North Coast Village

NC Village Dinghy

Imagine taking a morning stroll surrounded by  tropical settings of palm trees, birds of paradise, waterfalls, and Koi ponds. Mid day you take a swim in a crystal blue pool and later swim in the ocean.

You enjoy a gorgeous sunset from a deck followed by cocktails in the Jacuzzi.

Sounds like a great vacation in Hawaii or the Caribbean right?

Well, actually, wrong.  We are talking Oceanside,  California  at North Coast Village.

I have passed by these condos at least a million times in 25 years living in Oceanside and I have never been inside the complex.  I have enjoyed their amazing outside Christmas display in December and admired their landscaping but had never stepped inside the grounds.  More than likely it is becuase this is a gated community with 24 hour security.

Even though these condos are privately owned, you can rent them for vacation.  The listings we checked were only for a full week, but I am sure you can rent them for less.  We met a mixture of people from Idaho to Wisconsin and all seemed to be enjoying their vacation.

Our two bedroom unit was not upgraded and had some furnishing from the 80’s.  It wasn’t exactly the work  from a HGTV designer but cozy nonetheless.  It had great ocean views from the patio as well as the master bedroom.  This unit was a little further from the beach but being situated on the third story helped with the views.   Some of the units were right on the beach and rented out for about $3,100 a week for two bedrooms. If you want a fancier place with newer furnishing and upgrades be sure and check the photos for each individual unit.  Reading reviews on NC Village, it was mixed based on what unit you stayed in.

You can find more info here:   Also check on air conditioning as ours did not have any.

The wow factor at North Coast Village is the grounds.   As mentioned earlier, you feel like you are in a tropical paradise.  The expertly groomed landscaping includes a vast variety of palms as well as flowers, birds of paradise, and waterfalls.

NC Village at sunset
NC VIllage Grounds 2NC Village view of porch  NC Village bird of paradise
NC Village Fountain

NC Village Grounds 1  a>

A pond wraps around one area with hundreds of Koi that will greet you for an afternoon snack, so bring your quarters for the food machine.

NC VIllage Koi

The sizable pool is surrounded by the same Hawaii like landscaping and the Jacuzzi nearby is tucked into a little nook with tropical plants adorning it too.    At dusk, the lit up pool made an awesome contrast against the oranges and reds of the sunset behind it.

NC Village Pool in day
Pool lit up vertical

There is a Barbeque area where you can grill while overlooking the pool.

NV Village BBQ area<

They also offer a nice sized gym, laundry, men and women’s saunas, a rec room with ping pong and pool, and laundry facilities in a few different areas.  They have a few sitting rooms where you can play cards under the waterfall or kick back and read a book,  and for you golfers a practice putting green.

NC Village water fallNC Village small waterfall

If the pristine pool doesn’t entice you, then  walk a few steps to the beautiful Pacific Ocean.   This part of Oceanside doesn’t get very crowded so it is almost like you have your own private beach.

NC Village looking towards water

NC Village view from beach

Nearby is the Oceanside Harbor where there are plenty of restaurants and things to do.  Boats,  kayaks, and SUP’s  are available for rental year round.
NC Village Harbor view

Take a leisurely stroll to the pier where you can fish without a license or enjoy the nearby restaurants. You can also rent bikes or surreys.

NC Village Pier with lights

You are also 30-40 minutes from San Diego depending on traffic.

Honestly I could fill at least 4 days with just hanging out at the complex itself.  I swam in the pool, went to the beach, watched the sunset, and relaxed in the Jacuzzi all in one day.

Staycations are about staying around where you live and enjoying what it has to offer. This was another true Staycation as this is my hometown.   However, I felt like I was thousands of miles away in Hawaii.

All I needed was a luau, a ukulele playing sweet Hawaiian music, and a lei around my neck.

I settled for Spaghetti, a Corona, and the sweet smell of the Pacific Ocean. Not a bad place to be.

NC Village two palms and moon


The Breeders Cup

The Breeders’ Cup announced  that Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, Calif., has been selected as the site for the 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The 31st Breeders’ Cup, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious international year-end event, consisting of 14 races with purses and awards totaling $27 million, will be held on October 31 and November 1, 2014, and brings the event to Los Angeles for the third consecutive year.

Oceanside Harbor Days


Harbor Days is a free event open to all. The two day event features a sandcastle competition, entertainment, art, food, craft booths, military displays, public safety displays as well as the popular nail and sail competition.

The Staycations crew participated in the nail and sail event about 5 years ago.  In teams of three you must build a boat in 3 hours with only hand tools. No electric tools are allowed and the event provides the nails, glue, and wood.  As first timers we were more than happy that our barge, I mean boat made it across the bay without sinking. Never mind that in our heat we came in last place well after all the others crossed the finish line.

However, others didn’t fare so well as their boats slowly sunk much to the delight of the audience.  We now know why this event is so popular, although the crowd loved seeing the boats glide across the water, they equally wanted to see you sink. We evidenced this by hearing yells of ‘Sink’ when we started taking on water half way through.   Sadistic crowd aside, It is fun to see the themes some of these teams came up with and the costumes they design.  A must see.

The event is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

See more at:

Collage of Oceanside courtesy of Debbie Colwell photography.