A Laid-Back Weekend in Oceanside, CA

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Advisor - Amanda Pamblanco
Curated By

Amanda Pamblanco

  • San Diego

  • California

  • Food & Wine

  • Beaches

  • Laidback

  • Beach Town

  • Relaxation

beach sunset
Curator’s statement

Located in San Diego County, Oceanside is a wonderful and relaxing destination for everyone. From emerging culinary experiences, local shops, craft breweries and historical landmarks, O'side (as the locals call it), has something for everyone. With an average temperature of 72 degrees, it's the perfect weekend escape.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay

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Day 1: Arrive in Oceanside

girl wearing denim jacket

Arriving mid-day or before sunset? Check into your hotel and head to Piper inside The Seabird Resort. This farm-to-table restaurant serves handmade organic pastas (their pasta making bar is right in the middle of the restaurant!) and deliciously curated main plates. As the menu seasonally changes, you can’t go wrong with their local bread and butter to start. Make sure to add truffle oil!

Stuffed? Great! In the same resort, head over to The Shore Room. This oceanfront cocktail bar serves curated cocktails and shareable plates. I had the best espresso martini I've ever had! Heck, all their cocktails are meticulously made. Relax and unwind and catch golden hour in their outdoor seating with fire pits. Many nights they also host live local musicians!

Day 2: Pier stroll, donuts and beach

beautiful girl enjoying in California

Ease into your morning and take a stroll on the historic wooden pier. It was first built in 1888 and ultimately has been reconstructed and standing since 1987! But first, grab a maple pecan donut and a cold brew from Parlor Donuts.

No beach chairs? No problem! At Pier View South Beach, the Beach Rambler offers chair and umbrella rentals. There are public restrooms, showers, covered picnic tables, fire rings and barbecues all within the vicinity!

Day 3: Wine, flowers and music

Pink flowers

Just a short ten minute drive from the center of Oceanside, enjoy an urban wine tasting experience at Carruth Cellars Tasting Room. All grapes are locally sourced around California and made in their Oceanside production facility.

From early March to early May view over 55 acres of Tecolote® Giant Ranunculus blooms at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. These blooms make the perfect backdrop and are Instagram worthy!

Head back to the Shore Room and listen to the sounds of local live music while watching the sunset.

Day 4: Visit the harbor

Enjoying beach view

Rent a bike and ride from the pier to Harbor Village. It’s a New England/Cape Cod style village with restaurants and shops. It’s 4.2 miles from the pier which makes sightseeing a breeze since the views are gorgeous throughout the ride! This activity is perfect for families. Stop by Harbor Beach where you can watch surfers catch waves or have your children play at the playground.

A spa overlooking the pacific ocean? Yes, please! End your day at Sunny’s Spa and Beauty Lounge. I enjoyed a 30 minute head massage and I was in heaven!

Getting Around Oceanside

Getting around Oceanside is the best part of the city. Try taking the low-cost, zero-emission gO'side shuttle and train stations to get around the city.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out Fora Travel Advisor Ashley Besic's guide, Exploring Santa Catalina Island.

Advisor - Amanda Pamblanco

Travel Advisor

Amanda Pamblanco

Get in touch with Amanda

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.