A Day in Downtown Oceanside

The heart of Oceanside beats at about the intersection of Mission Avenue and Coast Highway. With the city government complex, the Oceanside Pier and beaches, Oceanside shopping, local nightlife, and much more within several blocks, downtown Oceanside offers activities to suit every taste.

Drink and be Merry

Downtown Oceanside is home to many of the most popular spots for Oceanside nightlife, and is often quite active on Friday and Saturday nights.

Well-travelled local bars include:

  • Haunted Head Saloon
    A small but active bar with an odd pirate theme to it. Pool table is always in use and jukebox selection is quite extensive.
  • Pier View Pub
    Formerly Bub’s Whiskey Dive, the Pier View Pub used to be known for its live music, peanuts, pool tables, and the fact that despite its previous name it never sold any whiskey at all.
  • The Rusty Spur
    Known for its hotly contested pool tables, the Spur is a decent place to check out when you’ve been kicked out of the other bars in Oceanside.
  • Tremont St. Bar
    A local sports bar, the Tremont offers a more relaxed environment than the other bars, and has a fairly decent kitchen.

Shopaholics beware

Oceanside’s downtown features a slew of unique shops. Cigars at the Cigar Grotto, a great wine selection at Vine to Glass, a variety of toys and unique items at Inner World, colorful t-shirts and caps at T-Shirt Mart, and many more shops and storefronts can be found nestled against each other on Coast Highway and adjoining streets.

What’s playing?

Oceanside’s Regal Cinemas Oceanside offers 16 theaters playing all the latest and greatest, from summer block-busters to films perfect for the kids. They also offer student and military discounts.

Is that the beach?

Walk down a couple blocks and you’re at Oceanside’s most popular beach and attraction, the Oceanside Municipal Pier and the adjoining Oceanside Amphitheater and South Pier beach. Colorful and lively, the Pier and beaches are blessed with warm weather year round and the amphitheater plays host to numerous events throughout the year.

Food is good

From Pasta Mia’s italian fare to the quick slice at La Casa’s Pizza, Oceanside’s downtown offers cuisines from around the globe. You can find bellydancing at the popular Greek Paradise Cafe, Vietnamese dishes at the Wok-In, excellent sushi at the Fish Joint and countless other sit-down, take-out, and walk-up restaurants serving locals and visitors from breakfast to midnight snacks. 

 What's Happening?

Many of Oceanside’s larger city events occur right here in downtown, including: Antiques on Mission San Diego County’s largest festival of antiques and collectibles, held in early September on Mission Avenue. O’Fest Oceanside’s annual 4th of July celebration, O’Fest is 1 part parade (the Freedom Days Parade), 1 part carnival (with a ferris wheel and carny folk setting up across from the pier), and 1 part fireworks spectacle. Dia de los Muertos The celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead, featuring a multicultural blend of tradition and fun. The Farmer’s Market Every Thursday morning Mission Avenue plays host to numerous local and regional vendors of fresh produce, home-made foods, and gifts.


01/10/2010 - 11:23pm