Day Trip in Oceanside California

As a San Diego native, I've seen it grow immensely over the past 30+ years I've been here. One thing is for sure, I never expected I'd see the day when Oceanside became a destination. Historically, known for gang violence and military folk, there wasn't much reason to venture to the remote corner of San Diego County.
Things are changing all over San Diego, and it's finally happened to Oceanside. Since I've been living here for the past 4 years, I have great insight to this unique place, so I thought  I'd share.
When I speak of Oceanside, I am mostly referring to the only good area which is basically Downtown Oceanside and South O (South Oceanside), which is all of Oceanside West of Interstate 5 freeway.

Here's my list of places worth checking out in Oceanside:

1.   Hello Betty- Fish restaurant
2.   Stone Brewery - Stone tasting room
3.   Apotheque - Salon & Spa
4.   Oceanside Museum of Art - Art museum
5.   Bagby Beer Co. - Brewery and restaurant
6.   Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen - Restaurant
7.   Privateer - Coal fired pizza restaurant
8.   Bull Taco - Surf punk taco shop
9.   Captains Helm - Vintage retail shop
10. Rachel's Embellishment's - Antique shop
11. Cream of the Crop - Health Food store

1. Hello Betty is a brand new fish restaurant that just opened up recently. I'd venture to say that it is currently one the best restaurants in Oceanside. It has what my friend Natasha calls the "Tri-fecta" - good food, good service and good design. Finally, a place by the ocean that has outdoor seating. I don't get these north county coastal places that don't embrace outdoor seating. This place has beer and liquor and they do it in a modern manner, aka craft cocktails. Try the steamed mussels with chorizo....bomb!

2. Stone Brewery tasting room.  I think that this is one of the better tasting rooms. Most of this tasting room is located outside. Lots of large boulders and lush gardens makes this a relaxing destination tucked away in downtown Oceanside.

3. Apotheque is an adorable salon and full service spa located in a old renovated brick building from the later 1800's. the side of the building has a lush succulent garden and coffee kiosk.

4. Oceanside Museum of Art. I've have traveled extensively in northern Europe and have studied abroad in Scandinavia. While I was there, I went to dozens of museums that were incredible. Which is why I am including the OMA in my list. I am member of this museum and it is definitely worthy!
They've also added a new curator to their repertoire, One of the co-owners of Objects USA. This is very exciting and I can't wait to see what new exhibits are to come!

5.   Bagby Beer Co. is the latest brewery to grace San Diego's ever growing craft scene. This place is still under construction so nothing to report yet. All I can say is that it will be huge!

6.   Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen  was one of the first restaurants in Oceanside that was remotely cool. Quaint little pub with a pork-centric menu that is small but good. Beware, the place is always packed!

7.   Privateer specializes in coal-fired pizza. They have unique pizza's like a clam chowder pie which is really good. Local beers on tap.

8.   Bull Taco I am sure most of you have heard of by now, as they have multiple locations. The one in Oceanside was the first real brick and mortar location other that the one in the Leucadia camp site. The Mexican fare here has a twist, they feature unique meats such as kangaroo and elk to name a few. They also have a killer carne asada burrito with tater tots and a habenero salsa that will make you cry.
This location got a lot attention when they painted a fake "banksy" on the side of the building! Also, in the same building next door is the Wrench and Rodent sushi...which is really fabulous!

9.   Captains Helm is a vintage and re-sale shop similar to Flashbacks and Buffalo Exchange. Although I would venture to say that CH represents the true Oceanside style, a little vintage, punk and surf! They also do pancake breakfasts every once in a  while!

10. Rachels Embellishments which is also located on the same block as Bull Taco and Captains Helm, is a cool antique shop. You'll find lots of great stuff here, at reasonable prices!

11. Cream of the Crop has the largest selection of organic produce in all of Oceanside, striving to buy locally as much as possible. Extensive vitamin section with competitive prices, cosmetics, and a full service juice bar and deli.

So now you have no excuse to come all the way up to Oceanside, because there is plenty to do!!