Last month, we kicked off our summer road trip series, Hit the Road, with an outdoor adventure to San Clemente. If you checked it out, we’d love to hear about it.
This month, we’re continuing the series with a 40-mile trip to Oceanside for a quick getaway. From the Oceanside Pier to movie memorabilia, this city in San Diego’s North County offers a little bit of everything — making it the perfect mid-summer vacay.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
Drive time: ~45 minutes from downtown San Diego
Est. population: 176,818
Avg. high in July: 72°
🌊 Things to do
Hit the Beach, The Strand
It’s a no-brainer. You can surf, swim, stroll, kayak, or paddleboard through the city’s three miles of coastline and stop to catch some rays or for marshmallows by a nighttime bonfire.
Oceanside Harbor Village, 280 Harbor Dr. South
Enjoy some shopping + dining with your ocean views. You’ll also find picture-perfect sights, like the lighthouse + Oceanside sign.
Oceanside Pier, Pier View Way
Nestled between the appropriately-named Pier View South + Pier View North beaches, you can get stunning views of the Pacific Ocean + coastline from this landmark. The 1,942-ft long pier is the perfect place to walk, watch the sunset, or go fishing.
California Surf Museum, 312 Pier View Way
Wave hello to some local history. It’s no secret that surfers love Oceanside, but you don’t need a board to get stoked for this surf lesson.
🍔 Grub to eat
Lighthouse Oyster Bar & Grill, 262 S. Harbor Dr. #201
You’re going to get hungry on your road trip, and we seafood in your future. This restaurant in Oceanside Harbor Village will give tastes and views of the ocean. Check out the menu — walk-in + reservations welcome.
Beach Break Cafe, 1802 S. Coast Highway
All beach days start with breakfast, and this community eatery has all the classics + some new favorites on its menu.
High-Pie, 250 N. Pacific St.
Grab a box of pies at this famous shop. This Victorian bungalow — actually used as a filming location in the original “Top Gun” — has a menu full of pies + plenty of memorabilia.
🏨 Overnight accommodations
If all the fun wears you out and you decide to turn this quick day trip into an overnighter, here are some spots to stay.
Garden Oasis, 999 N. Pacific St.
Fall asleep by the beach in this 2 BD, 2 BA that sleeps up to six people.
The Seabird Resort, 101 Mission Ave.
Experience everything Oceanside has to offer — except the beach traffic — at this beachfront resort. It even lets you get a peek of the experience with its surf cam.
The Green Room, 2020 S. Coast Hwy.
This comfortable + fashionable hotel is perfect for surfing, beach days + date nights.
Stay tuned for the August installment of our Hit the Road series. We’ll be highlighting a road trip for the foodies.