courts await for older kiddos (BYO net and ball), and two lifeguard towers help give parents peace of mind. Four blocks inland, Parlor Doughnuts is a must try, thanks to unexpected flavors like churro, lemonade, and strawberry shortcake.

Pier View South Beach

With a popular playground that sits right on the sand, Pier View South is a favorite of parents of toddlers and six-year-olds alike. Plus, the sand seems to stretch on forever — one reason why this particular beach is seemingly always bustling, yet has plenty of room at the same time. Just a few blocks inland from here: the California Surf Museum, where exhibits include antique boards and even one formerly owned by champion Kelly Slater.



Back view of fearless kid floating surfboard at ocean with waves on sunny evening
Oceanside’s family-friendly beaches offer plenty of spots for surfers of all ages.


Harbor Beach

Feel like a bonfire on the sand with your teens? Just 1.5 miles from the hotel, this sprawling beach (which, yes, sits on the harbor — fun if you love watching yachts bob on the water) has Oceanside-maintained fire rings ready for your use, steps away from the lapping waves. Need more? As Oceanside’s widest sandy beach, there are also designated swimming areas, picnic tables, and solid surfing. Breakwater Bay got its name because it straddles where the San Luis Rey River hits the ocean, and it’s just as sweet as it sounds. Just a few blocks away: Nautical Bean Coffee Company, which serves up a mean espresso macchiato that desperately-in-need-of-caffeine parents appreciate.

Buccaneer Beach

Your little buccaneers will surely proclaim this beach as arrr-some. Why? Buccaneer Park, right there across from the water and straddling a marsh, is tricked out with basketball courts and an expansive playground — complete with a slide; swings for infants, toddlers and older kids alike; and a mini rock-climbing wall. The beach itself is a bit rocky…all the better for a morning of beachcombing before heading back to The Seabird for a cappuccino for you — and a nap for the kids.

Breakwater Bay Beach

When you’re done exploring, head back to The Seabird Resort for poolside snacks at The Shelter Club. Get too much sun? Indulge in our cooling Sun Salutation treatment at Sunny’s Spa, with its mask of sea algae, aloe vera, and green tea extracts. Say it with us: “Aaaaah.”