The Oceanside Harbor is a charming and relaxing place to visit! The only harbor between Orange County and San Diego, Oceanside is a wonderful location for those traveling by sea along the California shoreline. The Harbor has a fuel dock, launch ramp, bait receiver, and slip rentals available.
You’ll find about two miles of sidewalk to stroll, which will take you around the entire Harbor. There are benches and picnic tables for relaxing. You’ll enjoy grabbing a bite to eat or drink at one of the many beautiful Harbor dining options. Park for free along the road or in one of the many lots. We have gathered some Oceanside Harbor excursions to partake in while staying at a Haustay property in Oceanside, California!
Whale & Dolphin Tours
Join in on the adventure as you set sail in search of your special sighting of dolphins and whales with Oceanside Whale Watching. Climb aboard a luxury, single-level vessel that provides fun for all ages. Tours are 2 hours long, and depending on the time of year, you have a chance to see gray whales, minke whales, humpbacks, fin whales, and all 4 species of dolphins. You may even get lucky and see orcas, pilot whales, turtles, sharks, and of course a lot of sun fish and sea lions. Tickets range from $45-$55 per person for your seat on the catamaran.
Visit The California Surf Museum
The California Surf Museum was founded in 1986 and has continued to serve visitors from over 40 nations annually and has grown to be a major attraction for Oceanside. The current exhibits they have out for visitors is the story of Bethan Hamilton, the Timeline of Surfboards, the Evolution of the Boogie Board, Donald Takayama: Shaping Boards and Lives, and Wave Science! Open to the public daily from 10-4pm, you can get an adult ticket for $7 per person, and children 11 and under can visit for free!
Go Deep Sea Fishing
Deep sea sportfishing: Helgren’s Sportfishing is a family-owned company that has been operating out of the Oceanside Harbor for 45 years! With 3 different vessels to choose from, and half-day to multi-day excursions, or the option of a private charter, you can select the fishing trip that best suits your needs. Excursion packages range from $75-$300 per person.
Get A Surf Lesson
You can’t visit San Diego without squeezing in a surf lesson if you don’t already know how to surf. Oceanside Harbor’s North County Surf Academy offers different rates and packages to fit all different skill levels. They offer private one on one lessons, semi-private lessons for 2 or 3 surfers, group surf lessons, and advanced surfing lessons that include video review. Lessons range from $90-$400 per person depending on what your needs are, but you’ll be sure to have a fun, safe time out on the water.
Rent A Boat
Take matters into your own hands with a boat rental of your own to explore San Diego’s hidden gem that is Oceanside. With views north of the harbor of USMC Camp Pendleton beachfront, and to the south you have the beautiful San Diego coastline, it’ll be sure to be a cruisy good time. At Boat Rentals of America, you have the options of renting jet skis, powerboats, electric Duffy boats, and even stand-up paddle boards or single or double kayaks. Boat rentals range from $95 per hour and up depending on the style of boat you are looking for, and the length of the trip. Don’t forget to check their website to see if they’re offering any online specials!
Slow Down & Bird Watch
Wildlife and bird watching has become popular in Oceanside, with great viewing opportunities in the harbor. Buena Vista Audubon is a program that helps foster knowledge and appreciation for plants and animals within the community, and also home of a nature center and museum in Oceanside that you can visit to deepen your knowledge on birding and conservation.
Warm Up With A Beach Bonfire
Bonfires on the beach in the harbor are allowed in designated city fire rings only but are not permitted during the hours of 11pm-6am. Obviously you must always attend to your fire, and if you wish to barbecue, you can do so with an elevated off ground BBQ of your own. There are 2 city designated fire pit areas in the harbor: on the beachside by the North Jetty, and on the east side of the general/RV parking lot at the very north end of the harbor. So don’t forget to pack up your smores kit and hot cocoa, because you can’t find a better spot to enjoy a sunset than a front row spot on the beach enjoying the warmth of your fire!
Check Out The Pier
If you’re looking to take a nice one mile walk down the beach from the harbor to the pier, you can experience pier fishing on your own! The nice thing about fishing the pier is there are not permits required and is best known for its halibut and sea bass fishing. You also have easy access to food vendors, and bait and tackle shops. If you’re looking to just take a leisurely stroll on the historic wooden pier, come March 2023, a new seafood take-out kiosk will be opening at the end of the pier to satisfy all your seafood needs while catching the sunset and watching the local surfers get barreled. Their full restaurant is also scheduled to be opening late Summer 2023.
Shop Local At The Farmer’s Market
Oceanside is home of 2 popular farmers markets on Thursday’s open all year round- Oceanside Farmers Market from 9am-1pm and Oceanside Sunset Market from 5-9pm, both conveniently located on Mainstreet where you can stroll to gather fresh local fruits and vegetables and enjoy the shops and restaurants lining the downtown streets, while listening to vibrant local musicians fill the air with fun and excitement!