A pier, a beach, a playground AND lots of parking all within close proximity of each other…am I dreaming?! Nope, I’m at the Oceanside Pier and beach.
I’ve been here several times with J and even had her 1 year old photos taken at the pier. Most recently, we ended up here two days after Christmas as a detour from Legoland. Somehow J talked me into taking her to the Legoland Aquarium on the Saturday after the jolly man in the red suit made his appearance. Not a smart move, as the entrance to Legoland was backed up to the freeway. We drove right by the exit and the first suggestion that popped into my head was the beach.
Luckily everyone was at Legoland and the beach was not busy. It was beautiful weather and not windy so we hunkered down for a couple hours and played in the sand, waded in the water (yep, my bare legs were in the water in December and I wasn’t freezing) and played on the playground.
I found very few “cons” during this trip to the playground, however I have experienced some in the past which I will list after the “pros.”
Parking – There’s plenty of it both paid and free. I opted for paid parking and it cost a whopping $4 for two hours. There are kiosks where you can use a credit card to prepay for parking. For all you math challenged, parking is $2/hour with a maximum of $8 for all day use. There are several parking lots and pricing may vary slightly. Free parking can be found above the beach and the walk only takes a few minutes.
Pier – Geek out on a few pier facts here. It’s a wood pier and you can walk to the end where Ruby’s diner will greet you with the smell of greasy french fries.
Beach – the sandbox at other playgrounds ain’t got nothin’ on this mother. Bring your sand toys and other beach supplies and you’ll be happy as a (razor) clam.
Playground – The playground is on the beach! There are two structures with slides and climbing apparatus as well as swings (baby and regular).
Bathroom – There are public bathrooms near the pier. I haven’t been inside them, but assuming they’re your average public beach bathroom, I see this as a positive, especially with small children.
Seating / Tables – There is a covered area with picnic tables and seats.
Location – How is this a con? Well…Oceanside can get sketchy. There is a police station right next to the pier. So either you can feel really secure knowing the cops are close by or you can wonder why they need to be so near.
Seating / Tables – Also a con because some of the sketchy people will sit at the tables and stare you down.
Wind – The beach at Oceanside can get pretty windy. While it was calm the last time we were there, you should check the weather before you go, even on warm summer days.
You can find the pier, beach and playground at
301 N. The Strand
Oceanside, CA 92054
For more info visit The City of Oceanside