San Diego Day Trip: What To Do and See in Oceanside

Oceanside Pier photo by Trevor Dyck
Take a stroll on the iconic Oceanside Pier for great people and wildlife watching.

Head up the coast from San Diego for fabulous cultural destinations and dining in the beachy town of Oceanside.



California Surf Museum
No day trip to Oceanside is complete without a visit to this iconic landmark celebrating SoCal’s favorite lifestyle sport. Operating for more than three decades, you’ll find seven permanent exhibitions alongside revolving exhibits like China Beach: Surfing During the Vietnam War and the Healing Power of Wave Riding. Open daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m., open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. $5 adults; $3 seniors, military, students; CSM members and kids under 12 free. 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, 760.721.6876.

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia
Steeped in rich history, the largest of California’s 21 missions welcomes visitors and locals alike to learn and recharge. The National Historic Landmark resides on 56 acres and encompasses the oldest cemetery in North County, the historic mission church, gardens, a retreat center, museum and even the oldest Pepper Tree in all of California. M-F 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sa-Su 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $7 adults; $5 seniors; $3 ages 6-18; military and 5 and under free. 4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside, 760.757.3651.


View a myriad of contemporary artwork at the Oceanside Museum of Art.

Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA)
Discover a myriad of mediums at this cultural beacon featuring contemporary paintings, glass work, sculptors, light installations and more. Before you go, check the events calendar for special happenings like tours, art walks and live music. See website for hours. $8 adults; $5 seniors; OMA members, military, students with ID, kids 18 and under free. 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside, 760.435.3720.

Oceanside Pier
A quintessential backdrop for O’side sunsets, nothing beats a stroll along the iconic wooden structure. Enjoy people watching, wildlife watching (dolphins, seals, seagulls and more) or grab a quick bite at Ruby’s Diner located at the end  the pier. The Strand N., Oceanside.



Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen
Located only a few blocks from the main drag, head to the eatery’s flagship location for a rustic farm-to-table experience complete with local wine and craft beer. See website for hours. 626 S. Tremont St., Oceanside, 760.453.2940.

Harney Sushi
This sushi lovers paradise brings an imaginative twist to the city’s fine dining landscape. Expect an endless selection of beautifully displayed rolls and handrolls, plus over 30 sake selections and an extensive beer, wine and cocktail menu. See website for hours. 301 Mission Ave., Oceanside, 760.967.1820.

The Whet Noodle
Situated in South Oceanside, find small plates and sweet treats alongside four different broths from chef Davin Waite, including a Hot and Sour Miso vegan option. For a sushi twist, guests can order from their sister restaurant next door without even leaving the table. M 4-9 p.m., Tu-Su 4-10 p.m. 1813 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside, 760.453.2738.


Photo courtesy of Wrench and Rodent
Indulge on high-quality fish and produce at Wrench and Rodent.

Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub
Stationed next door to The Whet Noodle, indulge on high-quality fish and produce sourced from local purveyors. Menu highlights include unconventional omakase, sophisticated sashimi plates and a variety of vegan options. M 4-9 p.m., Tu-Su 4-10 p.m. 1815 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside, 760.271.0531.

Oceanside Pier photo by Trevor Dyck. OMA photo courtesy of the museum. Wrench and Rodent photo courtesy of the restaurant.

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