Spring Break: Take it Outside

Get ready for equal parts chill time and thrill time. This front-row beach retreat is the ideal home base to explore Legoland, San Diego Zoo and Oceanside’s bounty of recreational experiences. Vacation mode starts now!

For families, Oceanside really is a perfect city. The average spring temperature is 72 degrees. The location is primed for easy driving to big bucket-list destinations like Legoland and San Diego Zoo. And The Seabird Ocean Resort & Spa is your own piece of paradise with splashy, all-ages outdoor pursuits.

Central to Oceanside’s popularity is its authentic, active beach culture. It’s become a soulful SoCal destination for what it isn’t: cookie-cutter. The Seabird Ocean Resort & Spa reflects this free spirit, from its art gallery to the East-meets-West Sunny’s Spa.

There’s enough things for the kiddos to see and do here and plenty of downtime for adults to kick back at this oceanfront resort—effervescent with family-friendly offerings (kids eat free and free parking).

And by effervescent, we mean bubbling over with options. First, some facts: The resort is located across the street from a soft sandy stretch of sand where The Beach Rambler sets up your umbrella and chairs. Tied for first: The pool boasts 180-degree ocean views while the “Little Seabirds” kids activities is buzzy with sandcastle building, kite flying, and treasure hunts.


Here, we dial in the 10 dynamic Spring Break outings in Oceanside and beyond.

Lions, Lego and Lorikeets: Easy drive to bucket-list destinations

LEGOLAND California Resort (13 miles) is geared toward kids who are ages 2–12 but even tweens who think they’ve outgrown the bricks end up having fun. Thrill-seekers: Don’t miss the Knight’s Tournament, The Dragon Coaster and The Lost Animal Kingdom. This indoor ride (with laser guns!) traverses through an archeological dig with mummies and pharaohs emerging from their tombs. Miniland with tiny scaled cities of New York and San Francisco is a big deal, and speaking of mini: Don’t forget your minifigures for trading. Also a Legoland invention: hot Granny’s Apple Fries.

Watching the afternoon cheetah run is one of the most popular attractions at The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (28 miles). Over 2,600 animals, including lions and elephants, roam in large free-range enclosures. Topping our list: the petting zoo in Nairobi Village, Lorikeet Landing (feed the birds), and Walkabout Australia (jump with wallabies!). Schedule the free Africa Tram or zipline on the Skyline Safari.

The world-famous San Diego Zoo (39 miles) is home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals set amid some 700,000 exotic plants throughout its 100 acres. Check for giraffe feeding times, and don’t miss the koalas, polar bears, komodo dragons, pygmy hippos, Galapagos tortoises, and Skyfari Aerial Tram.


The Board Culture: Surf & Skate

From thrilling skateparks to some of the most consistent surf in San Diego, Oceanside is all about the board. For the skateboard crowd, there are five parks that offer a variety of challenging skatepark courses with multiple styles such as “street” and “tranny.” When it’s time to hit the surf, Oceanside’s three miles of sandy beach coastline has world-famous breaks including Pier, Harbor and Buccaneer. We can dial in the surf lessons with access to some of the best local instructors and gear including Stand-Up Paddle Boards. On land, explore California Surf Museum and Shapers Alley, a business district dedicated to custom board shaping.




The Wheel Deal: Bike Friendly Community

While the beach cruiser may have been invented in Orange County, it remains the preferred mode of transportation for hotel guests looking to explore The Strand as well as local cafes and vintage stores. A leader in both the Bike Friendly Community status and Rider Safety Initiative movement, Oceanside welcomes riders—beach cruiser, mountain bike or racing bike. The city boasts several popular bike routes including the nine-mile San Luis Rey Bike Trail that begins at the harbor and follows the path of the San Luis Rey river, and the Coastal Rail Trail that is a 44 mile regional bike trail that runs from Oceanside to San Diego.


In the Swing: O’Side Golf

Bill Murray. Kelly Slater. What these stars have in common is where they golf in San Diego. We’re not talking Torrey Pines. It’s all about the totally funky and unique Goat Hill Park, named one of the top five short courses in the country by the Golf Channel. Set among the hills with ocean views, the Goat Hill game is laid-back and fun— there’s no dress code (yes, flip flops are allowed), and music is playing in the dog-friendly clubhouse. With rates starting at $35 ($20 for twilight), the course is truly accessible to novice and experienced golfers. In addition to the main golf course, there’s a three-hole kids’ course—The Playground—where kids and parents can play for free.


Culinary Seekers: Foodie Adventure

For those who travel to eat, Oceanside has earned serious food cred, including our neighbor, Valle, which earned a Michelin star last year and a coveted spot on Esquire’s list of 50 Best Restaurants in America. Meanwhile, barbecue purists wait in line for Heritage Barbecue and Brewery, a craft BBQ joint doling out Tri Tip, Brisket, Pulled Pork Tacos, and Texas Queso. Vegans will find nirvana in South Oceanside at The Plot, serving plant-based cuisine with sustainability top of mind. Across the street on Oceanside Pier, Brine Box brings elevated seafood to this iconic location. Expect seaweed salad alongside updated Fish & Chips.




Whale Watching

Visitors can explore Oceanside’s beautiful, coastal waters with Oceanside Adventures Luxury Cruises, a year-round whale watching company located in front of the picturesque lighthouse at the Oceanside Harbor. Passengers cruise on a state-of-the-art, 50-foot catamaran for two-hour excursions that explore the local waters flourishing with sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions. A certified naturalist, who offers expert and experienced commentary along the journey, narrates each trip.



Oceanside Harbor is the only harbor for more than 60 miles between San Diego and Orange County and is the largest single municipally-operated marina in the county. The harbor is a natural draw for boating enthusiasts who can pursue a number of recreational activities including jet skiing, boating, sailing, and sea kayaking. Stand up paddle boarding in the calm harbor waters is also a popular option.


A Great Catch: Fishing Fun

Whether casting from shore or dropping a line from a boat on the open ocean, anglers have plenty of options to choose from in Oceanside. The Harbor has many sport fishing tours that offer fun day trips and sea-life adventures. Visitors can go eco-friendly on a kayak fishing expedition or drop a line from the pier or harbor for species such as butterfish, halibut and kelp bass.