Oceanside, our neighbor to the North of San Diego boasts a stunning coastline, magnificent year-round weather, the largest wooden pier on the west coast, a quaint harbor and world-class surf. It is safe to say that Oceanside certainly has a lot to offer. O’side continues to innovate and welcome new and exciting businesses and experiences throughout its diverse neighborhoods.
But, maybe you’re looking for something a little more adventurous on your next vacation to this beachside town. We have you covered. Read on for our list of daring options for adventure in Oceanside, California.
Hold on tight and take to the sky! Riding a helicopter over the scenic coastline is something to behold, and Waverider Helicopter Tours in Oceanside allows you to get those sunset pictures that are both unforgettable and completely unique!
They provide an exciting and memorable experience for all who are looking to view the beautiful beaches of San Diego County, Orange County, and captivating back country of Temecula Wine Country.
The ‘Sunset Tour’ gives riders the chance to capture the beautiful coastline, waves and historical Oceanside Pier from a unique vantage point that would otherwise be unobtainable. The 30-minute trip leaves just before sunset and flies over the iconic pier giving you breathtaking views of the sunset. These flights are available for up to three riders at the same time and are perfect for a special date night, family adventure or solo excursion.
They also provide custom charters if you’d like to ride in style.Outdoor Skydiving anyone?
If a helicopter does not give you a good enough view, opt for an unmatched view of the coast while sky diving. The only one of its type on Southern California’s coast, GoJump Oceanside offers skydivers 13,000 feet in the air views that not only include the ocean and beaches below, but even San Diego to the south, Catalina Island to the west, and Dana Point to the north! This experience will truly take your breath away.
Oceanside Harbor Excursions
Oceanside’s quaint New-England style Harbor Village is lined with shops, restaurants and a lighthouse! The charming harbor is a great spot to go on an ocean adventure by chartering a peaceful sailboat at sunset with Pacific Coast Sail Charters, embarking on a thrilling whale-watching expedition with Oceanside Adventures, or joining a sport fishing excursion hosted by Oceanside Sea Center or Helgren’s Sportfishing!
While visiting the harbor, rent a stand-up paddleboard at Oceanside Boat Rentals and you can get an up-close view of docked sailboats while listening to our sea lions barking and playing in the water.
Arrowood Golf Course
Arrowood Golf Course’s 18 holes usher golfers over 6,721 yards of pristine turf marked by frequent swings in elevation. Prominent local architect, Ted Robinson Jr. designed layout. You now have the opportunity to play the same ball-tracking technology that traces the golf shots of the game’s best golf pros with their Toptracer Range. Toptracer Range offers instant shot replies and statistical feedback on interactive screens so you can improve your golf game and have fun while doing it.
Looking for a new nighttime activity? Glow Ball contests offer a fun spin on your classic golf game, with a setup of lights on the course, glowing LED golf balls and more!
Rent some wheels
If you’re looking to cruise the beach in style, check out these fun rental options in Oceanside! Looking for some two-wheel motorized fun? Ride O’side’s fat tire electric scooters offer a smooth yet exciting way to ride around town. For groups that like to take things at a slower pace, look no further than Wheel Fun Rentals and their fun two or four person surreys which can be rented right on The Strand, just below the Oceanside Pier. This is a “must-do” with kids for an afternoon of laughter and fun. If you’re looking for something other than a bike, The Wheel House Rental, offers e-scooters, mopeds, roadsters, one-wheels and more!
Riders can pick up Visit Oceanside’s bike map for tips on where to ride and sites to see along the way. Available at Oceanside’s California Welcome Center, the pocket-sized map features handy information such as route descriptions and rate of difficulty, unique sightseeing opportunities and even places to fuel up before, during and after a ride.
Rent a board
It is never too late to learn how to surf and the waves along the beach in Oceanside Harbor are legendary! Don’t miss an opportunity to hang ten and take a surf lesson from Learn to Rip. If you prefer to stay in the Harbor area, you can still get out on the water and have some serious fun when you rent kayaks, stand up paddleboards or pedal boats from Oceanside Boat Rentals!
If you would like to experience skydiving indoors, try the newest indoor skydiving facility to land in North County San Diego, iFLY Oceanside. Experience the feeling of weightlessness in a safe and controlled environment inside their state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel. iFLY is fun for the whole family, with children as young as 3 years of age to adults as old as 103 able to fly! Also, it’s a great team building activity if you’re looking for a little comradery in an unexpected place!
Do you enjoy more thrilling activities while on vacation? Have you ever been to Oceanside? Is there anything we missed? Head over to Haustay to check out our vacation rentals Oceanside for your next adventurous vacation.
Located between Del Mar to the south and Encinitas to the north, you will find Solana Beach. Known for great restaurants, night life and shopping, this mellow beach town offers endless opportunities for fun and is a must see for a vacation by the sea.
Read on for our idea of the perfect weekend spent in the sunny beach town of Solana Beach California.
Grab your board and head to one of the four beaches in Solana for an early morning surf. Located at 111 S. Sierra, at the end of Plaza Street where Lomas Santa Fe Boulevard meets the beach, you’ll find Fletcher Cove. offers easy public access. Fletcher Cove Beach is a small, protected inlet that is great for swimming, bodyboarding, surfing, surf-fishing and kayaking and offers easy public beach access. Families will especially appreciate the adjacent playground and grassy area with restrooms, picnic tables and a basketball court. A public parking lot located at the Cove as well as free street parking ensure that parking is seldom a problem for visitors traveling to the beach by vehicle.
Located a block north of the Design District, Claire’s on Cedros is a cozy LEED-certified cottage that was designed to be as sustainable-focused as their menu. Prized for the freshly baked pastries and breads, Claire’s serves California-style comfort food that includes Quinoa Cake Benedict, Corn & Zucchini Enchiladas, Shrimp & Grits and the not-to-be-missed signature pancakes known as “Clairecakes.” A recent addition is their just-as-healthy grab & go bakery/coffee shop located across the street from the restaurant.
The Cedros Design District is quintessentially the best area for shopping. Filled solely with independent boutiques and businesses, you can spend a whole day on the 2 ½ block shopping mecca. Many of the boutiques are housed in Quonset huts from the 1940s. You will find art galleries, antique shops, home decor imports, European eateries, day spas, cafes, restaurants and more, including the legendary music venue, the Belly Up.
Each Sunday afternoon, Cedros Design District hosts a farmers market filled with local seasonal fruits and vegetables, baked good and fresh flowers, along with a selection of craftsman and artisans displaying their goods.
Pizza And A Craft Beer
There are so many options when it comes to restaurants in Solana, but one long-time local favorite is Pizza Port. At the northern part of town is Pizza Port’s original location where they started it all in 1987. A long-time local favorite for their pizzas–optionally made with their signature wholegrain beer crust–they were also one of San Diego’s earliest craft breweries (from 1992) and influential in making San Diego the craft beer capital it is today.
Take A Stroll At Tide Beach Park
Approximately ½ mile north of Fletcher Cove, Tide Beach Park is a beautiful sand beach with a large reef and tide pools. At low tide, neon-bright sea anemones, purple urchins, barnacles, crabs and starfish become temporarily marooned for all to see.
Take A Hike
Annie’s Canyon Trail is a short trail (also known as mushroom cave hike) and gives access to a sandstone canyon created by water erosion. See panoramic views of both the Pacific Ocean and the San Elijo Lagoon, with naturally eroding sandstone walls engulfing you.
Then entrance is located at Rios Ave Trailhead.
Reward Yourself With A Glass Of Wine
Conveniently located in the heart of the Cedros Design District, Carruth Cellars is an urban winery founded by local native Adam Carruth. Their full functioning urban winery, tasting rooms, and wine garden are open for 7 days a week, no reservations required. They also offer private wine tastings and tours by reservation. Book a reservation to learn how they source grapes from Northern and Central California and produce all their wines in their urban facilities by the beach!
Treat Yourself To Some Great Mexican Food And A Margarita
Fidel’s Little Mexico has been a San Diego landmark since the early ’60s when owner Fidel Montanez came up with the idea to serve tacos at his busy barber shop. The shop was located in a small neighborhood in Solana Beach that was home to a number of Mexican families. The business thrived and expanded as Fidel converted his two-story residence into three different levels, including a festive courtyard, a couple of bars and outdoor patios, and a taco bar. Today, Fidel’s ranks among the top restaurants in San Diego County. Happy hour is offered four days a week in the large upstairs bar. Fidel’s menu offers traditional favorites as well as house specialties that will transport you and your party South of the Border.
Enjoy Some Live Music
Voted “San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue” and touted as one of the hottest live music venues on the West Coast by Rolling Stone magazine, the legendary Belly Up has been bringing great live music to San Diego since 1974. Over the years, this casual, intimate setting has hosted renowned musicians such as B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Maroon5 and The Rolling Stones.
Have you ever been to Solana Beach? Is there anything we missed? Haustay has a number of vacation rentals so head over to the website to book your stay in the beautiful beach town of Solana.
If you haven’t visited Carlsbad, California, think of it as San Diego’s fun cousin to the North. It has all that San Diego has to offer with a beachy, small-town feel. Carlsbad’s proximity to the ocean makes for sunny days paired with a comfortable mild climate. You could not ask for a better weather combo to make the most of your vacation. When it comes to finding something to do, the options seem endless, but we are here to guide you to the best places to maximize your stay.
Where to stay – Relax at the Coastal Casita
The Carlsbad Village is located right at the beach and is a great option as everything is within walking/biking distance. If you’re opting out of renting a car, this is the place to be. Located within the heart of the Village is the Coastal Casita, a beautifully curated one-bedroom condo that sleeps four. This is a great value especially for the location. It is within walking distance to pretty much everything, most importantly, the beach!
It is no surprise that Café Topes was voted the best breakfast in Carlsbad. Open only for breakfast and lunch, this is a perfect laid-back beach spot to start your day. Famous for their huge cinnamon rolls, egg benedicts and coffee, you’re sure to please everyone at this spot.
The Goods offers locally sourced artisan donuts made from scratch every hour. Need I say more. AND they offer vegan and gluten free options. They proudly brew Stumptown Coffee and it is top-notch if you haven’t tried.
If your first stop is the beach, Board & Brew is the perfect place to grab sandwiches and salads to go. And don’t forget the secret sauce. Not sure what is in it as it is, well a secret, but it is gluten-free, nut allergy free, vegan friendly and you won’t regret dipping your sandwich in it.
Of course, you can’t visit San Diego without partaking in some authentic Mexican food. Norte is a local favorite and has a nice patio with firepits that pairs well with margaritas and chips and salsa.
When you walk into Jeune et Jolie, you feel that you have been instantly teleported to a bistro in France. Chosen as Esquire magazine’s list of the 22 best new restaurants in America for 2019, it is a perfect date night spot and a great excuse to get gussied up. The food, the drinks, the service, the décor are all impeccable. But be sure to make a reservation. They normally book solid a week prior.
Where to Wet Your Whistle
Known for their Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé, Carruth Cellars Urban Winery and Tasting Room is a fun option for a pre-dinner wine tasting. Owner and wine-maker, Adam Carruth, is a Carlsbad native who used to truck grapes down to Carlsbad from Northern California’s premier wine regions to make wine. Carruth Cellars has been operating since 2006.
With its innovative self-pour tap system, Barrel Republic is a fantastic experience for beer lovers. There are no bartenders or lines and all you have to do is swipe your personalized wristband to sample 52 beer taps and 6 wine taps from locally and nationally renowned craft breweries! Don’t get too carried away as you pay by the ounce at the end of your visit!
On those hot days, Park 101 is a day drinker’s dream. Hang on the adults-only second level deck or play lawn tic-tac-toe down below. The froze (frozen rose) is a great option, but there is also a variety of craft beers, wine and cocktails to choose from.
If craft cocktails are more your speed, Campfire has an array of tasty options. Their cocktails are based on personal tributes to the people, places, and things that inspire them daily within the community.
In need of a pick-me-up? Baba Coffee is an open-air coffee shop serving local SD favorites such as Pannikin Coffee and Pastries, Prager Brothers Bread, VG Donuts and Hot and Iced Tea. They also offer fresh juices, acai bowls, matcha bowls, lox bagels, and hummus plates including vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. The coconut almond cold brew and the avo toast is my go-to.
When You Need a Little Retail Therapy
The State Street Farmers’ Market located between Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue takes place every Wednesday, year-round, from 3pm to 7pm (Spring and Summer) and from 3pm to 6pm (Fall and Winter). State Street shuts down to cars and is turned into a food market offering products from over 50 vendors, live music, and seating for dining.
Outdoorsy Things to Do
If you happen to be here in the spring, and have never witnessed 50 acres of ranunculus in bloom, the Flower Fields are a must see.
Agua Hedionda Lagoon sometimes referred to as Carlsbad Lagoon, is a hot spot for kayaking, boating, wakeboarding and stand up paddle. And for something completely different, they offer private E-Foil Lessons, which allows surfers to basically fly above water – no waves needed. Seems super fun if you have the balance and coordination…and the bravery.
Another great thing about the Village is that you can hop on the Coaster and arrive in Downtown San Diego in an hour. If you’re visiting during baseball season, a Padres game at Petco is a must. There are a number of local restaurants and breweries at the park and tickets are affordable.
If you’re up for a tour, try Scavengers Beer & Adventure Tours. Named one of America’s most unique beer tours by Forbes Travel, you ride around in a vintage Swiss safari vehicle and sip on ice cold beers while traveling to different breweries in the area.
It is never too late to learn how to surf. So Cal Surf lessons offers year round surf lessons in Carlsbad. All of the instructors were born and raised in Carlsbad and have many years of experience. Professional surfers Che Stang and Rusty Friesen give daily lessons, and all are certified CPR and first aid instructors.
So, have you been to Carlsbad? If so, what did you think of this list? Would you add anything else?
Share your thoughts with us below and be sure to pin this post for future reference!