FIRST STOP – OCEANSIDE
Starting the new year traveling with VISIT CALIFORNIA to 3 southern towns was nothing short of amazing. Sharing this adventure with my gal pal Shauna of ChicOver50 made the trip so much more fun! I will break up my journies into 3 blogs because there is so much to write about. Today, I will share Part 1, our first stop in Oceanside, CA. which is centrally located along the beautiful Southern California coastline.
Oceanside is considered the gateway city between metropolitan San Diego and Los Angeles. Shauna and I flew into San Diego Airport, hopped in our rental car, and drove up the I-5 freeway for about 38 miles north to Oceanside. From LA the drive is about 90 miles or take Amtrak from as far as Santa Barbara down to Oceanside. However you get here, it is worth it!!
Once upon a time Oceanside mostly served servicemen and women from the big marine base Camp Pendelton right up the road for their weekend fun, haircuts, and even tattoos. Now, they still have these amenities and more.
Over the last 10 years, Oceanside has been going through a renaissance. It has created a more pleasing, visitor-friendly beautification completed in 2014. New businesses and an “Artist Alley” help complete the vision making it a wonderful destination for all ages.
Oh yes, friends you can enjoy 3.5 miles of beautiful beaches. Do you like to surf or body surf then you are in luck. Oceanside is known for its natural swells, making it a surfer’s paradise. Have you ever surfed? I have and it is not easy. Keep reading for more on the history of surfing in this area.
Normally the weather has average temps of around 72 but wouldn’t you know it, we had a big cold front all week long. Fortunately, we knew ahead of time and planned for much colder temperatures. In Jan/Feb you can expect just about anything. A little cool weather never stopped us from enjoying the area
We were blessed to have stayed at award-winning lodging the Seabird Inn, the sister property to Mission Pacific, one of the most highly-rated properties in the US. The Seabird guests have full access to everything at the Mission Pacific. Located on the water right by the pier and within walking distance to many restaurants, museums, shops, and art galleries. My room on the third floor had the most magnificent view of the pool, the ocean, and gorgeous sunsets. This hotel is more like a boutique hotel with the amenities of a major property. It has 226 guestrooms featuring minibars and LED televisions. Your pillowtop bed comes with premium bedding. I slept soooo good! Also enjoy Piper, Oceanside’s culinary gem steps away from the Pacific Ocean. Their family-friendly restaurant has become a staple amongst San Diego restaurants.
Our first-night dining out was booked for us at ALL MINE and just let me tell you, that it did not disappoint. A favorite neighborhood restaurant specializing in hand-crafted food, artisanal pizza, and everything from the breads to the dressings. They served all-natural wines which I loved because they are so good to avoid the tannin headache that comes along with drinking red wine. Shauna and I shared a pizza and their off-the-chart amazing lasagna. It was hands down my favorite restaurant during my week in southern California.
CALIFORNIA SURF MUSEUM
Surfing USA….. oh yes….. if you are a surfer, then you know about Oceanside. If not, then learn all about the history of surfing and yes there is a science to it that is explained through the tour. This museum shows the evolution of how surfing has evolved. It also houses Bethany Hamilton’s surfboard and swimsuit. At 14 years old and an up-and-coming competitive surfer, Bethany was attacked by a shark. She lost her arm but today she still thrives as one at the top of her game. Married with children, she has not let her so-called handicap stop her from reaching her dreams. It is a rare story of survival and success.
OCEANSIDE ADVENTURE – WHALE WATCHING
It was a cold day on the water but we were up for it. Unfortunately, we did not see any whales, but we did enjoy visiting with the crew and learning about the whales. Most of all we just enjoyed the great outdoors on the water.
OCEANSIDE HARBOR MARINA & SHOPS
After our boat trip, we hung out and browsed the Oceanside Harbor Village shops. I got me some fried dill pickle at the Fish & Chips. Sooooo good! I am the salty dog, but we stopped by Nana & Pop-Pop’s Sweet Shoppe for Shauna!
Located at the Mission Pacific Hotel you will have fun taking photos and eating pie at the Famous High Pie. This house was made famous in the first Top Gun movie with Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. It is so cute. Tom’s motorcycle is parked in the front yard.
If you need a shopping fix then head over to OZONE. The Ozone features clothing, jewelry, accessories, fragrances, candles, personal care, art, books, and sporting accessories from local artisans and brands with a very special point of view. I found the cutest blouse that says “Take me to the ocean“. Perfect for me, right? (see photo below right)
We ended our day at The Lab Collective. Great meal while we watched an NFL playoff game on their big screen TV. Modern, upscale dining delivered in an artless way. Walking distance from our hotel.
On our last day, we got to experience a yoga class on the rooftop of the Mission Pacific Hotel. It is usually held outside but due to cold temps, they moved it inside but still very picturesque and tranquil. After yoga, we went to Hi Low for a delicious breakfast hosted by Shea, our Oceanside tourism expert. It was so good and a great day to wind up our fabulous stay in Oceanside, California.
Reference Links for Oceanside, CA
- SEABIRD HOTEL
- ALL MINE
- SURF MUSEUM
- OCEANSIDE ADVENTURES
- TOP GUN HOUSE
- THE OZONE
- HIGH LOW
- MISSION PACIFIC HOTEL
- VISIT CALIFORNIA
- VISIT OCEANSIDE
I highly rate this quaint little town on the ocean. Spend the week here or a weekend getaway. Either way is worth your time and money!!
NEXT STOP TEMECULA
We are rolling right along into this year. One month down and 11 to go. WOW! This is the month of love so we love bringing you feel-good content. I will be recapping my California trip in 3 separate blogs so stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3.
I have been traveling again so I am slow over here as usual, but in case you missed it check out Valentines Day | 5 Ways to Love Yourself, Ways to Create Your Valentine’s Day Look 2024, and 2024 Pantone Color of the Year – Peach Fuzz,
As always, we would love to hear your feedback!!
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