10 Reasons Parents And Kids Love Oceanside
Family vacation destinations can be tough. Sure, a taste-testing tour across Tuscany sounds dreamy to you, but yuck to your kids. And while seeing Elsa from Frozen in the flesh may be perfect for your little princess, Disney lineups aren’t la-la land for adults. Veto! A great family vacation starts with picking the right destination and Oceanside is it. A low-key SoCal beach town just north of San Diego, it has a cool surf-city vibe while keeping its small-town charm—perfect for satisfying both the parent and kid contingent. Here are 10 ways the whole family will fall in love.
1. It’s beachy without bravado No one needs sand with a side of attitude. Thankfully, Oceanside is big on the former (3.5 miles of sandy beaches!) and low on the latter. Don’t get us wrong: O’Side beaches are the bomb, but since they’re not overrun with tourists like, say, LA, you can find space (for a Frisbee game) and solitude (for that beach read).
2. You can paddle, peddle and more Taking a dip in the Pacific and walking barefoot in the sand are no-brainers (duh), but your navigation options don’t stop there. Wheel Fun Rentals has badass bikes for rent so you can cruise the oceanfront path or tackle the 10-mile San Luis Rey Bike Trail. If boats are more your jam, pick from pedal boats, paddleboards, powerboats and more at Oceanside Boat Rentals.
3. It has a walkable, shoppable downtown Strapping kids in car seats and hauling them in and out gets old real fast, but Oceanside has one major built-in bonus: You can park and not think
about your car again til the end of the trip. The beach is right there, restaurants are a stone’s
throw and downtown is totally walkable. Worth the stroll shopping suggestions: LinksoulLab (for him), Mr. B’s Necessities (for her), Grandeur (for skater kids).
4. You can walk on water The 1,942 foot long Oceanside Pier seems to go forever. Kids will love the bird’s eye view of the beach and surfers below; parents will love the leisurely stroll and sunsets.
5. Kids have permission to climb (so parents don’t climb the walls) Right next to the Pier is a multi-tiered playground with slides, chin-up bars and poles, or head just south to Tyson Street Park’s grassy playground. For bouldering fun for all ages (that means you too, parents!), the brand spanking new Vital Climbing Gym has no-harness climbing and slacklining.
6. It serves up culture with its surf Dubbed a “swell magnet,” Oceanside has legit waves without the crowds completing for them. Sign up for surf school or head over to the California Surf Museum for the history of hang ten.
7. You will see animals There’s nothing like seeing animals in their natural habitat and Oceanside gives you plenty of close-ups. Spy a colony of sea lions holding court in the harbor, pelicans flying in V-formation, a pod of dolphins skimming by or the blowhole spray from a grey whale.
8. Parents and kids can agree on food Happy meals are when parents get real food (and drinks!) and kids have a chance to eat and explore. Enter Hello Betty Fish House, the perfect compromise of delish food (ceviche, tacos, fish and chips) and kid distractions. Heck, there’s a vintage dune buggy parked in the dining room. At Ty’s Burger House, fuel up with a class-act burger (they have grass-fed beef, buffalo and elk on the menu), crispy fries and hand-battered onion rings—no complaints! For brekkie, you can’t go wrong buttery croissants, quiche and perfect pastries at Petite Madeleine.
9. Sleep like a baby After an active day, there’s nothing like coming home to BeachFront Only Vacation Rentals (pictured). Spanning from cozy one-bedrooms on the beach all the way up to a 22-bedroom oceanfront complex with private spa, firepit and rooftop deck, expect all the comforts of home—and spectacular ocean views.
10. It’s close to all the cool stuff While some would argue the beach never gets old, you can hit your sand and sea quotient. For those times, there are plenty of nearby excuses to get in the car: Legoland, Coronado Island, San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Balboa Park to name a few.