Oceanside Harbor isn’t exactly off the beaten path since it is quick exit from the busy Interstate 5. As you leave the freeway and head towards the harbor you will reach a dead-end and have to go either right or left. Going right, won’t get you very far as you will soon be greeted by an armed sentry asking you for your I.D. and what your business is on Camp Pendleton. Officially called Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, this gate and parts of the base are just a chain-link-fence away from the harbor. That is, a chained link fence with barbed wire!
So it is best to take a left into Oceanside Harbor where you will be greeted by a colorful lighthouse instead of a M16 rifle. After you make that left turn you will be descending down a small hill and given one last choice to either veer left or right.
Heading left you will enter what they call Oceanside Harbor Village. This area hasn’t changed much through the years and still has that Cape Cod feel with its charming buildings and design. Surrounded by the lighthouse, the village is an area filled with restaurants, novelty shops, rental places for boats, kayaks, or SUP’s and much more. Here is also where you can charter boats, go on a whale watching trip, or a half-day fishing excursion. This is the heart of the Oceanside Harbor.
A quaint coffee shop features music in the summer and a nearby ice-cream store serves up all of your favorite flavors.
Only a short walk away from the harbor is a large beach with plenty of sand and a popular surfing area. This is where most of the action in Oceanside Harbor happens, where the tourists and locals go to eat, shop, and play!
Now, Off the Beaten Path:
If you chose to turn right at the bottom of the hill, you will be venturing a little off the beaten path to the quieter north side of the harbor.
This is a place you go to walk your dogs, fish, have a quiet picnic, chill out and watch the boats, or come for the sunset.