Attractions in Southern California
Unlike most ports, all boats are visible from a two-lane asphalt drive encircling its shoreline. Fine restaurants, picnic tables, and a Harbor Village with shops, eateries, and a lighthouse, along with the nearby Harbor Beach combine to offer the seafarer and motor visitor an enchanting experience of color and atmosphere. Oceanside's Harbor is a mecca for sportfishing, whale watching, boating and other water-oriented activities. The Marina inside the harbor has sloops ranging in length from 25-51 feet. Transient moorings and limited RV beach camping are available. Harbor Days is a scheduled annual event held the 3rd weekend in September.
The historic Oceanside Pier is a prized community resource as well as a monument to its citizens' persistence in seeing that a pier remains a part of its oceanfront recreational facilities. At its current 1,942 feet in length, it remains one of the longest wooden construction recreational piers on the West Coast. From its reach, viewers can peer into the entrance channel of Oceanside Harbor, a 900 + boat recreational marina that sits along the northwest borders of the city. The pier is a recreational common ground for Oceanside, a place where young and old, fisherman and surfer, tourist and residents mingle, stroll, and sit to watch the waves or the sunset while enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. While a fishing license is required for surf fishing on the beach, no license is needed for fishing off the pier.
A cultural vision is being realized in historic Downtown Oceanside that will forever change the image of the city. The award winning Oceanside Civic Center, located at 300 North Coast Highway is a focal point of this new vision. Several museums and galleries can be found in or near downtown Oceanside, such as the museum of Art. This visual arts center brings a variety of art exhibitions to the downtown, and is located in the historic Gill building at 704 Pier View Way (760-721-ARTS). The California Surf Museum is capturing, preserving and chronicling the art, culture and heritage of the surfing lifestyle. You can visit this internationally recognized world class-museum at 223 North Coast Highway (760-721-6876). Visit a coastal wetlands habitat at the Buena Vista Audobon Society's Nature Center located at 2202 South Coast Highway(760-439-2473). Here you will see a variety of plants and birds.
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, named in honor of St. Louis, King of France, is located in a secluded valley four miles east of Highway 5 in Oceanside. Founded in June 1798 by Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, the Mission is one of the most architecturally impressive of all the California missions. Today, the "King of Missions" includes a picnic area, museum and gift shop. The newly developed San Luis Rey Valley Conference Center & Garden's, located at the Mission, is equipped to accommodate conventions, conferences, banquets, as well as weddings, it covers 17,500 square feet of space with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment - a perfect meeting place!
Heritage Park Village & Museum centers around an idyllic Main Street lined with many of historic Oceanside's original buildings. The first General Store, the Portola Inn, the Blacksmith Shop & Livery Stable, a doctor’s office, the Old City jail, Libby School and the Blade newspaper building provide an ambient backdrop for education programs, special events and social gatherings of all kinds.
LEGOLAND California is built for Real Family Fun with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Everybody's sure to have a great time together! Venture to the underwater world at the new SEA LIFE AQUARIUM or journey to the ancient ruins of Egypt and recover stolen treasures at the LAND OF ADVENTURE. What's more, LEGOLAND has action-packed live shows like JOURNEY TO THE LOST TEMPLE or the fire safety show, THE BIG TEST With limitless fun, LEGOLAND California is sure to delight the entire family!
Leo Carillo Ranch Historic Park
Once part of the original 2,538 acre working rancho and vacation retreat of Leo Carrillo (who acted in almost 100 films from 1927n to 1950 and co-starred in the TV series The Cisco Kid,) this historic ranch is an extraordinary educational and recreational resource.
The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Noted for being one of the most beloved spring traditions in the area, the ranch opens annually in March for six to eight weeks showcasing the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus.
The Museum of Making Music
The Museum of Making Music presents visitors with an interactive journey through a century of musical instrument innovations that helped shape American popular music from the 1890s to the present day. It includes over 500 vintage instruments on display, hundreds of audio and video examples at the push of a button and an interactive area where visitors can play on a variety of hands-on instruments. The Museum also presents a number of special events and educational outreach activities.
The Gemological Insitute of America
(Tours are by reservation only) Known for more than 70 years as the world's leading educator to the gen and jewelry industry, the GIA offers tours through the irresistible world of diamonds, gemstones and jewelry.
The Magee House
Originally built by Samuel Church Smith, is now home to the Carlsbad Historical Society and its archives. The house is furnished reflecting the life of the early Carlsbad settlers. It also features a Rose Garden which earned Carlsbad the covet American Rose Society’s “An American Rose City” in 2002.
Explore where the wonders of the ocean come alive! The mission of Birch Aquarium is to provide ocean science education, to interpret Scripps Institution of Oceanography research, and to promote ocean conservation.
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo cares for more than 4,000 individual animals representing 800 different species. Its collection of animals, as well as its plant collection of over 6,500 species, is acknowledged as one of the finest in the entire world.
San Diego Wild Animal Park
Experience a unique adventure at the 2,100-acre preserve where animals wander freely in surroundings much like their native homelands. A quiet monorail, pathways and animal shows enable visitors to observe the animals and many species of exotic plants.
SeaWorld San Diego
Explore the ocean world at SeaWorld San Diego. Get up close and personal with hundreds of sea creatures and their environment. Experience "Believe", the visually-stunning Shamu show; encounter polar bears at Wild Arctic; and brave the daring drop on the Journey To Atlantis water coaster. Enjoy a fun-filled day with Sesame Street! Experience the new 4-D movie, Sesame Street™ Lights, Camera, Imagination! Afterwards, come play in the all-new themed play area, Sesame Street Bay of Play featuring three family-friendly rides.
The nation's largest urban cultural park. Home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attraction.
The USS Midway Museum is an unforgettable adventure for the entire family. Go to sea without leaving port! Explore more than 60 exhibits with a collection of 27 restored aircraft. Located in downtown San Diego.
Old Town San Diego
Within walking distance there are a great many places to shop with unique products and a quaint atmosphere. Bazaar del Mundo, Fiesta de Reyes, the Old Town Market and many smaller shops offer a variety of uncommon gifts. The weather, the food and the history make Old Town San Diego one of the best places to visit in California. While in San Diego be sure to experience the adventure that is Old Town.
Our National Historic District is San Diego’s premier entertainment destination and your personal downtown playground.