My Favorite Things to do in Oceanside, California

Happy spring break!! It’s that time of the year again when all of us students are travelling to the beach and enjoying the (brief) break from classes.

Oceanside, California, is honestly one of my favorite places in the world. In middle and high school, it was my absolute number one favorite place, especially to visit for spring break. Since then, I’ve traveled quite a bit more and places like Niagara Falls and Houston have surpassed Oceanside, but nonetheless, Oceanside is an incredible place and a prime vacation spot.

Sunset at the beach in Oceanside

Oceanside is about 38 miles north of San Diego in southern California. It is a small, but constantly growing, beach town. The weather typically ranges between 50-80 degrees  Fahrenheit throughout the year. It can get quite chilly in the winter and spring, and often times my spring break in March would be very cold. It begins to warm up in June (despite June gloom, which is a real thing with beach weather in California!) and it stays warm until September or even October.

June gloom views

I visited Oceanside every spring break from fifth to twelfth grade with various best friends. I swear can walk around the downtown, harbor, and beach areas with my eyes shut! It’s changed quite a lot in the 10+ years that I’ve been visiting, but for the better.

In no particular order, here are my favorite things to do in Oceanside!

Book a whale watching boat trip

Whale watching is a must-do for anyone on the west coast! The west coast has such an incredible array and population of whales, unlike the east coast. I love boats, the ocean, and animals so whale watching is something that I love to do. It’s not guaranteed that you will always see a whale and it make take two hours and your boat speeding to chase a whale, but if you see a whale, it’s incredible! Dolphins also love to ride the boat’s waves and you might spot sea lions lounging on buoy’s on the way out of the harbor. Boating trips like this typically require a reservation in advance, so be sure to book your trip early if you’re in Oceanside during the summer!

Can you spot the whale fin??

Eat dinner at the harbor

The harbor, or any harbor, is the best place for seafood lovers. There is always the freshest fish, lobster, crab, oysters, and all other types of seafood! I, personally, don’t eat meat but can still find food options for me at the harbor. The harbor also has lots of shops to buy cheesy Oceanside memorabilia and reserve boating trips. It’s also just a fun place to grab a coffee and people-watch or walk around.

Oceanside Harbor
“Oceanside” sign at the harbor

Grab a coffee at Succulent Cafe

Succulent Cafe is a hidden gem of Oceanside. It features succulents EVERYWHERE! They drape over the sign, hang down from the walls, fill bookshelves, pots or shoes — everywhere! The cafe is in a hidden little nook next to what looks like a house and is kind of difficult to spot, but once you see it, it’s so cool! Inside the house is a shop with soaps, lotions, scents, clothes, and an assortment of other things. Outside is the little cafe, where you can buy espresso drinks, coffee, lemonade, water, as well as food items.

Eat breakfast at Breakfast Club Diner

Every single time I go to Oceanside, I always make sure to get breakfast at the Breakfast Club Diner California. They have so many different types of pancakes and breakfast foods. There’s also other things on the menu like burgers and fries, but I always go for breakfast. The restaurant itself is so unique because it is styled in the 1980’s and the walls of the restaurant are absolutely covered in hand-painted murals. It’s like a game to spot all of the various movie and TV references. The waiters are always very friendly as well.

Walk along the pier

One of the first things I do when I arrive in Oceanside is walk along the Oceanside Pier. It’s such a calm and beautiful place to walk. Sometimes there are vendors selling cheap goods or performers out on the pier. There’s almost always fishermen sitting along the edges of the pier fishing for seafood. At the end of Oceanside Pier is a Ruby’s Diner. Ruby’s offers American-style cuisine, with specialty burger’s, fries and milkshakes. There’s also optioned for vegetarians, like me, and plenty of breakfast options. I will always go to Ruby’s for either breakfast, lunch or dinner at some point during my time in Oceanside.

Oceanside Pier in the evening

Browse at the Thursday farmer’s market

Every Thursday from 9am to 1pm is the Oceanside farmer’s market. It offers fresh produce, from strawberries to lettuce to some other rather unique fruits and vegetables. There’s also other vendor’s selling goods like clothes, jewelry, soaps, hot sauces, plants, and other fresh cooked foods. I always try to make sure I’m awake enough to go to the farmer’s market to buy some fresh strawberries. If you arrive in Oceanside on a Wednesday or early Thursday, be sure to get your fresh foods from the market, or if you’re leaving on a Thursday, grab some fresh produce to eat in the car on the way home!

Lounge at the Beach

I saved the best for last. It’s kind of a no-brainer that people go to Oceanside to lounge at the beach. I’ve spent countless hours relaxing, picnicking, people-watching, having photoshoots, exploring sea life, and walking along the beach.

Those are my top things to do in Oceanside, California!

Honorable mentions are riding tandem bikes along the beach road, visiting museums like the California Surf Museum and shopping in downtown Oceanside — all of which are very exciting and fun things to do during your visit to Oceanside!

With plenty of activities to do in Oceanside (on top of simply relaxing at the beach!), you can imagine why it’s one of my favorite places!



Thank you for reading! Have you ever visited Oceanside? What would be the first thing that you want to do in Oceanside, California? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!




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