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Oceanside

Find exceptional restaurants, inventive breweries, and a thriving local art scene in Northern San Diego County

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It doesn’t take an etymologist to figure out how Oceanside got its name: The city is tucked up against the shore, 40 miles north of downtown San Diego. But don’t be fooled by its easy, beachy vibe, because there’s plenty of hustle in this up-and-coming city. Over the last few years, inspired creators of food, brews, art, and music have made Oceanside a more exciting destination than ever before.

With sandy beaches and consistent waves, Oceanside has long been a favorite spot for surfers, swimmers, and stand-up paddleboarders. Rent your vehicle of choice at Asylum Board Shop before hitting the swells at Pier View North or Harbor Beach. Even land-lovers can enjoy the views on Oceanside Pier: Watch for dolphins outside Ruby’s Diner or try your hand at fishing with the help of the Pier Bait Shop. For thrill-seekers, there’s GoJump Oceanside, Southern California’s only coastal skydiving operator.

Head slightly inland to visit the institutions that helped Oceanside earn the distinction of a designated California Cultural District in 2017. See the exceptional collection at the Oceanside Museum of Art, fascinating historical artifacts at the California Surf Museum, or catch a live performance at The Brooks Theatre or The Star Theatre. Take home an art piece for yourself at the outdoor Sunset Market held on Main Street every Thursday night.

A strong agricultural tradition combined with bright young minds has catapulted Oceanside to the forefront of the Southern California food scene. Downtown shines with expertly crafted seafood at 333 Pacific and Harney Sushi. For something off the beaten path, head to funky South Oceanside for inventive fare at Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub or Panca Peruvian Cuisine & Rotisserie.

Of course, you’ll need something to wash down all those oysters and fries. Grab a flight at one of the popular craft breweries, including Belching Beaver, Black Plague, and Midnight Jack, which experiment with offbeat add-ins like peanut butter, habañero, and basil. Holme Estate Cellars and Beach House Winery will please any oenophile, and there’s even a spot to try home-brewed honey wine at Golden Coast Mead, which leverages the efforts of local honeybees. 

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