Oceanside

Oceanside pier and surfers at sunsetOceanside, the third largest city in San Diego County, boasts some of the widest, sandy beaches in Southern California, the longest wooden pier on the Pacific Coast and a picturesque 1,000-slip harbor with shops and restaurants. It is the northernmost coastal city with a population of approximately 171,000. Here you’ll find the largest of the California missions, several regional museums and year-round perfect weather.

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia was founded in Oceanside in 1798 by Spanish missionaries. It is the largest of the 21 California missions. In 1883 Andrew Jackson Meyers was granted a 160 acre parcel south of the mission in what is now downtown Oceanside. Lots were subdivided, and the railroad was laid from San Diego to Los Angeles. It was popular for people to come to the ocean’s side on the weekends. Growth was quick once this jewel by the sea was discovered, and Oceanside was incorporated by 1888.

Encompassing an area of 42 square miles, Oceanside offers a wide variety of communities. At the beach you can find everything from quaint cottages to high-rise, ocean view condominiums. There is even a private, gated oceanfront community. Much of the city has newer subdivisions and planned communities. It also includes equestrian neighborhoods and areas with a more rural feel.

Oceanside residents are served by multiple school districts. Oceanside Unified School District covers the majority of the city, but a sizeable part of eastern Oceanside is served by the Vista Unified School District. Smaller portions of the city fall within the Carlsbad Unified School District, the Bonsall Unified School District, or the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District boundaries.

Please contact the schools directly to confirm attendance boundaries. This website only provides general information and should not be relied upon to determine attendance boundaries.



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Interstate 5 passes through Oceanside and will take you the 38 miles needed to get to San Diego International Airport or to downtown San Diego. Additionally it will take you all the way to Mexico or Canada. East-west routes are available via State Route 78 in the southern portion of Oceanside and State Route 76 in the northern portion of the city. McClellan-Palomar Airport is a single-runway public airport that offers flights to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It is located just a few miles away in neighboring Carlsbad. This allows business and leisure travelers to skip long commutes and airport congestion and still have access to one of the largest airports in the U.S. for national and international flights.

The Oceanside Transit Center offers rail service both within San Diego County and to Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. North County Transit District‘s Coaster commuter train runs south to downtown San Diego. Their Sprinter light rail runs east to Escondido and has stops at Palomar Community College and California State University San Marcos. The transit district also offers bus service throughout North County. If you are looking for train travel outside of San Diego County, you can catch a Metrolink train or Amtrak at Oceanside’s transit center.

Oceanside’s top industries are manufacturing, distribution, tourism and agriculture. It has recently added jobs in the growing biotech industry.

Oceanside lists its largest private employers as:

  • Genentech Pharmaceuticals
  • Te Connectivity
  • Hydranautics
  • Nitto Denko
  • Gilead Sciences
  • Hobie Cat

And its largest public employers as:

  • Oceanside Unified School District
  • Camp Pendleton
  • City of Oceanside
  • MiraCosta Community College
  • North County Transit District
  • Tri-City Medical Center
Oceanside Average TemperaturesOceanside Average Rainfall

Oceanside attractions include Mission San Luis Rey, the king of California’s Spanish Missions, Oceanside Museum of Art, and the California Surf Museum. You can take a historic downtown walking tour through the Oceanside Historical Society or see the “Top Gun House.” This is the former oceanfront residence of Dr. Henry Graves built in 1887 that appeared in the movie Top Gun. The Oceanside Pier Amphitheater hosts concerts and movie nights throughout the year. If you like theater, you might want to try the Star Theatre, Miracosta College Theatre or Oceanside Theatre Company. There’s even a local casino, Ocean’s Eleven.

Downtown, in the harbor, and along Coast Highway in South Oceanside, or South O, you’ll find gift, vintage and antique shopping. Downtown Oceanside has a lively, fresh-air Farmers Market Thursday mornings and a Sunset Market with hot food and live entertainment Thursday evenings. There are also several new restaurants in the downtown area. Throughout the city, you’ll find many local community shopping centers and several natural or organic food stores. Carlsbad’s mall, The Shoppes at Carlsbad (formerly Plaza Camino Real), sits right at Oceanside’s border and is undergoing a multi-phase renovation with an interior makeover, engaging streetscape, and new retail, dining and entertainment options. Surrounding the mall in Carlsbad and Oceanside, you’ll find several additional centers with a variety of shops, fitness centers and restaurants.

Oceanside’s wonderful weather and Pacific coastline provide many opportunities for outdoor recreation. It has some of the best surfing conditions in Southern California and hosts major surf, body boarding and body surfing competitions every year.

Additionally, Oceanside’s pier and harbor offer many recreational opportunities. Fisherman can cast off the Oceanside pier. Fishing boats, whale watching tours, sportfishing, kayaking, sailing cruises and lessons are available out of the Oceanside Harbor. The harbor offers 1,000 slips for boaters. The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce holds an annual Oceanside Harbor Days celebration, a two-day event at the harbor with food, entertainment and fun for everyone. If fishing, kayaking and sailing aren’t wet enough for you, you may want to try surfing lessons. You can find them just north of the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater.

There are many activities for landlovers too. Bicycle riders can enjoy the seven mile San Luis Rey River Trail and the Coastal Rail Trail. Other trails for mountain biking or hiking can be found at the Lake Calavera Trail which connects with Carlsbad’s Calavera trail system. Oceanside is also home to Guajome Regional Park which offers hiking trails, camping, horseback riding, bird watching and fishing. You can even hold weddings at the gazebo overlooking the lake. For more trails and bird watching, try the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center at the Buena Vista Lagoon. The Buena Vista Audobon Nature Center has guided nature walks, classroom programs, a library and a large collection of native species.

Oceanside has 30 city parks, four recreation centers, two municipal swim centers and two senior centers with a wide variety of activities including picnic areas and barbecues; basketball, pickleball, horseshoe, tennis and volleyball courts; baseball and soccer fields; playgrounds, pools, gymnasiums and recreation centers. They even have a dog park and five skate parks! Their pools offer swim and swim safety instruction, adult swim lessons, lap swim, dive instruction, competitive swim and water polo clubs. The city has programs for kids, adults and seniors ranging from pee wee sports, dance, gymnastics, martial arts, basketball, pickleball, ceramics and sports leagues.

For golfers, there are six golf courses in Oceanside and a seventh nearby on Camp Pendleton. The sixth Oceanside course that is not on the link is a private, community course in the 55+ neighborhood of Ocean Hills Country Club.

There are several 5k or 10k runs and triathlons held in Oceanside each year and Oceanside has hosted the start of the 3000 mile bicycle race, Race Across America since 2006, usually held in the second week in June.