Summertime Beach Parking

It's as Easy as 1-2-3

Ten Things You Should Know

It's that time of year again when we put our swimsuits on, dust off the boogie boards, and head down for a day of fun at Oceanside's beautiful beaches. Keeping the day fun of course includes finding a place to park and knowing the rules so that a few seashells are the souvenir of the day – not a parking ticket!

Parking at Oceanside's beaches is simple and the pay machines and meters are easy to use. Here are some tips to ensure that your outing is as smooth as the ice cream you'll be looking for after a hot day in the sun.

  1. Park, Pay, Display/1-2-3 – Oceanside's beach parking lots are all "pay and display" lots. This means that once you find a place to park, you must go to the pay machine located generally in the middle or entrance to the lot and pay for a receipt which you then place on your dashboard.
  2. Rules – The rules in the beach lots vary so be sure to read all of the directions posted at the pay machine to become familiar with the requirements in the lot where you are parked.
  3. Days that Payment is Required – Oceanside requires payment at the machines and at the beach area pay meters 7 days a week and on holidays.
  4. Street Meter Hours – The times of metered parking varies so be sure to check the placard inside the street meter for the specific times of enforcement.
  5. Lot Closures – Nearly all of Oceanside's beach lots close overnight with a few exceptions. If you are planning a night time activity at the beach – be sure that the lot you are planning to use doesn't close.
  6. Fee or Free – The beach area parking costs most "on the sand", however the fee to park lessens as you move east from the beach. Free parking is available within 3 blocks from the pier in the transit center parking structure and the parking lots along Cleveland St. Also, no fees are collected for beach parking south of Wisconsin Ave.
  7. Harbor Beach – The harbor beach lots are similar to the pier beach area lots and require the park-pay-display method of fee parking. The harbor lots have more specific rules pertaining to overnight camping and space use, so be sure to read the expanded rules board at each pay machine. Free all-day parking in the harbor is available in Lot 1 which is on the east side of the railroad tracks, under the tunnel across from Helgren's sport fishing.
  8. Street Signage – If you park near the beach, outside of the metered areas, there are still likely parking restrictions whether they be for 4 hour parking or standard street sweeping restrictions. There are always signs posted at the beginning of a block so be sure to look for them.
  9. "But I am only here for a minute..." – Once you are parked in a pay lot, you are required to purchase a receipt. If you are watching the surf, eating a quick lunch, or taking a cell phone call, you still must get a receipt as soon as you are parked. If you are contacted by an enforcement officer, you will be given a choice to either purchase one or receive a citation.
  10. Annual Permit – Oceanside residents can purchase an annual beach permit for $100 starting on July 1st of each year (prorated during mid year purchase).

Our goal is that residents and visitors have an enjoyable, stress free visit to Oceanside's beaches by offering parking options that help ensure there are always spaces available. Hopefully these tips will assist you in having a smooth summer knowing the rules of Oceanside beach parking.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the parking enforcement office at (760)435-5195.