What to see along the California coastline and – above all – where to stop and enjoy some relaxing days at the end of a long on the road through the Golden State or the South West USA?
My tip is to think about a stay in the nice Oceanside, a little treasure of sea, sun, beaches, slow rhythms, good food and surf on the Pacific Coast, one hour far from San Diego and two hours far from Los Angeles.
What to see along the California coastline: Oceanside, how to arrive
Oceanside is part of San Diego county, 65km far.
It can be reached quickly through Interstate 5 or enjoying peacefully the amazing views of the Coast Hwy 101 in the trait of coast linking San Diego to Los Angeles.
On the contrary, if you come from the inside, from the Joshua Tree National Park or Palm Springs, Indio and Coachella areas, the route recommend – extremely suggestive and panoramic – goes through the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Then it reaches the very beautiful Temecula Spanish settlement and so keep going on through the California State Route 7/6 as far as Oceanside.
What to see along the California coastline: visit Oceanside
“Eternity. It is the sea mingled with the sun”
If I think about Oceanside, the first image that comes to my mind is one among its many red fire sunsets over the Pacific. A walk on foot on the beach, from the Oceanside Pier as far as the South Harbor, and the daylights disappearing progressively along the horizon line between crimson and golden shades.
O’side (like its locals call it affectionately) is pure, simple beauty.
About 5km of very white sand, the longest wooden pier (and suggestive, in my opinion) in California – the Oceanside Pier – and a series of attractions to visit, peacefully, with no hurry, among a bath, a surf lesson and a bit of pure relax on the beach.
The town – forget the car for a bit – can be easily visited on foot or by bicycle and it develops mainly between Coast Hwy101 and the intersection (the real heart of Oceanside) with Mission Ave, a trait of the Historic California US 101 Route included.
Not to miss the wonderful architectonic frame of the Oceanside Public Library, a tour at the Oceanside Museum of Art – in order to admire one of the most complete collections of artworks by Californian contemporary artists – and a stop at the California Surf Museum – to discover not only all the secrets of the surfboards creation, but also the history and the mythical characters who made this discipline one of the most practiced sports in California.
Please, look Visit Oceanside official website up for further info about exhibitions, events and activities during your stay.
What to see along the California Coastline: what to see and what to do near Oceanside
Find down here some indications and tips about the places to visit by day from Oceanside, attractions and sites which can be reached in a few kilometers.
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Luis Rey is located about 7 km far from downtown Oceanside.
It was founded as 18th Mission in 1798 and it was called “King of the Mission” since it was the biggest one among all those present in California. Today, inside it there’s a museum dedicated to the life of missionary friars and local indigenous people at the time of foundation, besides a collection of sacred art and original handworks.
Carlsbad and LEGOLAND, Carlsbad Premium Outlets and The Flower Fields
About 8 km to the South of Oceanside you’ll run into the heart of another typical small Coastal California small town: the Carlsbad Village, a small and very cared historic district dating back to the end of the 1800s.
Many American tourists stay here to visit some of the most famous attractions of the Southern California. It is impossible not to mention LEGOLAND, the Flower Field – a wonderful series of flower fields at the Carlsbad Ranch, opened every year exclusively from March 1st until May 10th – and for shopping lovers (very cheap) the Carlsbad Premiums Outlets.
What to see along the California Coastline: Oceanside, where to sleep and eat
The beautiful thing about Oceanside – besides what already written and told – is that it offers a wide selection of hotels, affordable and fit for everyone. From the classic and basic Motels to the chain Hotels like Best Western and La Quinta Inn, as far as some prestigious charm hotels.
And also as regards refreshment you can pick and choose among fast foods, diners, seafood restaurants and cafés. All located between the very central N. Coast Hwy and Mission Ave.
Find down here some suggestions personally tested.
- Petit Madeline Bakery & Bistrot – ideal for handmade cakes and pastries breakfast and for buying bakery products, sandwiches and salads if you’re going to have lunch on the beach. Average prices.
- Honeys Breakfast and Lunch – Mission Ave 603. Perfect for an abundant American breakfast or for an Espresso or Cappuccino with handmade muffins, very good salads for lunch. Low prices.
- Hello Betty Fish House – very fresh seafood dishes (alternatively also meat), cooked according to the local tradition, among them grilled/fried fish tacos, fish and chips, seafood cobb salad, salmon burger and clam chowder. Informal rooms, average prices.
- Tin Fish Oceanside Pier – very good seafood dishes, quick service. Located on the passage under the Oceanside Pier, few steps far from the beach with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. Low prices.