Oceanside is a coastal city in San Diego, California, and it is a popular tourist destination. It is best known for its beautiful beach and pretty harbor. If you are visiting this city, you will find plenty of fun and interesting activities to enjoy during your visit. One of the most popular landmarks to visit is Oceanside Fishing Pier, also known as Oceanside Municipal Pier or simply as Oceanside Pier. At 1,942 feet, this is one of the longest wooden piers on the West Coast. The pier was built in 1987 and is located at The Strand and Pier View Way. Here are 10 things to do if you visit Oceanside Municipal Pier.
1. Go Fishing at the End of the Pier
One of the most popular activities at Oceanside Municipal Pier is fishing, and it is a popular fishing spot amongst the locals as well as an attraction for tourists. This is an activity that all the family can enjoy. Similarly, you might like to try line crabbing, which is another popular activity.
2. Take a Stroll Along the Pier or Boardwalk
Oceanside is a pretty area for taking a stroll. From the entrance to the pier, you have two options. You can either head out along the pier to enjoy the views. Or, you can head away from the pier and along the boardwalk. There, you will find many shops to peruse and cafes where you can enjoy a refreshing beverage. The boardwalk is also a good spot for people watching. There are often farmer’s markets and sunset markets held regularly just off the boardwalk.
3. Grab a Bite to Eat at Ruby’s Diners
After enjoying a stroll down the pier, you can stop for a bite to eat at the famous Ruby’s Diner. This 1950s themed restaurant offers casual dining and tasty food. There are separate lunch and dinner menus, the highlight of which are the tasty burgers. The milkshakes are also highly recommended, and they always feature a milkshake of the month. Burgers are not the only option as the sandwiches, home-style chili, and all-day breakfasts are also a big hit. There are also healthier and lighter options to eat, such as soups and salads. It is a family-friendly establishment that has a separate children’s menu.
4. Spend Some Time at the Beach
While at the pier, you should spend some time at one of the stunning beaches. According to California Beaches, the two beaches that straddle the pier are Pier View North and Pier View South. Other nearby beaches that you can enjoy include Tyson Street Beach, Wisconsin Street, and Breakwater Way Beach. These are all within walking distance of the pier.
5. Visit the Oceanside Harbor
Oceanside Harbor is one of the main features of Oceanside. This is a hive of activity and it lies central to the coast of Oceanside. It is next to Harbor Beach and close to a small village and Camp Pendleton Marine base. You will also find a children’s play area by the harbor, which is a great way of keeping the kids entertained for an hour while you sit, relax, and people watch. Throughout the year, there are several events that are hosted around the harbor area.
6. Ride the Waves
By the pier is a popular spot for local surfers. As the water hits the pier stands, it breaks the waves. This creates excellent surfing conditions. Therefore, if you are a fan of watersports, you might want to give surfing a try during your visit. There are some surf rental places along the boardwalk if you do not have your own surfboard or surfing gear. There are also instructors if you are a novice and need some guidance. You do not need to worry about staying safe in the water as the lifeguard station is located directly below the pier.
7. Take a Boat Trip
If you are not satisfied with keeping your feet firmly on land, then you might want to head out into the Pacific Ocean on a boat trip. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the coastal views from a different perspective. There are several places close to the pier that operate boat trips that usually leave from Oceanside Harbor.
8. Enjoy a Leisurely Picnic
An alternative to eating at Ruby’s Diner is to take along a picnic for your trip to Oceanside Municipal Pier. This is a great option if you have a limited budget and you are trying to enjoy a free day out during your trip to California. You can either sit on the pier to enjoy your picnic or take a walk along to Oceanside Harbor, where you will find picnic benches in which you can sit. Another option is to find yourself a bench along the boardwalk.
9. Admire the Wildlife
If you are a nature lover, you might enjoy watching wildlife during a trip to Oceanside Municipal Pier. The pier is especially popular for people who want to watch marine life and for those who love bird watching. At the end of the iconic art deco style pier, there are ten power standing binoculars for you to look through. You will need a quarter to use the binoculars.
10. Watch an Outdoor Performance
According to the City of Oceanside information page, the Junior Seau Beach Amphitheater lies just below the entrance to the pier. This venue hosts various outdoor performances, musical shows, and cultural events throughout the year. Check what is on at the amphitheater before embarking on your trip and you may find yourself lucky enough to enjoy an outdoor show during your visit. Similarly, the pier is used as a backdrop for a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, surfing competitions, and sporting events, and these are often free to spectators.