Oceanside, California was the second stop on our sponsored Southern California road trip with Go RVing and Visit California. Road trips with kids are better in RVs so after landing in LAX from Miami we picked up our rented RV from Outdoorsy and drove to our first stop Huntington Beach. After spending two nights we drove 60 miles to reach Oceanside. We would spend one night in Oceanside before heading to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Here’s how to pack in the best things to do in Oceanside in two days along with the best RV park to book.
Things to Do in Oceanside, California
Things to Do in Oceanside Day One: Oceanside Pier, Oceanside Boat Rentals, Privateer Coal Fire Pizza
After checking into our RV park we decided to beat the crowds and have an early lunch. We decided on Hello Betty Fish House as we read about its great ocean views. Unfortunately, they are doing construction right in front of the restaurant, so we weren’t able to get that view but the restaurant’s decor inside was nice. It wasn’t our favorite restaurant of the trip but it wasn’t terrible.
From Hello Betty Fish House, we walked to the Oceanside Boardwalk. Here we rented a surrey bike from Wheel Fun Rentals. We pedaled up and down the pier stopping at the many parks right on the beach for my daughter to play. Bring a Bluetooth speaker with you so you have music to listen to on your ride. Be sure to also leave plenty of room for all the good treats sold on the boardwalk. My dad enjoyed a milkshake while my daughter and I had shaved ice.
Since we already enjoyed the beach water in Huntington Beach, we skipped swimming in the ocean here. Instead we headed to the marina. We came to rent a small boat from Oceanside Boat Rentals and noticed a surf competition! Unfortunately, it was the end of it which we were bummed about because we thought it would have been a great experience. I recommend checking local events in the area when planning your trip to not miss out on these unique experiences. Still we had a nice ride on the small boat we rented to go around the marina. We came across some sea lions sunbathing on a pier and enjoyed the sea breeze.
For dinner we ate at a local favorite, Privateer Coal Fire Pizza. The owner, Charlie Anderson, is an Oceanside local and surfer. He prides himself on working with Oceanside Cyclops Farms to ensure as many ingredients as possible are locally grown.
My daughter took the longest afternoon nap, so she was full of energy after dinner. I saw an advertisement for a trampoline park, Altitude, in the brochure we got from the Oceanside Visitor Center so we went there. It was the perfect place to burn off some energy before bed.
Things to Do in Oceanside Day Two: Beach Break Cafe, Whale Watching Tour, & More
We started off our second day in Oceanside with breakfast at Beach Break Cafe. Another locally owned restaurant, Beach Break is famous for their cinnamon-laced coffee cake. While I don’t like coffee cake in general, my dad who loves them says it was the best coffee cake he’s ever had. I had their signature banana crunch French toast which was excellent but ask for light whip cream if you’re not a big fan as they don’t hold back on it at all.
After a very filling breakfast it was time for us to try to see some whales. We were going on a tour with Oceanside Adventures which lasts two hours. From November to April you can spot Gray, Minke, Humpback and Fin whales along with all four species of dolphins. Then from May to October you can spot Fin, Blue, Minke and Humpback Whales and all four species of dolphins. Unfortunately for us we didn’t see any whales on our sailing. However we did see a pod of over 300 dolphins and they were not shy at all. They put on a lovely show for us, constantly jumping out of the water and coming right next to the boat for us to see them. While we wanted to see whales, the dolphins didn’t disappoint. I know many whale watching companies offer refunds or a rain check if you don’t spot a whale but Oceanside Adventures does not.
Oceanside Whale Watching Tour
Our time in Oceanside was coming to an end but not without having one more meal. We had lunch at Lighthouse Oyster Bar and Grill which is right at the marina as you come off the whale watching tour. This was the best meal we had while in Oceanside and it came with a beautiful view.
Other Things to Do in Oceanside
Since we only had two days we weren’t able to experience all the things to do in Oceanside. If you have more time or if your interests differ check out these activities:
Also be sure to check out Oceanside’s event calendar for things to do in Oceanside during your visit as they often have special events. There was a surf competition going on the day we arrived but we discovered it too late. Check out other family friendly ideas for your California visit here.
Paradise by the Sea: The Best Oceanside RV Park
When we arrived to Oceanside we checked into Paradise by the Sea RV Resort. Just one mile from the Oceanside Pier it’s a prime location for enjoying the water activities Oceanside has to offer. It’s sparkling clean with friendly staff that even helps you park in your spot. Paradise by the Sea is a 4 star RV park with an amazing clubhouse, pool, hang-out area plus it has a path that leads straight to the beach.
Have you rented an RV before? If not, here are 6 tips for first time RVers and what vacationing in an RV looks like plus save $50 of your first RV rental by signing up for Outdoorsy here.
There are so many things to do in Oceanside and it’s a beautiful city in Southern California. We’re so happy we got to explore it on our Southern California road trip. Our next and final stop on this trip was Anza-Borrego park, 80 miles from Oceanside. If you found this article helpful, please let me know in the comments!