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Families Flock to Oceanside for Value, Fun and Authentic Coastal Charm

March 25, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

As family travel season kicks into high gear, Oceanside, Calif. – San Diego’s NorthShore – proves a destination that offers excitement for the entire family- from toddlers and tweens to teens and parents- all at a tremendous value.

Its miles of sandy beach, wide-variety of outdoor activities, stimulating cultural attractions and central location close to San Diego’s top theme parks such as Legoland California and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, make Oceanside an ideal home-base for any family vacation.

“Families want to get away together, but are seeking more value for their vacation dollar,” says Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside. “Oceanside offers a rare combination of exciting coastal activities and beachfront accommodations that can be enjoyed on any budget all year round.”

Family Friendly Accommodations

Few beach towns offer the type of value-priced, ocean close accommodations as Oceanside. No matter what the budget, staying near the coast is within reach. The new SpringHill Suites Oceanside is just one block from the beach and offers larger than average hotel rooms, daily complimentary breakfast and a rooftop pool with panoramic coastal views. The Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort is directly across from the pier and features kitchens, living spaces and a front row seat to the surf. The city also boasts hundreds of vacation rental options from high-end beachfront homes to casually comfortable vintage cottages near the coast. Vacation rentals typically feature multiple bedrooms, kitchens and living spaces, so they easily accommodate families or larger groups traveling together.

Beach Play

Not surprisingly, Oceanside’s 3.5 miles of sandy shoreline is one of the most popular attractions for visiting families. Many of the beaches are outfitted with playgrounds, and beach campfire rings add to family fun in the evening. Families can also hit the many coastal pedestrian paths, which are great for jogging, rollerblading and biking too.

Outdoor Adventure

Oceanside’s mild climate and collection of coastal amenities, including a historic wooden pier, bustling harbor and epic surf spots, make it a prime destination for outdoor fun. Families can bond during a sea kayak adventure or surf lessons at one of the city’s legendary surf spots. At the harbor, families can rent boats, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and jet skis, or enjoy sailing or whale watching excursions. Those who prefer to stay dry can drop a line from the Oceanside Pier and fish for their own “catch of the day.” Named San Diego’s only bike-friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists, families can rent recreational bikes for the day for a nominal fee and explore the coastal boardwalk and scenic 7-mile San Luis Rey Bike Trail. Families can also enjoy phenomenal bird watching from Oceanside’s lagoons, glimpsing coastal species such as Great Blue Heron, Black Necked Stilt and White Pelican, all in their natural environment.

Cultural Fun

Many of Oceanside’s cultural attractions offer special events just for families. Free Family Art Days at the Museum of Modern Art is a popular program where families participate in hands-on art activities that reflect concepts and themes from the exhibits. At Mission San Luis Rey, families can enjoy self-guided tours, educational lectures and public events in the historic gardens that provide visitors with unique cultural experiences. The California Surf Museum, which offers families free admission on Thursday, is always a top-rated activity with kids and parents who immerse themselves in wave culture. One exhibit that is always popular chronicles surfer Bethany Hamilton’s shark encounter and includes her shark-bit surfboard and other memorabilia from the day of her attack. After dark, the Thursday evening Sunset Market offers several exciting blocks of fresh regional produce, flowers and souvenirs.  

Family Dining

A full family is a happy family and Oceanside has plenty of dining options to please any palate. At the end of the pier, there’s the popular Ruby’s Diner which offers a unique opportunity to dine while waves crash around you.  Another fun option is the historic 101 Café, the oldest continuously operating restaurant on the Historic Highway 101 that is famous for its delicious diner-style food and memorabilia. Within the downtown walking district, families will find the newly relocated Longboarder Café, rockin’ Harney Sushi, Breakwater Brewery and a variety of other fun establishments that serve everything from pizza to Thai cuisine to Hawaiian plate lunch. And, for an ice-cream treat, the centrally located Dairy Queen is always a favorite.

Location, Location

Oceanside is centrally located to top family attractions in both San Diego and OrangeCounty. Just a short drive away is Legoland California, Disneyland, SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, San DiegoZooSafari Park and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

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