Category: Family Vacations

family pool hotel terrace

Stretch Out Your Summer With Weekends in Oceanside


By Suzanne Davis

Fall may feel like it’s just around the corner, but we know how to stretch out summer as long as possible in Oceanside, thanks to warm evenings, cool activities, and plenty of kid-friendly perks that make family weekends in Oceanside a breeze.

Read on for how to make the most of summer’s last stand. (Want to stretch summer out even further? Book a weekend getaway even after the kids are back in school!)


Unleash Kids’ Creativity (and Snag Some Alone Time)

The Seabird Resort has long been a no-brainer choice for parents, thanks to kids programming that includes things like tie dye t-shirt making and build-a-stuffed animal activities (for a small fee), plus crafternoons of seashell rock painting and bubble parties (complimentary for hotel guests). There is always something for all ages being offered at our waterfront resort — literally, daily! — as a quick scroll through our monthly events calendar will attest. Just chat with the concierge or RSVP on the activity calendar to reserve a spot. Whether your kids opt to weave dream catchers in the Wood Library or paint mandala rocks on the beach, they’ll never forget it.


sunset at the boardwalk


Bask in the Sun on Family-Friendly Beaches

The shores of Oceanside are stocked with gentle waves, soft sand, and close proximity to a bed for naptime…if you know where to look. All year long, but especially in the pleasantly warm days of fall, family-friendly Pier View North Beach draws in visitors from all around. Stroll the historic Oceanside Pier, and you’ll spot folks fishing for croakers and surfperch (no license required, here). Guests of The Seabird will love that the beach is just across the street from the hotel; doting staffers will even set up your loaner beach chairs and umbrellas (reserve them between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). What more could parents visiting Oceanside ask for than these tot-approved, all-natural sandboxes? 


Play (and Play Some More) at Legoland

Just ten zippy miles from your guest room, Legoland is a must-visit for anyone in the toddler through tween years — and parents with fond memories of their own brick-building adventures. The theme park has on-brand rides like the “Coastersaurus,” which flies past outsized Lego dinosaurs, a thrilling virtual ride on Emmet’s triple-decker couch in an ode to “The Lego Movie,” and building stations where kids can construct all manner of their lego daydreams IRL. Brand new for 2022: the LEGO Ferrari Build and Race, where you can climb into a life-size LEGO Ferrari F40 for a photo sesh and even design your own Ferrari, then watch it hit the tracks in a digitized version of Pista di Fiorano.


The family enjoying breakfast


Savor Meals That Suit All Palates

Wee guests of The Seabird who are 12 and under — our Little Seabirds — can enjoy two free meals at Piper, the hotel’s buzzing coastal California cuisine restaurant, where the pasta is handmade daily. Translation: You get to tuck into rigatoni bolognese with heirloom peppers and parmesan, while they treat themselves to flatbread with tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni. And did we mention that each child will also receive a plush stuffed animal as a welcome amenity? Talk about happy meals. 


Spend a Spa Day With the Kids

Everyone…of every age…could use some pampering, especially in a post-2020 world. That’s why Sunny’s Spa & Beauty Lounge rolls out the relaxing red carpet for kiddos, too. Kids 6-12 can try “little mermaid” pedicures and manicures, hair art, or even have a “Mommy/Daddy and Me” massage. Say it with us: “Aaaaaah.”


3 High Pie


Sample Nostalgic Sweets & Treats

Set in an 1887 blue Victorian cottage where scenes from Tom Cruise’s megahit “Top Gun” were shot, High Pie is now the place to indulge in hand pies made. Flavors include local apple and cherry, and you can order yours a la mode with mascarpone ice cream and dip it in everything from sea salt caramel to lemon curd. (All pies are made with gluten-free Cup4Cup flour from star chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry, making them and even sweeter treat for those with gluten sensitivities.) Donuts more your style? Just three blocks inland, you can pamper everyone in the family at Parlor Doughnuts, where the menu includes “Sandy Beach,” “Campfire” (complete with mini marshmallows), and even “Dog Donuts” for Fido.


Soak It All Up With the Summer Sun Setter Package

Soak up the last drops of summer and make your stay in Oceanside even sweeter with an exclusive offer from The Seabird Resort, including a $125 resort credit on a two-night stay from August 1 to October 2, 2022. You can use it everywhere, from Sunny’s Spa & Beauty Lounge (CBD body wrap, anyone?) to the poolside Shelter Club.






Don’t let the sun set on your summer plans! Stay two nights at The Seabird Resort and receive a $125 resort credit to soak up the last bits of summer fun in Oceanside. Apply your credit to The Seabird’s world-class resort amenities, such as luxurious spa offerings at Sunny’s Spa & Beauty Lounge, activities that will take you from sand to sea, and food and beverage options that will truly make your stay in SoCal an unforgettable summer dream.

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açai bowl and avocado toasts restaurant healthy menu

California Cuisine: How to Eat Healthy on Vacation

As any globetrotter will tell you, it’s not easy to eat healthy on vacay. After all, a world of deliciousness awaits, whether you want to indulge in pizza al taglio in Rome or slurp udon in Tokyo. Yet somehow, California combines the most delicious menu options with the ones that are also fantastic for you (this is the state that grows 13% of the United States’ produce, after all…talk about fresh veggies!). 


We find it’s easier to eat healthy here on vacation than anywhere else when even so-called “indulgent” meals are chock-full of fresh, local, good-for-you ingredients.


Still, staying on track with your wellness goals isn’t easy on the road, but travel is in itself a healthy thing to do. (Sure, we’re biased, but we have proof — 93% of American travelers felt happier after time away, according to this study.)


Read on for our tips for eating healthy while traveling. Or, at least relatively so, you are on vacation after all! 


Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Drinking lots of water is even more important when you’re on the move, especially in warm and sunny destinations like Southern California. Traveling by air? The Aerospace Medical Association recommends drinking about eight ounces of water for every hour of flying. Bottom’s up!



Pack your own snacks or stay in places that offer a variety of good-for-you treats.
Pack your own snacks or stay in places that offer a variety of good-for-you treats.

Stash Your Own Snacks

We’ve all done it — in a moment of travel-tiredness, we’ve either made sudden food choices that we know won’t have us feeling good later on (In-N-Out Burger as soon as we touch down in California) or been stuck with poor options (airport convenience store pre-made sandwiches). The fix? Toting your own healthy snacks with you when you travel, such as nuts, dates, and protein bars. A little thinking ahead can go a long way in staving off hunger until you can get some more satisfying, body- and soul-nourishing fare.




Healthy food options at Piper.
Healthy food options at Piper.

Research Restaurant Options

Traveling shakes up your routine in more ways than one. From unusual schedules to unfamiliar places, you likely not be eating when and how you normally do. Researching restaurants in your chosen destination before you get there can help make mealtimes more smooth and stress-free by finding recommended spots that fit your eating preferences or health goals. In Oceanside, for instance, The Seabird’s oceanfront Piper restaurant and bar has become a go-to spot for a variety of healthy options. Diners practically glow, and not just because they can opt to sit on the wraparound outdoor patio! 


Get Extra Vitamins With Organic Juices

There’s only one thing better than fresh juice…and that’s organic freshly pressed juice packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s also a welcome way to get the nutrients your body needs while on the move, plus is one of many healthy — not to mention tasty — offerings on Piper’s menu. For an easy boost of fruits and veggies, try the Kale for the Win blend. The cold-pressed juice is practically a spa day in a glass: a perfect blend of kale, cucumber, granny smith apple, lemon, and mint. Bliss, sip by sip. 


Go Local

10/10 locavores agree: The nearer your food source, the more nutritious (and delicious) your dishes. Piper prioritizes using organic and locally sourced ingredients in all of its dishes — from farm-fresh produce to free-range chicken. One of our go-to meals? The locally caught halibut. Its omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and magnesium are only a few of the nutritional boons in this locally-caught fish. But served with a citrus salad, cream of cardoon, and ramps, this one is even better than nutritiously delicious: It’s divine. 




You can’t beat handmade dishes for nutrition, flavor, and quality.
You can’t beat handmade dishes for nutrition, flavor, and quality.

Choose Handmade 

Any dish is better — in terms of quality, flavor, and nutrition — when it’s made in house. If you’ve ever been to Italy, you know that pasta made lovingly by hand are a transcendent experience. They’re also healthier, thanks to iron and zinc in the fresh eggs used to make them. Piper’s new handmade pasta offerings featured at The Pass are created from scratch for every serving. Enjoy a unique chef’s table experience on Fridays and Saturdays at the 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. seating to taste exquisite flavors sourced locally, and made fresh everyday. It deserves a *chef’s kiss* for sure.


Find Healthy Food the Whole Family Will Love

Kids may have a reputation for sometimes being picky eaters, which can make finding family-friendly food options while traveling a complicated affair. When staying at The Seabird, however, it’s simple to feed and please all ages with food that tastes as good as it is good for you. With the Little Seabirds Eat Free package, your kids can enjoy up to two free healthy meals at Piper during your stay. 



couple chilling in the beach sunny day

5 Tips for Staying Cool on the Beach


By Jenny Adams

Getting ready for a sunny summer? Semi-arid, with gentle maritime winds, Oceanside’s temperatures hover between 65-75 degrees in the hottest months of the year — combined with consistent sunshine and with low rainfall, planning a vacation here leaves you with peace of mind when it comes to weather.


Any season at The Seabird Resort is a great time to visit, but if you’re coming to Oceanside in peak summer, or even the first weeks of the spring and fall shoulder seasons, considering the sun is essential for making the most of your vacation. While those breezes and frequent dips in the ocean can keep you cool, protecting your skin and your eyes, as well as staying hydrated, is important. 


Fortunately, The Seabird Resort makes keeping cool easy with plenty of guest perks (hello, complimentary beach loungers!) and these five simple tips for staying cool on the beach. (Use them while discovering Oceanside’s best family-friendly beaches.)



The Seabird will set up complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas, and more.
The Seabird will set up complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas, and more.


1. Seek Out the Shade

Oceanside’s three-mile-long stretch of golden sands means there’s plenty of space to spread out and stake your spot for the day. To stay cool and protect your skin from the sun, beach umbrellas are definitely in order. 


Don’t worry about hauling your own. For guests at The Seabird, beach chairs and umbrellas are not only complimentary — our beach crew will set up your chaise and sunshade too right across from the resort. You can reserve them between 10 a.m. to and 4 p.m., seven days a week.


2. Protect Your Skin and the Ocean Ecosystem 

Sunscreen is an essential that every dermatologist recommends daily, not only to keep skin youthful but, more importantly, to protect against the risk of skin cancer. However, for beach days, when sun exposure is at its most intense, it’s critical to wear a strong SPF of 30 or higher and reapplied every hour, or after any swim. 


While it’s important to protect your skin, we also have to keep in mind protecting underwater life as well. California is home to one of the most striking, diverse, and intricate coastlines in the world. From sea lions to sharks, from humpback whales to dolphins, the Pacific has incredible wildlife in a complex world beneath the waves. When traveling to any beach, a reef-safe sunblock is the best choice. There are several brands on the market (see one of our favorites below) that eliminate chemicals that cause reef bleaching and can damage underwater creatures’ reproductive cycles. 


What’s good for you can also be great for the planet.


3. Stay Hydrated 

There are plenty of songs about cocktails in the sun, but to fully enjoy being outside, you’ll want to stay hydrated with more than just pina coladas. It’s not only important to pack hydration for a beach day, it’s also important to pack the right hydration. An adult human should consume around 10 cups of water per day. Add in a sunny, action-packed beach day, and you’ll want to make sure you get that and then some. Remember, you have to replenish what you sweat out, whether that’s through inactive tanning or playing volleyball.


Naturally, good ‘ol water is the number one option for hydration, but it might surprise you to know that room temperature or lightly cold is better for the body, especially in the heat. Ice water can actually shock your digestive tract and can also induce headaches.


The Seabird Resort team is happy to provide you with cool water in insulated water bottles to carry down to the sand. Sports drinks are another great option for beach days, especially if calories are being burned. Make sure to check the labels for unnecessary sugars and additives. Not all electrolyte drinks are created equal.


It’s also smart to know the signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion, including dizziness, rapid heartbeat, flushed, red skin, confusion, and muscle cramps, to make sure you can get help and get somewhere cooler when you — or your kids — need to. 


4. Know When It’s Time to Go 

It’s easy to let the hours slip by when you’re splashing and having fun, but scheduling breaks out of the ocean or the pool is key, especially for little ones who are content to stay in the water all day. When you’re in the water, you are still getting refracted rays from the sun, and while your body might be physically cooler, the dangers of too much sun exposure are still there. 


There are tons of shady places in Oceanside to make a fun break, from snagging an ice cream cone on Main Street to popping back up to Shelter Club for a club sandwich or an iced coffee. Pre-plan these into your schedule for the day to make sure you have breaks locked in.


5. Pack Those Little Extras 

While not entirely necessary, certain gadgets that help you stay cool can make your beach time even better. For example, pack a refreshing, hydrating face mist or a spritzer bottle filled with cold water, or find a specially-made chilling towel that stays cold when wet to help keep your cool as temperatures rise.



Check out our 1940s Beach Rambler.
Check out our 1940s Beach Rambler.


Bonus: Stop by the Brand-New Beach Rambler

This year, Oceanside Beach has a brand new store — right off the sand and in the coolest vehicle imaginable with The Seabird Resort’s decked-out Beach Rambler.

Back in the 1940s, the George T. Hall Company made a recreational trailer called The Rambler. Years ago, the only one left in existence was found wasting away in a backyard. Fortunately, the trailer still had good bones and this gleaming metal stunner now knows new life as a beach outfitter. 


Designer Jeremy Hutch was behind the painstaking retro restoration, adding exterior wood panels made from thermalized oak, zebrano, ipe, and Brazilian teak woods to give the trailer a visual nod to the old Woody station wagons featured in so many surf movies from the 1950s. Carefully chosen lighting adds a touch of Art Deco, while the Rambler’s logo signage letters are laser cut, inlaid, and sealed in resin.



Stop by the Beach Rambler to pick up your beach necessities.
Stop by the Beach Rambler to pick up your beach necessities.



Parked right at the edge of The Seabird Resort, this baby now stocks an array of useful, beach-friendly items to make your Oceanside stay even easier –– from fresh young coconuts and light bites to UV-protective sunglasses, towels, hats, and even pet water bottles, meaning you won’t even need to go back up to the room if you forget something. (It even stocks beach games like cornhole, smash ball, and spike ball. 


Plus, you’ll find go-to beach brands, including YETI coolers and tumblers, Coola Mineral Sunscreen, and Señor Lopez brand beach blankets crafted from recycled fabrics. Maybe you packed a bikini but didn’t think about the intensity of the California sun? You’ll see a lot of locals sporting rash guards. These water shirts keep your skin protected, eliminating the annoyance of reapplying sunblock to your arms, chest, and shoulders. if you don’t own one, not to worry; the Rambler has all sizes by Oakley, a surfers’ favorite.

Staying cool means you’ll be able to stay out longer and make the most of a beach day in Oceanside.







Double your World of Hyatt points when you book this offer and choose points for your stay.

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Family Friendly spring break in Oceanside

What to Do for a Family-Friendly Spring Break in Oceanside

By Jenny Adams

Spring is just around the corner and with it comes the promise of longer days, warmer temperatures, a desire to get outside, and, of course, the allure of spring break. We’ve made it through the winter and, while winter around Oceanside is one of our favorite times of year, we’re looking ahead to longer family getaways spent outside and in the water.    


Only a 90-minute drive (or two-hour train ride) from Los Angeles and just a 45-minute drive north from Downtown San Diego, easily accessible Oceanside offers a little something for everyone — whether you want to lounge on the beach, learn how to surf, splash in the pool, bike along sandy paths, or take a break with some spa-inspired R&R. 


Private balconies, beach valets, and fresh California cuisine make The Seabird Resort a welcome escape for adults. But the resort also has a world of fun waiting for the youngest family members, making it an obvious place to spend spring break.


Along with amenities tailored to every age group, curated adventures — both on land and by sea — are available with education and entertainment going hand-in-hand.


Simply put, Oceanside is fun for the whole family (pets too!). 


What to Do With Young Kids in Oceanside


These are the years when kids first meet the water. And, whether it’s splashing in the shallows of our expansive, cabana-lined pool or toddling towards the Pacific Ocean’s edge to meet the salty spray, there are endless memories to be made in Oceanside.


Celebrate these unforgettable ages with convenient programming far beyond the expected. Start your day with fishing off the Ocean Pier, and make sure to bring your camera along, as photo opportunities are plentiful. No fishing license is required. This is a fun learning opportunity for little ones, from walking the longest pier in San Diego (1,972 feet!) to stopping at the Pier Bait Shop to gear up. Even if you don’t catch anything the first time, it’s guaranteed one of the older, more experienced anglers will pull in a perch or bass (or even a spiny lobster), putting on a good show for the whole family.


Back at the resort, our team is ready to provide plenty of fun in the sun…or shade…for young children and tweens with Little Seabirds kid-friendly art and adventure activities, like a beach-inspired Craft Hour and an Art Scavenger hunt.


Afternoons can include playing in the pool, hunting for crabs in the powdery sand or even kite flying. The latter is fantastic just before sunset, when the winds pick up and the skies tinge pink. Our trained pros keep this event fun for all ages, with kites in various sizes, built for even the littlest muscles.


Of course, cuisine plays an important role in any vacation, whether you’re six or 60. Kiddos up to age 12 can enjoy extra special meals when booking the Little Seabirds Eat Free package, including two complimentary meals at Piper, where the organic ingredients and handmade pasta extend to the kid’s menu, plus receive a Seabird stuffed animal as a memento of their stay. 


What to Do With Tweens in Oceanside


Tweens won’t even remember video games or their iPhones with all the outdoor action available in Oceanside. Begin your first full day with breakfast at Piper (remember, kids up to age 12 can eat for free) and a walk around Harbor Village. This picturesque cove has loads of charm, from the red-and-white striped lighthouse to the colorful boats docked at the marina. That lighthouse is also your jumping-off point for two of Oceanside’s most adrenaline-packed activities — whale watching and dolphin tours. Oceanside Adventures offers cruises on a 50-foot, 49-passenger catamaran. It definitely takes your breath away watching a massive humpback whale break the surface and pods of dolphins commonly swim right alongside the vessel. From gray whales to blue whales, from all four species of dolphins to sea lions, sharks, and sunfish, you are only a few yards from the ocean’s most impressive wildlife.


As impressive as the Pacific Ocean’s wild creatures are, there’s even more to explore on solid ground. The waterfront town actually became famous decades ago…for its concrete. Concrete half pipes that is.


This is the birthplace of the famous Transworld SKATEboarding magazine, and the town’s five skate parks include Prince Memorial Skate Park, John Landes Park, Libby Lake Park, Martin Luther King Park, and Melba Bishop Park. If your kids are eager to learn, there are plenty of outfitters ready with pads, boards, and expert know-how. It’s also a cool afternoon activity to grab an ice cream and cruise down to one of the more advanced parks to watch the pros shred.


Family catching oceanside waves
Make this spring break one for the books by learning out to catch a wave.


What to Do With Teens in Oceanside


California surf culture is known all over the world, and spring break is a great time to introduce your teens to the sport, whether it’s a low-key morning lesson or a full week of surf camp. The break at the Oceanside Pier is one of the best places in the nation to learn. How good? It’s actually listed in the Encyclopedia of Surfing as one of the world’s most consistent breaks.


Help selecting a board, picking up the lingo, and understanding the leash begins at Shaper’s Alley — a string of more than a dozen surf shops. Then, it’s down to the water for the first rides. Teens and parents will quickly find that the surf instructors in Oceanside are as consistently awesome as the waves. Set up a family-friendly surf lesson with North County Surf Academy Surf founder (and second-generation pro surfer) Duran Barr. You’ll learn how to read the surf and ride the waves while on the beach before heading out to test your skills in the waters of the North Shore. 


Downtown Oceanside is a great place for teenagers to gather, whether it’s shooting Instagram posts in front of the multiple, huge, colorful murals by California’s street artists, shopping along Main Street, or breezing around on cruiser-style bikes (rent a Pedego electric or pedal bicycle right at Mission Pacific, available every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).


As the sky darkens, the streets here come alive. Every Thursday from 5-9 p.m., the Oceanside Sunset Market features regional musicians on a main stage, and hundreds of vendors, selling everything from spicy, international street foods to handmade jewelry, ceramics, and sunglasses.






Now, besides all the fun they can have with our kids programming, we also offer a special package for them. With the Little Seabirds Eat Free your kids can enjoy a meal at Piper and receive a cute Seabird stuffed animal.

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This vacation, leave your car at home and enjoy a scenic train ride to Oceanside. When you arrive, you’ll have it all just a few steps away… beach, restaurants, local shops, theater, and more!

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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.”


sunset by the beach with a view of the oceanside pier

Winter Fun in the Sun: Family Vacations in Oceanside 

Like it or not, winter is upon us. Have you made plans for keeping the winter blues at bay? We’ll let you in on a little secret: Oceanside California. With mild weather throughout the season (think sunny days in the mid-60s), activities to please all ages, and an easygoing, small-town vibe, Oceanside is the perfect spot for a family beach vacation. 


The best part: Oceanside is easy to access: it’s about a 90-minute drive or two-hour train ride from Los Angeles, and the San Diego airport is just 40 miles away.  


Your home base? The Seabird Resort. Our oceanfront hotel has stunning Pacific views, sophisticated dining options, and a full roster of activities from surf lessons to our fun and educational program for kids, Little Seabirds.


Here are seven ways to make the most of a winter stay in Oceanside. 


1. Go On a Whale Watching Adventure

Mid-December through April is one of the best times of the year to see whales in the wild, as more than 20,000 gray whales swim right past Oceanside as they migrate from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico. Head out on a whale watching tour with Oceanside Adventures to spot grays as well as minke and humpback whales, dolphins, and sea lions.


2. Spin Around the Rink

It may be too warm for snow, but you can still take part in a frosty winter tradition. Lace up your skates and glide around the ice rink during the daily open skate sessions at Icetown Carlsbad, less than 20 minutes away from the Seabird Resort.


3. Visit the San Diego Zoo

A must for animal lovers — and sure to convert anyone who isn’t — the 100-acre wildlife park an hour south of O’side is home to more than 12,000 rare and endangered animals. Beyond the cheetahs, chimps, and Chinese alligators, there’s always something new happening at the zoo, like the Jungle Bells series of holiday events (through early Jan.), or other special experiences and tours available year-round. 


4. Build Sand Castles

The only things interrupting the Pacific Ocean views from the Seabird Resort is a long stretch of sand and Oceanside’s iconic, picturesque pier. With the beach right out front, it’s easy to get your sun & sand fix without having to pack a day’s worth of beach gear. Make sure to stop by the Beach Rambler to grab complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas.


5. Stroll Through the Sunset Market

The outdoor Oceanside Sunset Market takes over the streets near the pier every Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. With a dizzying variety of food vendors serving everything from lobster rolls to empanadas to Thai street food — plus local crafts and artists, live music, and a game-filled kids zone, you can easily spend an evening exploring all the market has to offer.


6. Go Fishing Off the Pier

With no fishing license required, the pier is not only the perfect backdrop for your family sunset selfie, it’s also a convenient spot to try fishing with your family. There’s even a bait shop located right in the middle of the pier to rent rods and all the gear you need to drop a line. 


7. Keep the Little Ones Busy

To ensure even the youngest members of the family stay engaged, the Seabird team hosts daily interactive activities through the Little Seabirds program. From clever arts and crafts (like building your own stuffed bear) to stimulating art scavenger hunts, the kids can discover a different side of Oceanside while you take some time for yourself. Little Seabirds participants can also eat free when booking our special package in advance.


kid ready to go into the water

Make the most of summer before school’s back


Endless beaches! Surf lessons! Scavenger hunts! Oceanside offers countless ways for families to make lasting memories under the sun.


By Liz Sheldon

Summer days seem to go on forever, but as we all (sadly) know, summer itself eventually has to end. If you’re a parent, chances are you’re already staring down a checklist of school supplies. That’s why now is the perfect time to plan some end-of-summer fun before class is officially back in session (especially for kids transitioning back to in-person classes). Oceanside is ideal for a family getaway: It’s an easy drive from the LA and San Diego metro areas (if you don’t want to drive, book a trip on the scenic Pacific Surfliner train!), small enough to find your way around, and filled with opportunities for sunlit adventures and beachside R&R. Here are eight ways to make lasting (and non-screen-time) summer memories with kids of all ages.


Go Deep on Surfing


Whether your kids are first-timers on a board or looking to level up their skills, The Seabird offers all-ages lessons every day by appointment. Book them a one-on-one class or bond over a family lesson that even teens can’t resist. Taught by North Country Surf Academy instructors,, featuring professional surfer Duran Barr, each 90-minute lesson includes pointers on body position, safety, and how to pop up — plus plenty of practice time in the waves. Our surf valet will deliver a wetsuit, board, and swag bag of surf goodies right to your lesson. Pro tip: Connect your kids’ newfound love of wave-riding to the sport’s history with a visit to the California Surf Museum, which traces the origins of surf culture in Southern California.


Go on a Good Old-Fashioned Scavenger Hunt


Of all the ways our Little Seabirds program keeps kids entertained,, the scavenger hunts might be our favorites. They’re a great way for younger kids to explore the resort, beachfront included. The Art Scavenger hunt is a cleverly disguised mini-gallery tour of our collection curated by the Oceanside Museum of Art, sending little ones searching the resort for original pieces by local artists. And the Treasure Hunt has pirate-obsessed boys and girls digging around the beachfront for some cleverly hidden prizes (see the full schedule of Little Seabird events here).


Let Loose at Legoland


A quick 10-mile drive from our doorstep, Legoland is a colorful way to blow any brick-obsessed kid’s mind. A blast for all ages, the resort includes a theme park with rides like the Coastersaurus, which flies past ginormous Lego dinosaurs; a new section devoted to The Lego Movie, with a thrilling virtual ride on Emmet’s triple-decker couch; building stations where kids can construct anything they dream up; a water park; and even an aquarium.


Spend a Whole Day Outside


Take advantage of the waning days of summer by planning a day-long itinerary in the fresh SoCal air. Fuel up with an alfresco breakfast at Piper (the bananas foster oatmeal is a hit with kids), then head down to the Beach Rambler to get set up with chairs and umbrellas for the day. If you’re staying with us midweek, join a kite flying lesson (Mon. & Fri. at 11am) or a sandcastle-building session (Wed. at 3pm). Make an advance reservation for one the fire pits over on our Coastal Terrace at The Seabird Resort, so you can surprise the kids with after-dinner s’mores under the stars.


Spot Whales Firsthand


Thrilling and educational, whale-watching tours give kids a chance to learn about — and get close to — local sea life. The expert guides at Oceanside Whale Watching will point out the incredible diversity of marine wildlife just minutes offshore. From May to October, that means humpbacks, minkes, blue whales, and fin whales, plus four different species of dolphins. You might also spot orcas, sharks, turtles, and sea lions. And the luxury 50-foot catamaran is designed to get close to the creatures for optimal viewing.


Get Crafty


Your kids (and you) are sure to be inspired by the local artworks spread around The Seabird and Mission Pacific. That’s why Little Seabirds offers a bunch of ways for them to express their own creativity, while creating an arts-and-crafts piece they can take home as a keepsake of a great summer getaway. Meet up in Wood Library to learn how to make stuffed animals, weave dream catchers, or create bead art. If the kids are itching to get outside, there’s DIY t-shirt tie-dying, mandala rock painting, and colorful sand art happening down on the beach. (Check the Little Seabirds schedule for times.)


Head Back in Time


Have some budding history buffs on your hands? Take the 5.5-mile drive to Mission San Luis Rey, built in 1798 and the largest of the 21 California missions. Book a behind-the-scenes tour or take a self-guided walk through the historic property, famous for its striking white church, Lavanderia (an open-air laundry — maybe the only time your kids will think doing laundry is cool), picturesque cemetery, and a pepper tree that’s nearly two centuries old.


Plan a Kid-Friendly Spa Day


Nothing says summer vacation more than a day of indulgence. Surprise them (and treat yourself) with room service breakfast in bed, then head to Sunny’s Spa & Beauty Lounge for a soothing experience tailored to the whole family. Teens can book styling appointments in the beauty lounge and explore fun add-ons like temporary hair paint, multi-masking and the braid bar options. After dinner at Piper’s unique Cali-Craft pasta experience, unwind with Sunny’s half-hour sound bath session in our sound space where kids can explore sound vibrations by listening and playing the singing sound bowls. During this time, they’ll learn how to be mindful and practice the importance of kindness towards ourselves and others—after which, everyone is guaranteed a good night’s sleep.