The beach area south of the Oceanside Pier is Oceanside’s most popular beach. If you don’t mind crowds, you will be comfortable here. Surfing, body boarding and body surfing contests are held at the Oceanside Pier throughout the summer. There are also various events that are held in the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater. The pier itself is a beautiful walk and a popular fishing spot as well. Due to the number of beachgoers in this area, there are two lifeguard towers relatively close together. Lifeguard Tower 1 sits directly south of the pier and Tower 3 sits approximately 300 feet south of Tower 1. During the summer months, the area from Tower 1 south is closed to surfing most of the day. The area will be marked with a black ball flag as well as swim-surf signs and black-and-white checkered flags that indicate the boundaries. The surfing area is from Lifeguard Tower 1 to 100 feet from the pier and is closed to all other water activities. No water activity is allowed within 100 feet of the pier. It is easy to determine the 100-foot line by looking to the shore and locating two black and yellow signs. If 100 feet or more from the pier, the signs will read OK. If someone is within 100 feet of the pier, the signs will read KO, as in Keep Out. The 100-foot rule is a safety precaution and is a strictly enforced City ordinance.
The pier area has a lot to offer. Many covered picnic tables, benches and barbecues are available, as well as some fire rings on the sand. Restrooms and showers are provided. Payphones and vending machines are located under the pier, in front of the Beach Community Center. A McDonald’s stand and other vending stands are also located under the pier. The pier itself offers fishing, a bait shop, payphones and restrooms. At the end of the pier is the 50’s diner, Ruby’s.
There are pay parking lots located south and north of the pier. Another pay parking lot is located one block east of Pacific Street on Mission Avenue and Myers Street. There is also metered parking available on Pacific Street.
From Interstate 5, take the Mission Avenue exit, west. Continue until you reach Pacific Street and you will be in the pier area.