Category: Oceanside

Group of young people around a bonfire

What to Look Forward to in Oceanside This Fall

 

By Suzanne Davis

SoCal beach towns like Oceanside have been major lures in summer for generations, thanks to their coastal breezes and the soft, seemingly endless sands that provide cooling respite for the inland heat. But we’ve found that Oceanside is just as — if not even more — appealing as summer transforms into autumn

 

For one thing, the crowds have all but dissipated. For another? Most of the summertime’s thrills are still offered, and are equally fantastic as pumpkin spice season descends. To help you plan an indulgent autumn getaway, we’ve rounded up a few of our must-dos during fall in Oceanside, from exploring the San Diego Zoo to hitting Surftoberfest (BYO lederhosen).

 


Image full of beautiful orange pumpkins

 

It’s Pumpkin Patch O’Clock

Starting mid-September, it’s time for one of autumn’s trademark excursions: a day at the pumpkin patch. Each year, Pumpkin & Polar Palooza draws Oceanside residents of all ages to Carlsbad with glee. What they find is an autumnal fantasy sprung to life, complete with inflatable slides, archery, movie nights, food trucks, and thousands upon thousands of gourdgeous pumpkins to choose from. Orange you excited? 

 

Kids Free October

Littles already rule the month of October, thanks to their uncanny ability to acquire copious amounts of gratis candy from strangers and get their parents to don all manner of unflattering costumes. But in Oceanside, the red carpet gets rolled out for kids even more. During the Kids Free October celebration, kiddos can have all manner of fun without spending a nickel, including taking a free whale and dolphin watching trip (with the purchase of two adult tickets) and even exploring the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (with the purchase of one adult ticket). 

 

Surftoberfest

Imagine if the dreamy Octoberfests of Bavaria took a much-needed vacation in Oceanside, and you get Surftoberfest. Postponed for the past two years, the event is planning on coming back on October 1 2022. The (typically) annual occasion includes live music overlooking the Pacific Ocean and unlimited brew tastings (served in your take-home tasting glass, natch). Previous year’s vendors included Oceanside’s own Breakwater Brewing Co. and The Lost Abbey, famed for their Belgian sours, with each brew all the more delish given the menu options of bratwurst with sauerkraut and beer pretzels. Even cooler: knowing that the event benefits the health of veterans, single parents, and folks in need.

 

If you want to get out on the waves yourself, August through November sees the best swells and plenty of ways to try surfing for the first time or level up your skills. Check out some of the best surfing for all ages here

 

Taste of Oceanside

Make sure to get a ticket to Taste of Oceanside on October 1 from 2-5 p.m. now. It’s the ultimate feast for anyone who loves a nibble — and a tipple! — and has sold out for two years running for good reason. You’ll be able to whirl around town on the Taste Trolley, stopping for samples of food and drink everywhere from Piper to Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro. Did we mention live music will serenade you along your quest?

 

 

Typical skulls for Dia de los Muertos

 

21st Annual Oceanside Dìa de los Muertos Festival

Día de los Muertos — or the “Day of the Dead” — may have largely originated in Mexico, but Oceanside goes all out in celebration, too. At the 21st annual Dia de los Muertos Festival on October 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), you’ll be able to wander altars of loved ones strewn with marigold flowers, candles, and their treasured mementos, create your own memorial at the chalk cemetery, and enjoy live entertainment ranging from a parade to traditional Mixtec dancers. 

 

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Leaf peepers who plan long drives in Maine may want to re-route. At this iconic 1,800-acre zoo in nearby Escondido, the annual Autumn Festival (2022 dates TBD) often includes cheeky scarecrows to interact with, Southwestern-themed mazes, and even a floating lantern ceremony that wows after dusk. Plus, many of the park’s trees turn into mesmerizing gold and red shades.

 

O’Side Turkey Trot

Rise early on Thanksgiving morning to get out and move at the annual O’Side Turkey Trot. Recognized as one of the country’s “top trots” by both Runner’s World Magazine and The Los Angeles Times, the popular local event includes a five-mile run, plus a 5K run or walk and children’s race options. Starting on the Coast Highway and ending at The Strand, the scenic beachside course passes right in front of The Seabird. Registrations are now open on the O’Side Turkey Trot website.

 

Local Perks for O’Siders

If you’re a card-carrying Oceanside local, we’ve got great news. You get to “hang ten” with us…as in, take 10% off (cha-ching!) at some of our top restaurants and spa. Stop by Piper one morning for delicious, healthy dishes (get the acai, bee pollen, and chia seed granola superfood bowl), or join us at The Shore Room’s seafood bar for west coast oysters topped with salsa verde and citrus mignonette. Alternatively, head to The Rooftop Bar at our sister hotel, Mission Pacific, is the spot for sweeping views of the sea, live DJ performances, and Buccaneer cocktails (with bourbon, amaretto, amaro, sage, and lime).

 

You can also upgrade your Sunny’s Spa booking to get VIP treatment. 

 

FIND THE PERFECT ROOM FOR YOUR OCEANSIDE STAY THIS FALL.

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couple paddle boarding sea boats

7 Refreshing Ways to Get Out on the Water

 

By Andrew Bender

With three miles of sparkling California coastline, Oceanside has all you need for getting out on the water. Here are ideas for just some signature activities to get you started, from right in front of The Seabird, to Oceanside Harbor, and all along the shore. 

 

Surfing

What is a visit to Southern California without surfing? Oceanside is one of the state’s surf capitals (the California Surf Museum is here), and surf culture can be seen along any beach and around town in the clothing, “no worries” attitude, and even the food.

 

Whether you’ve never been on a board or you’re an experienced surfer looking to tune up your technique, you can find surfing for all ages in Oceanside. North County Surf Academy has you covered with 90-minute private and group surf lessons. It’s headed by third-generation surfer (and lifelong north San Diego County resident) Duran Barr, for an added local touch.

 

In Oceanside on a Saturday? Check out the 2-hour Surf Club from Whitlock Surf Experience available through our sister resort, The Seabird, to learn more about the ocean and hone your skills. All lessons include both the board and the all-important wetsuit.

 

Kayaking

Kayaking is such an Oceanside thing that the harbor has its own public kayak launch. Outfitters like Boats4Rent provide single or double kayaks, paddles, and life vests. You provide the enthusiasm and energy as you paddle around the secluded harbor lined with colorful shops and eateries, or past the jetties to the open Pacific.

 

Paddleboarding

What’s SUP? Standup paddleboarding, of course! Whether your destination is a lake, harbor, or the open water, Oceanside’s a natural for this popular sport. Even for novices it’s pretty easy – stand on the sweet spot and keep your legs apart, and you’re off and paddling. Shops around town, like UP Sports and the boat rental spots on the harbor, offer rentals.

 


Girl walking on the sand

Swimming

You may not want to leave The Seabird’s ocean-view pool deck…but you’re in Oceanside, which is blessed with seven named beaches each with their own character. Grab a beach towel, picnic, and sunscreen, and the fun is baked in.

 

Right across from The Seabird, Pier View South Beach has the easiest access and most activity including an outdoor amphitheater. (As guests of The Seabird, you can snag complimentary beach towels, loungers, and umbrellas to set up on your own perfect spot of sand. Just stop by our Beach Rambler located on The Strand to get help with beach services and pick up other beachy necessities to help you stay cool.) Pier View North Beach, just the other side of the pier, tends to be less busy. Further north, Harbor Beach is the longest in town, while adjacent is quiet, family-friendly Breakwater Beach. 

 

Whale Watching

Mere minutes from Oceanside, the Pacific Ocean teems with wildlife. You never quite know what you’re going to see on any given day (it’s wildlife!), but minke, humpback and fin whales, and dolphins are good possibilities — plus gray whales in the cooler months (November to April) and blue whales the rest of the year. Other local seaborne residents might include turtles, sharks, sea lions, numerous bird and fish species, and maybe even an orca!

 

Oceanside Coastal Expeditions leads whale watching and dolphin racing excursions. Its Zodiac boat, refitted for leisure guests, seats up to six people on trips of up 90 minutes. Oceanside Adventures offers a more luxury experience, two hours on a 50-foot catamaran seating up to 49 people.

 

Pro tip: Try to go in the morning, when generally calmer seas mean a better chance to view marine life.

 


Impressive sunset from the beach, overlooking the boardwalk

 

Fishing

Here in Oceanside, you don’t even need to board a boat to find a good catch. Just walk across the street from The Seabird to Oceanside Pier, the longest wooden pier in California (1,942 feet). Several fish species frequent the waters below, so drop a line, and you may get a bite from a halibut or sand bass in no time. Oceanside Pier & Bait can outfit you with all the gear and bait.

 

Oceanside Harbor offers the Small Craft Harbor Fishing Pier where the waters yield croakers, perch, and bass. No fishing license is required to fish on the piers.

 

For all other locations, you’ll need a license — ask local operators how to obtain one or visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Helgren’s Sportfishing offers half-day to multi-day excursions on the Pacific, on a quest for bonito, sea bass, halibut and mahi mahi. The Helgren family has been in business here since the late 1970s and knows the waters inside out.

 

Boogie Boarding

In 2021, the boogie board turned 50, complete with a proclamation by the city of Oceanside for its inventor, Tom Morey. And no wonder, these small boards let just about anyone ride the waves, for a combination of simplicity, speed, thrills and just plain fun for kids (and kids at heart) of all ages. Rent a board from shops like Real Surf, and get out there. The waves are waiting.

 

READY TO HIT THE WAVES IN OCEANSIDE?



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THE SUMMER SUN SETTER

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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family surf boards walking sand sky

Where to Find the Best Surfing in Oceanside for All Ages

By Suzanne Davis

Surfers from around the globe have been hauling their boards to Oceanside for decades. Where else can you shred the gnar year-round before grabbing top-notch mocktails and cocktails within a quick stroll of your plush bed? No wonder Oceanside was recently ranked the best surf town in all of California by InsideHook. It’s got waves you can count on, plus a throwback beach vibe that feels FUN, in all caps. 

 

With the best surfing conditions from August to November, we’ve rounded up the best reasons and ways to try surfing in Oceanside, whether you’re looking for gentle, kid-friendly waves or want to perfect your technique with a bona fide pro. 

 

And we’d argue that the best part is returning from a day in the frothy ocean to The Seabird. Here, you can relax your sea-sore muscles in the oceanfront hot tub and splay out, starfish style, in The Cove — an aromatherapy sanarium in the spa where indulgences include post-sun saviors like collagen masks and restorative hair masks. 

 

Family surfing in Oceanside

 

Shred With a Pro

You’d jump at the chance to learn tennis with Serena Williams, right? Ascendant surfers can opt to hit the waves with a pro right here, with on-sand and in-water lessons by second generation pro surfer (and Oceanside native) Duran Barr on San Diego’s North Shore. Book a 1.5-hour surf lesson through The Seabird, meet at Lifeguard Tower 10 (just a 10-minute stroll from the hotel), and prepare to experience something better than beginner’s luck: beginner’s skill. Barr should know…not only is he a pro who has competed around the world, but his father, David Barr, is a famous surfboard shaper.

 

Shop Before You Surf

Leave your gear at home or just need to pick up some new shades? Surf Ride board shop has you covered, thanks to in-the-know staffers you probably shredded before they showed up to work. And if wetsuits, bodyboards, and even new or used boards shaped by local North County San Diegan Craig Hollingsowrth are what you seek, proceed directly to Asylum Surf. Even if you don’t hang ten, you’ll at least look like a perfect ten. 

 

Join the Club

Sometimes the best clubs are open to all. and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Surf Club With Whitlock Surf Experience (always held on Saturdays from 9 to 11 am), where surfers of practically all ages can don a wetsuit, grab a board and up their game. Once you book, just head to Oceanside’s Harbor South Jetty Park Lot 10/Tower 12 and get ready to do a deep dive — literally — on everything from paddling to surf etiquette. (Beginners, don’t fret; their instructors are CPR certified and will help you shred safely. Just remember to BYO sunscreen!)



Kid smiling on the sand



Set Your Kids Up to Surf All Day

If you’ve ever wanted to spend pretty much an entire day learning the intricacies of the waves, now’s the time. The Seabird Resort has collabed with the aforementioned Whitlock Surf Experience on a 7.5-hour surf session for kids six years old and up (book here). And surfing itself is just the beginning. Children immerse themselves in ocean intel aplenty, including eco-tours, lifeguard meet-and-greets, marine life, and even a mock jet ski water rescue. Afterward, they’ll then return to The Seabird for an on-brand poolside luncheon, where they then do a scavenger hunt, fly kites, and participate in a crafternoon? A 5:1 kid-to-instructor ratio ensures everyone remains, ahem, stoked at all times. 

 

Stop by a Must-See Surf Museum

Whether you’re newly surfing obsessed or just have the passing interest of a seagull, the California Surf Museum is well worth a stop. Open since 1986, it’s the place to ogle surfboards from the entire history of surfing and even see World Champ Kelly Slater’s own board along with other iconic surfing artifacts. Check their events page before stopping by; you may want to plan your trip around one of their frequent fêtes, which may include gala fundraisers or book signings like a recent one with Patrick Moser, author of “Pacific Passages: An Anthology of Surf Writing.”

 

The Best Family Beach

When your wee ones are first learning to surf or boogie board, or just getting used to water toddler-style, ginormous waves just won’t do. So resident families often flock to the warm waters of Breakwater Way Beach, where a wide, soft sand beach awaits. Arrive early enough and you may be able to find some stoop-worthy seashells, such as whole sand dollars and other treasure. Did we mention it’s just a four-minute drive from The Seabird?

 

READY TO GO SURFING IN OCEANSIDE? MAKE YOUR STAY EVEN MORE MEMORABLE…



Offers

THE SUMMER SUN SETTER

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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golden hour pier view from hotel beach sunset

Why You Should Visit Oceanside This Summer

 

By Suzanne Davis

We know we’re biased, but Oceanside is excellent year-round, thanks to SoCal’s sunny, mild weather and the breeze off the Pacific. But throughout the summer, when inland destinations are sweltering, Oceanside is extra-perfect — and a dream summer getaway spot. Oceanside’s average daily temperature in July is a perfect 72 degrees, dropping down to a lovely 63 after nightfall. See? Literal perfection.

 

Plus, activities galore abound in Oceanside and its surrounding must-see destinations. Making them even better: knowing you’ll return to The Seabird, where summery thrills abound — ranging from sun-relief facials and UV damaged hair treatments in the on-site spa, to poolside cocktails at The Shelter Club. We polled in-the-know Oceanside insiders to come up with this summery to-do list. BYO sun hat.

 

4th of July

Sure, America’s big birthday is celebrated all over the States, but something about Oceanside — a destination full of Americana, including its legendary 1,942-foot-long pier and soft sand for family beach vacays — is tops. To see a major fireworks show with little ones, we love nothing more than Legoland’s Red, White, & Boom! event. Just 20 minutes from The Seabird, it’s the place to spot jaw-dropping pyrotechnics displays all over the theme park. Don’t miss stopping by Castle Hill — where medieval castles are reborn with, yes, Legos, and Splish Splash, with its pirate reefs and toddler splash pads.

 

Spending the holiday weekend in Oceanside? At night, head back to The Seabird Pool for a Dive-In Movie (complimentary for guests) on Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3 at 8 p.m. for a family-friendly film and popcorn by the pool.

 

The Padres

San Diego’s resident baseball team is a summertime staple for Oceanside locals, and not just because the Padres’ stadium, Petco Park, overlooks the surrounding cityscape. The stadium is also home to nearly 30 of San Diego’s 200+ breweries that all have tipples on offer, ranging from California Kölsch from Ballast Point to Swami’s IPA made by Pizza Port. (Love sampling craft brews? You’ll find plenty of local breweries in Oceanside as well.) Did we mention that you can take the train to Oceanside from L.A.? (Scroll down to find a special room offer, complete with roundtrip rail passes and hotel perks!) The hour and 20-minute ride wends along the coastline, so you’ll take in postcard-worthy views from your seat the whole time and not have to deal with SoCal traffic. No wonder Los Angelinos often hop on the train from Lalaland for a Padres game, then book a stay at The Seabird for après-game revelry!

 

Beach (and Pool) Time 

Splaying out on the sand just feels right in July. Oceanside has plenty of beaches to choose from, including tot-friendly beaches conveniently located under the iconic pier. The best part of a beach day as a guest here? Knowing that when you stay at The Seabird, you can match every beach day with a pool day — where dips in the cabana-lined oceanfront pool are followed by frothy cocktails…and that’s just the way we like it!

 

Pool time with the family
Linger by The Seabird pool for a relaxing summer afternoon.

 

Flower Power

Ascendant influencers, take note: One of the most Instagrammable destinations in the region is a 19-minute drive from The Seabird in Encinitas. At San Diego Botanic Garden you’ll find 37 acres of eye-popping sights, including some 5,000 plant species, a lush tropical rainforest, native plants and pristine desert gardens.

 

Farmer’s Market turned Sunset Market 

When they call California the breadbasket of America, they could well be talking about Oceanside. After all, one of the dreamiest farmer’s markets in the state takes place every week — with just-picked produce many folks inland can’t even imagine. Go at 9 a.m. on Thursdays to get the freshest offerings (plus locally made salsas and artisanal breads). But be sure to come back after night falls from 5-9 p.m., when some 200 vendors throng the road with covetable wares — while live bands grace the stage and the International Food Court churns out Santa Maria-style tri-tip steaks, New Orleans-style beignets, and deep-fried Thai lobster at the beloved Sunset Market.

 

Hike Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Twenty-six miles south of The Seabird, an untouched wonderland of cliffside oceanfront hiking trails awaits, thanks to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. The Guy Fleming Trail, where the easy loop (which is less than a mile) wends past show-stopping panoramic overlooks. Keep an eye out for the resident scrub jays, California quails and even the occasional mule deer. While you’re here, stop in at the adobe Visitor’s Center — it was built in 1922 and is perfectly preserved…although now you’ll find a charming gift shop in the place of the lodge’s original jukebox and pine needle lampshades.

 

Surf’s Up 

Thanks to hot, sunlit days, late-summer heading into early autumn is one of the best times of year to surf in Oceanside. Locals grab their boards and head to Oceanside Harbor and both sides of the Oceanside Pier to catch their big breaks. (You can watch a live camera view of the action here on The Seabird Resort’s website.) Even if you’ve never surfed before, consider giving it a go. We offer lessons through local pro surfer Duran Barr, who’s more than happy to head to the safest spot of sand to match your skill level.

 

 

 

Offers

EXPRESS LANE

This vacation, leave your car at home and enjoy a scenic train ride to Oceanside. Savor the savings of complimentary parking and a full tank. When you arrive, you’ll have it all just a few steps away… pool, restaurants, local shops, and beach amenities the whole family will enjoy!

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EXTENDED STAY OFFER

Whether you’re traveling for work or need a longer stay to explore SoCal, our spacious accommodations have all you need for a memorable and comfortable stay in Oceanside, including a larger in-room refrigerator and microwave.

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shopping in oceanside

An Insider’s Guide to Shopping in Oceanside

A new crop of indie boutiques is making the SoCal surf town a must-stop for anyone interested in creative retail therapy.

 

By Andrew Bender

Over the last few years, shopping in Oceanside has evolved from an afterthought to a magnet, as a new crop of independent boutiques draws in locals and visitors alike. Collectively, they represent the easy-breezy O’side vibe that the SoCal destination is gaining a reputation for.

 

You don’t have to go very far from The Seabird to catch some of that style, thanks to The Ozone, a lifestyle shop located at our sister resort next door, Mission Pacific. The shop’s creative director/buyer Karen Meena calls it “an eclectically designed space to discover art, vintage objects, adornments, and one-of-a-kind creations unique to SoCal.” The shop’s wares include fashion, beauty, home design, jewelry, accessories, books, and gifts. It also hosts events for local designers and artists. 

 

 

Bikini, dress and colorful clothes store in oceanside
The Ozone at Mission Pacific.

 

Meena has a bead on the rest of the Oceanside shopping scene, and she shared some recommendations with us. Most shops are located on or just off Coast Highway, the city’s (and California’s) main drag, making navigating a snap whether you’re exploring by car, rental bike, or on foot. You might start a couple miles away in the South Oceanside neighborhood (“South O” to its many friends), working back toward the resort. 

 

In South O, Captain’s Helm blends vintage and modern, both with an aesthetic of undeniable cool. It has you covered with both substance and style, whether your tastes run to a throwback leather or jean jacket, little black dress, rock tour T-shirt, or contemporary design items you didn’t know you needed — knit shopping bags, berry bowls, wooden whisk brooms, or eye-catching wall art. While there, get fortified for your retail therapy adventure at the onsite coffee shop, Captain’s Grounds. 

 

Nearby, Meena says, “Reap & Sow stocks local wellness brands and keeps locals tuned into the best in eco-beauty, health, and wellness.” This family business and self-proclaimed “lifestyle apothecary” is also ahead of its time, having offered natural, sustainable, toxin-free, and zero-waste products since 2014, well before those became everyday watchwords. From beauty products to essential oils, handmade jewelry to teas and herbal remedies, it’s all good for you — and the environment. 

 

Heading back toward town, Sea Hive Marketplace is where “locals shop weekly to add to their vintage clothing, jewelry and design collections,” Meena says. Sea Hive calls itself a “massive mall o’ vintage,” and its 13,000 square feet house some 100 vendors.

 

A repurposed 1930s-era gasoline station is now home to Rising Co. “It’s a community collective of local designers and artists and one of our favorite places to feel the local vibe,” Meena exclaims. Case in point: handmade handbags by Rais Case, personalized jewelry from Tessa Lane, and Feather 4 Arrow, a kids’ clothing and lifestyle brand imbued with an attitude that’s pure Southern California. Meena also recommends the in-house coffee and tea shop and weekend events in Rising Co.’s parking lot. 

 

 

black hats, panama hats, white hats and a couple tying them on
Brixton started in Oceanside before taking Instagram by storm. The Oceanside retail location is just as picture-worthy as the cool apparel.

 

Another go-to hub is Tremont Collective, home to a local coffee shop, surf shop, bottle shop, and wildly popular hat and apparel brand Brixton, which was started by a group of friends way back when in an Oceanside garage. If you need a new sun hat, you won’t want to miss stopping by here.  

 

Surfing and skateboarding culture are woven into the very fabric of San Diego County. Experience them at Surf Ride, which has won Retailer of the Year from the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association. It offers a dizzying selection of boards for gnarly waves or the perfect Ollie, plus the right gear and clothing to rock the look. Never surfed? Take a lesson from one of their experienced instructors. 

 

And speaking of water, even humble H2O gets its place in the sun here in Oceanside. Urbn Wtr Company sells its own alkaline water, treated via a 13-step process that helps the body both hydrate and detoxify (Urbn Wtr also supplies the drinking water for The Seabird), alongside bottles and flasks to make the folks back home go “Where’dja get that?” 

 

Back downtown, the Oceanside Museum of Art is one of the region’s hidden gems. Meena calls it “small but amazing, with exciting exhibits highlighting California artists.” Its Museum Store is like a gallery of Southern California-based makers of painting and photography, textile and fiber arts, ceramics, mixed media, timeless jewelry, and even elegant basketry. The result: one-of-a-kind pieces with a real sense of place. 

 

And if your visit coincides with one of Oceanside’s popular street markets, you’re in luck. Thursdays, downtown streets are closed off for the morning Farmer’s Market — for California’s bounty from produce to prepared foods — and the evening Sunset Market featuring eclectic crafts, an international food court, and live music. At the monthly First Friday Art Walk, the focus turns to dozens of local creators showing their paintings, sculptures, home décor, and jewelry; it’s along Artist Alley, a side street well worth a visit anytime for its Instagrammable collection of murals. 

 

 

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Must-try breweries in Oceanside, Barman pouring fresh beer in glass, closeup

Must-Try Breweries in Oceanside and Beyond

By Suzanne Davis

San Diego is becoming as well known for its craft breweries as it is for its fish tacos. But San Diego breweries are just the start — there are plenty more just up the frothy coastline towards Oceanside, where the craft beer scene is booming, all just steps from the beach and the beachfront The Seabird Resort.

Read on for our favorite breweries in Oceanside, along with a couple honorable mentions just beyond our borders. 

Bagby Beer Co.

When world-famous professional brewer Jeff Bagby went out on his own, heads (and pint glasses) turned. What he and his wife and co-owner Dande built, less than a mile away from The Seabird, is far from beer-business-as-usual. Among their award-winning offerings? Gotta Pay the Pils, a German-style pilsner, and Untarted Cherritory, a tart Belgian-style mini blonde. Don’t miss the fried chicken and cheddar biscuits and fried cheese curd topped Belgian-style frites. If you don’t make it to the pub, you can still sample Bagby’s brews right here at The Seabird with rotating beers on tap at The Shore Room, Piper, and The Shelter Club. Bagby Beer Co., 601 S Coast Highway, Oceanside

Booze Brothers Brewing Co.

When brothers David and Donny Firth started tinkering with brewing their own beers in their garage, they never thought it would lead to this: a beloved veritable beer empire with taproom locations in Vista, Fallbrook, and, yep, Oceanside. Among their most beloved brewskies? Ramble On, an IPA with notes of fresh pine and grapefruit, and Courage Lager, which is brewed with German Pilsner malt. Booze Brothers Brewing Co., 606 Mission Ave., Oceanside

Burgeon Beer Company

Just down the road in Carlsbad, this craft brewery and taproom is well worth the short trek. Sure, we love the eye-popping lineup of brews — which range from Nitro Coffee Burl ale to the passionfruit and citrus-noted Hand Selected — but what keeps us coming back weekend after weekend are the food trucks popping up in the beer garden, including Thumbs Up BBQ and El Shrimp Bucket Mexican Food. Burgeon Beer Company, 6350 Yarrow Dr., Carlsbad

Craft Coast Beer and Tacos

The name says it all – this local joint brings two of the world’s best culinary delights together: craft beer and Baja-style street tacos. Who can say no to that? Even better, Craft Coast Beer and Tacos is just a 2-minute walk from The Seabird. With a rotating selection of beers available, enjoy a new brew on tap every time you visit. Get your fill of tacos, nachos, multias (a type of taco that uses one tortilla on top and one on the bottom with fillings in the middle), and taco bowls with your choice of perfectly prepared meats (the birria is a favorite) and satisfying veggies. Craft Coast Beer and Tacos, 275 Mission Ave, Oceanside

Northern Pine Brewing

The piney woods of the Pacific Northwest-inspired this beloved brewery, which Oceanside locals love for its knowledgeable staffers and on-point barbecue. Founded in 2018 by a trio of craft beer obsessives, Northern Pine’s offerings include slightly sweet Turning Point Cream Ale and Saized & Confused, a Belgian ale that won a gold medal at the San Diego International Beer Festival. Northern Pine Brewing, 326 N. Horne St., Oceanside

Societe Brewing Company

This indie brewery in San Diego is devoted to uniting “beer folk” of every stripe. And thanks to flavors for every palate — including a hoppy The Coachman and floral The Harlot — they do. The only thing better than nabbing a picnic table in their alfresco beer garden? Getting a few street tacos or carne asada fries from Chachos Tacos, tucked within the brewery. Societe Brewing Company, 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego

South O Brewing Company

Founded by local Oceanside neighbors in 2020, South O Brewing Company is a relatively new addition to the region’s craft beer scene, situated along the famous California Pacific Coast Highway. South O brews a little of everything, offering a tap list that features a solid mix of IPAs, pilsners, amber ales, porters, and more. Food trucks pull up to dish out meals on the weekends and some weekdays — check the brewery’s social media to see what’s available. South O Brewing Company, 1575 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

 

The best part about checking out these craft breweries in Oceanside? Knowing you’ll return home to The Seabird Resort for a much-deserved break (and okay, maybe another pint) by the pool.

V-Day header SB-Pool

7 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive in Oceanside

By Alana Morgan

Long stretches of sand, a laid-back vibe, and swoon-worthy sunsets make it easy to relax—and rekindle a spark — in Oceanside. An easy romantic getaway from Los Angeles, Oceanside is two hours from the City of Angels, just 45 minutes from the center of San Diego, and filled with romantic things to do for couples.

1. Book a Romantic Hotel

Of course, we’re partial to thinking that The Seabird Resort is one of the leading romantic hotels in the San Diego area. But can you blame us? With rooms and suites offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from floor-to-ceiling windows and spa-inspired bathrooms with rain showers and free-standing tubs, one step into your private abode will spark that lovin’ feeling.

2. Walk Along the Beach

If you’ve ever used the “I like long walks on the beach” line, even as a joke, Oceanside delivers. Just steps from The Seabird, three miles of sandy shoreline offers plenty of beach to take an intimate stroll. Hold hands, listen to the waves lapping the shore, look out to the horizon, and feel the day-to-day stress melt away.

3. Try Something New Together

Trying a new activity or having a new experience causes our bodies to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes us feel good — and it can reignite that sense of novelty and excitement from when you first fell in love. Research has shown that married couples who regularly shared new experiences reported higher relationship satisfaction. With that in mind, there’s plenty of things to do in Oceanside! Try surfing for the first time with a personalized lesson, explore the town on an electric scooter, or test your balance by paddleboarding in the Pacific.

4. Sneak in Some Spa Time

Whether you slip off for some solo self-care or opt for an intimate couple’s experience, a restorative massage, scrub, or facial will leave you feeling more at ease and more in tune with your body — the perfect recipe for a romantic getaway. Our onsite Sunny’s Spa takes the typical spa experience a step further with a curated selection of offers designed specifically for duos in their own private spa suite.

5. Share a Memorable Adventure

Make new memories with a life-changing experience, such as going whale watching in the waters surrounding Oceanside. (Mid-December through April is the time to spot majestic grey whales as they migrate from Alaska to Baja California.) Want an even bigger adrenaline rush? Liftoff and go skydiving in Oceanside to soak up stunning coastline views of southern Los Angeles to San Diego.

6. Indulge in a Special Meal

There’s something about an incredible meal that invigorates our appreciation for pleasure. Begin an evening of indulgence with drinks at a refined coastal lounge, like The Shore Room, before heading out to a romantic dinner. Our pick: Valle right next door, where expertly prepared dishes inspired from Baja’s Guadalupe Valley excite the senses with intriguing flavours, textures, and colours.

7. Watch the Sunset

Watching the sunset with the one you love may be cliché, but it never gets old! Ending a relaxed, romantic day together — or starting a decadent evening — by watching the sun paint the sky and the water sensational colors will evoke a deep sense of appreciation and togetherness.

READY TO KEEP THE LOVE ALIVE WITH A ROMANTIC GETAWAY AROUND SAN DIEGO?

 

THROUGHOUT FEBRUARY, RESERVE YOUR OWN PRIVATE OCEAN VIEW OASIS WITH OUR STAY IN LOVE PACKAGE, INCLUDING AN OCEANVIEW KING ROOM AND A $200 CREDIT TO SUNNY’S SPA & BEAUTY LOUNGE.

 

 

Offers

Stay In Love

Soak in the Southern California coastline with your significant other in a private ocean view oasis. During your stay, relish in a blissful spa day while you connect with your loved one and renew your soul with a beautiful treatment and relaxing experience at Sunny’s Spa and Beauty Lounge.

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professional surfer riding a wave

Duran Barr’s Guide to Making the Most of Your Surf Lessons

By Liz Sheldon

Surfing is in Duran Barr’s blood. His family has been riding SoCal waves for generations, and his father was a pro who now sells his own custom boards. Barr, a Carlsbad native, was on the pro tour himself for over a decade, traveling the world to compete on the best waves. He’s also the founder of North County Surf Academy, the area’s best surf school. Barr and his team offer 90-minute lessons daily at The Seabird Resort (and our sister hotel, Mission Pacific), which can be tailored for students of any age or skill level. We asked Barr to share the inside scoop on his career as a pro, Oceanside surf culture, and how to make the most of your lessons. 

On His Surfing Bona Fides

I grew up immersed in the surfing lifestyle. The culture and the business of it was always there. Getting to surf at a professional level is incredible, but it doesn’t last forever. I always want to be in the water, and I figured opening my own school would be an amazing opportunity to share the knowledge and traditions of surfing. There’s a great local scene in Oceanside — surfing and action sports are a small world, and everyone is sort of connected. There’s a lot of mutual respect.

 

surf lessons in Oceanside

The Important Differences Between Surf Schools

What makes us different from other schools is our learn-from-a-pro experience. Our staff has been born and raised surfing their whole lives, which you won’t find everywhere. You’re being taught by people who know the conditions and techniques better than anyone. That also allows us to teach all levels, from true beginners to much more advanced surfers looking to hone their skills.

When — and Where — to Get Started

Definitely check in with the surf school to find your ideal weather. If you’re looking for bigger or stronger conditions, maybe later in the day will be better. If you’re a beginner, tomorrow might be more gentle. We’re here to put you at ease. We also make sure to match the location to your skills. I like to surf the pier, but I’d say that’s for advanced surfers. Tell us about your (or your kid’s) experience level and we’ll let you know the best spot for your lesson. 

What Beginners Can Expect

 

Our beginner lessons cover the basics of finding your position and getting into the water. We have different size boards for kids of different ages. We also offer both one-on-one private lesson and group classes, but we have 3-to-1 max ratio of clients to instructors, depending on surf conditions. Our goal is to help you feel confident and catch that first wave. 

Advice for More Experience Surfers

 

If you’ve had lessons and practice before, we can help you improve, and if you’re in town to surf for a few days, we can guide you to our favorite local spots. Call us after you book and share what you’re looking for, and we’ll assess what you need. We’ve worked with everyone from couples who have been surfing for years just for fun to aspiring pros trying to learn high-level techniques and surf under pressure — we understand firsthand what that’s like. We can even work with my family’s company, Barr Surfboards, to shape a custom board or help you transition from a soft board to a hard one. 

 

Want to surf with Duran and his team? Mission Pacific offers lessons daily. 

LEARN MORE

 

 

dog friendly by the beach

Your Guide to Pet-Friendly Oceanside

By Liz Sheldon

Beaches, sunshine, hiking trails —  if you’re a dog there’s plenty to love about Oceanside. (It’s pretty awesome for humans, too!) Our hometown is especially friendly to pets, with plenty of outdoor activities and businesses that welcome furry friends. The Seabird Resort is happy to have your dogs stay with us; just let us know in advance (our dog policy allows up to two well-behaved pets per room for a $200 fee). We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite things to do with dogs around town. 

 

Guide to the best pet friendly areas in Oceanside

Stroll the Farmers Market

Just steps from our front door, the Oceanside Farmers Market takes place every Thursday and is open to on-leash dogs. Stroll between produce and food vendors (maybe pick up an apple or carrot — they make tasty pooch treats), shop local goods, and listen to live music right on Main Street. 

 

Stroll the Beach

From the market, you can continue right onto The Strand, a stretch of road that parallels the shoreline. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach itself (or the pier), so this is a great way for both people and pets to enjoy the stellar views (and fascinating smells) of the ocean without breaking any rules. Got a swimmer? Dog-friendly North Beach (aka Dog Beach) in Del Mar is just a short drive away. A bit further afield, Bluffs Beaches at San Onofre State Park has a couple of dog-friendly spots (Beaches 1 and 6 specifically) — though they require a bit of a hike.

 

Grab a Bite or a Sip

Most of Oceanside’s restaurants, cafés, and bars with outdoor seating are open to on-leash dogs, including our own Piper and Shelter Club. Other Fido favorites around town include Pacific Coast Spirits, Pier View Coffee, Beach Break Cafe, and our brewery partner, Bagby. Parlor Doughnuts even offers a special doggie donut. No begging! 

 

Hit the Trail

The San Luis Rey Trail is already one of our favorite walks, whether or not you have a canine companion (it’s also great for biking). The full nine-mile length might be a bit tough on doggie paws, but even a short section offers glimpses of local plants and wildlife (squirrel!), not to mention plenty of exercise. Because as we pet doggie parents all know, a well exercised pup is a sleepy pup.

The boardwalk in Oceanside Picture from Matt Howard

Explore the iconic Oceanside pier

 

The historic Oceanside Pier has survived storms, thefts, and hard times to become the town’s beating heart — and a magnet for locals and visitors alike. 

 

By Liz Sheldon

Wooden piers have become a classic symbol of California beach culture, but they were initially intended for practical purposes. Built to make it possible for large ships to unload heavy cargo, wharves, as they were originally known, could cement a small city’s future as a commercial hub. That’s exactly what the Oceanside Board of Trustees promised when it began raising funds for a 1,505-foot pier back in 1887. While things didn’t necessarily go according to plan, the pier you see here today has been a favorite fishing and leisure site for over a century, and stands out as one of Oceanside’s most iconic landmarks. Read on for the story of how the pier came to be, and the best ways to make the most of your visit to this picturesque symbol of Oceanside. 

 

A Short History of Our Long Pier

 

After scaling back from a design proposal that included a railroad track, the first piling for what would eventually become the Oceanside Pier was hammered into the sand in May of 1888. Relying on $28,000 pledged by local citizens, by June the city watched as shipments of lumber began arriving through the high seas (delivered, fittingly, by a captain named Starbuck). To them, it would be only a matter of months until Oceanside’s economic boom skyrocketed them to great wealth. 

 

By August 1888, the pier extended 1,304 feet, nearly its full length, and had already become a popular local fishing spot. Unfortunately, construction halted due to a nail shortage. Then, in December, disaster struck as a winter storm swept away much of the progress.

 

By 1889 citizens had begun to lose faith, referring to the battered pier as “a barnacle roost.” Bad weather and theft of construction materials slowed progress, and then, in December of 1890, a winter storm washed the remaining 300 feet of pier out to sea. (You can sometimes see the remains of this first pier at the end of Wisconsin Street at low tide; the Visit Oceanside site has more detailed history and photographs.)

 

It wasn’t until 1894 that Oceanside’s first pier was officially completed, in a new site at the end of Pier Way (then called Third Street). The Oceanside Pier still stands there today, having been replaced six times, most recently in 1987. Today it draws fishermen and visitors from far and wide, and its timeless image has come to represent leisurely days spent at the SoCal shore.

 

 

6 Great Ways to Spend a Day at the Pier

 

GO FISHING Follow in the footsteps of centuries of O’siders and drop a line off the pier. Anyone is welcome to fish, but you must obtain a license first (it’s fast and easy). A charming built-in bait and tackle shop partway down the pier supplies everything you need to cast off and collect your catch, which could be croakers near the shore, larger halibut and sea bass further out, and even mackerel and bonito. 

 

WATCH THE SUNSET The pier is a beloved place to watch the sun sink behind the waves, offering an epic array of colors to capture on camera. Many visitors take shots of the pier itself from shore, but walk out a bit to find unique vantage points of the horizon. 

 

VISIT CHARLIE THE PELICAN Cheeky, prehistoric-looking brown pelicans are a common sight on the pier, but one special pelican has earned a role as Oceanside’s unofficial mascot: Charlie is a fixture outside the Pier Bait Shop, where he and his pals — whom locals have dubbed Mike, Three Toes, Chompers, and Boo — hang out to clean up after the fishermen. Remember the birds are part of Oceanside’s precious ecosystem, so please treat them with respect. 

 

WATCH A SURF COMPETITION Many of Oceanside’s major surf events take place directly beside the pier, including August’s family-friendly Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club Contest and its accompanying beach festival. Later in the month, you can watch athletes do incredible tricks sans boards during the World Bodysurfing Championships. September brings the Super Girl Surf Pro, the only women’s Association of Professional Surfing (ASP) qualifying event in North America.

 

PAINT THE PIER While it’s not technically on the pier, you’ll get the best view in town from Mission Pacific’s rooftop, where Paint, Sip, and Gaze happens every Friday from 5:30–7:30pm. Our art expert provides all the supplies and instruction you need to create your own portrait of the pier — not to mention a glass of wine or cocktail for creative inspiration. 

 

EXPLORE THE SUNSET MARKET Just steps from the foot of the pier, the Oceanside Sunset Market takes place every Thursday from 5 to 9pm. International food vendors dish up everything from El Salvadoran pupusas to fresh sashimi and Belgian waffles. There’s also a marketplace for local crafts and live music, plus a kid-friendly play area with games.