The Oceanside Pier area is ground zero for beach activities and, in many ways, the heart of the community. Refurbished in 1987, the pier extends about a quarter of a mile into the water. Anglers crowd the edges of the wide deck, experiencing degrees of success and sunburn. Ruby's, a '50s-style diner, sits at the end. At the opposite end of the pier, a sloping ramp takes you down to beach level. Dine at the umbrella tables and grassy spots in the shade of the pier. The main street along the shore is called The Strand. The concrete strip welcomes cars, bikes, and pedestrians. The wide beach surrounding the Pier has been enjoyed by locals and visitors for years. The palm-lined four mile beach is a mix of families, teens, body boarders and surfers. This area has picnic tables, restrooms and a playground.
Beautiful Harbor Beach is Oceanside’s largest beach, offering everything from surfing to volleyball. The Oceanside Harbor, adjacent to Harbor Beach, has many amenities including the Marina Inn Hotel and a variety of shops and dining options. In the Harbor, you can sail, spend the day on a deep-sea fishing boat, whale watch, rent kayaks or visit the marina and sea lions. Fishing is an option from the jetties. Harbor Beach has three lifeguard towers, picnic areas, and restrooms. Harbor Beach is a beautiful venue that has something to offer everyone.
Facilities: the area behind each lifeguard tower has picnic tables, barbecue grills, gazebos and showers. There are restrooms and telephones, a snack bar and some volleyball courts (you supply the net and ball). There are 24 fire rings along Harbor Beach.
Parking: there are a number of parking lots in the Harbor beach area. Parking map
Directions: From Interstate 5, take the Harbor Drive exit, west; Harbor Drive will take you directly to the entrance of the Harbor.
This is a quiet, family beach located just south of Oceanside Harbor Beach. It is popular with surfers and volleyball players. Surfers, however, will have to walk down to the jetty in the summer months when the beach is closed to surfing in front of Lifeguard Tower 8. The river jetty is where the San Luis Rey River meets the ocean. A sandbar is often formed here and creates a good surf break. Breakwater Way has showers and restrooms, some picnic tables, barbecue grills and a volleyball court. A pay parking lot is located east of Pacific Street. There is also metered parking along Pacific Street. Parking map
All along the beachfront here, there are private homes facing the ocean. During the summer months there is an area directly in front of the lifeguard tower (Tower 9), approximately 200 ft., that is designated for swimmers, waders and body boarders only. For safety precautions, this area is closed to surfing and will be marked by checkered flags and swim-surf signs. There is a very large rock that sits in the surfline approximately 300 feet south of the lifeguard tower and can be seen at low tide. There are no restrooms located at this beach. The closest public restroom is either Buccaneer or Wisconsin Street beach. Parking is available along Pacific Street and other neighboring streets.
Wisconsin Street beach is located at Wisconsin Street and The Strand. The South Strand is a one-way, southbound street that parallels the beach. There is a ramp just north of the lifeguard Tower 7 for access to the beach. This is Oceanside’s least frequented beach. When the tide is high, the water comes all the way up to the rocks, leaving very little or no beach at all. This area is open to all water activities. A small pay parking lot is located directly behind the lifeguard tower on The Strand. There is also parking along Pacific Street. Parking map
Tyson Street Beach and Park is located along The Strand within walking distance of the Oceanside Pier. Lifeguard Tower 5 is located here. Stairs are provided for beach and park access from Pacific Street. Due to crowds in this area during the summer months, it is necessary to prohibit surfing here for the safety of swimmers and waders. Restrooms and showers are available. The adjacent park is just a few feet from the beach and is great for picnics. The park has a large grassy area, picnic tables, benches and a playground. There are also two available handicapped parking spaces on The Strand and metered parking is available on Pacific Street. The nearest parking lot is located one block east of Pacific Street and one block north of Tyson Street on the corner of Mission Avenue and Myers Street. Parking map
You'll find this small family beach filled with the sun and sea lovers of all ages. Buccaneer Park across the street has a great lawn, restroom, cafe, and a shaded gazebo. The Loma Alta Creek flows adjacent to the park for bird watching.
South Oceanside beaches are accessible mainly at low tide, with the exception of the beachfront at St. Malo, accessible from the south side of the Buena Vista Lagoon at all times.
The construction of the Camp Pendleton Harbor jetty stops much of the sand from being carried south by the waves, which had previously preserved the wide beaches of Oceanside. Camp Pendleton annually dredges the mouth of the Oceanside Harbor for safe navigational passage, and that sand is pumped onto the beach to the south. Read about diminished beach sand and what options we have: