Oceanside is located in northern San Diego County and is 45 minutes from San Diego California. The weather is ideal year-round (especially along the coast). One thing I learned from visiting one summer is that you do not have to go far inland to notice a significant increase in temperature. It can be in the low 70s at the beach and in the 90s just two miles inland.
Oceanside has a nice beach and pier. Along the beach there is the house most famous for being in “Top Gun.” The California Surfer’s Museum is near the Transit Center. The Transit Center has a bus area for local buses and Greyhound as well as a train station for trips to Los Angeles and San Diego. Parts of the X-Games were held there in 1997 (Surfing and Street Luge). The International Gymnastics Hall-of-Fame and Museum was in Oceanside until 1997 when it vaulted to Oklahoma City, OK.
Downtown Oceanside is a walk through small-town America. Many of the buildings have been there for over 100 years. There is a coffee house that emphasizes the “house’ part as much as the “coffee” portion.
Much of the rest of Oceanside is like modern-day suburbia. There are large stretches of road with strip-mall after strip-mall and all of the strip malls looking alike. “It’s the third store in the second strip-mall on the left.” is one of the way the locals use to describe the location of a specific store.
Oceanside isn’t without its problems. The biggest problem is that it is in California. Lots of taxes and lots of regulations prevent Oceanside from being a more enjoyable place to live. Population has increased by 400% in the last 40 years, which has made the downtown congested. The rest of the town has compensated for the town increase by having many double and triple-lane roads. The anti-smoking zealots roost there. “No smokes for you!” It also has much of the good things of California – nice weather, gorgeous sunsets, and a copious quantity of hotties on the beach.