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SoCal’s Oceanside: Reimagined Beautiful Historic Getaways

From historic boutique hotels to a Top Gun landmark, SoCal’s Oceanside is offering new reasons to explore the town perfectly situated between metropolitan San Diego and Los Angeles. The quintessential California coastal escape attracts with wide sandy beaches, a quaint New England-style harbor, historic wooden pier and charming bungalow neighborhoods. O’side (as locals affectionately call it) is a destination of discovery where visitors can explore everything from California history at the “King of Missions” to surf culture at the California Surf Museum and awe-inspiring sea life through exciting ocean adventures.

Oceanside’s New England-style harbor

Boutique retreats

Boutique retreats housed in reimagined historic buildings are trending in Oceanside. The new Green Room Hotel is a 1940’s-era 12-room motel in South Oceanside that has been given a second life as a modernized bungalow-style boutique hotel. Individually curated rooms feature custom art from local artists, found pieces of mid-century modern furnishings and other whimsical touches. Grab and go surfboards and bikes along with a curated map of go-to local surf breaks, restaurants and coffee shops make it easy for guests to explore like a local.

Green Room Hotel

In the downtown district, The Brick Hotel, opening March 2022, has reimagined a historic 1888 downtown building into a modern boutique hotel ideally located near museums, theaters, restaurants and the popular Thursday-night Sunset market. It features ten guest rooms, a ground-floor restaurant, rooftop bar and lounge, the Succulent cafe, Frankie’s cocktail lounge and private access to a neighboring beer garden.

The Brick Hotel

The Fin Hotel, part of Tapestry Collection by Hilton, has a rich vibrant history going back to the 1920s and retains much of its historic charm including original grand staircase, vintage signage and Tiffany windows. The 26-room hotel recently welcomed the addition of The Switchboard, a restaurant and bar serving island-fusion inspired dishes. The restaurant’s name and décor, which includes old-fashioned switchboard knobs that run along the bar, pay homage to the hotel’s history as a communications center for switchboard operators during WWII.

The Fin Hotel

Sweet Treats at the Graves House

Historic Graves House/Top Gun House

Among the most highly anticipated openings this year is the Top Gun House, which will open as a vintage-inspired dessert lounge built inside the historic Graves House. The 140-year-old landmark was featured in the cult classic blockbuster movie “Top Gun” and has undergone a full restoration. Known for gourmet handmade vegan donuts, local favorite Doughside Donuts will open its first brick and mortar location on Coast Highway in early 2022.

Those seeking savory eats, can stop at the new Hawaii-meets-Baja-meets-San Diego restaurant Shootz Fish & Beer at the new Tremont Collective where pro-surfer Cheyne Magnusson and Executive Chef Davin Waite have teamed up to present sustainably sourced poke, tacos and daily market specials. The Lab Collaborative (TLC), a new addition to downtown, is a showcase kitchen that invites visitors to view the process of cooking with locally sourced ingredients, community-driven chefs and artisan cocktails.

Shootz Fish & Beer

Find all you need to know for your historic trip to Oceanside here.

Photos courtesy of Visit Oceanside

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About The Author
Kathy Strong
Kathy Strong
PS Wish You Were Here Travel is published by veteran travel writer Kathy Strong. Strong has spent the last 30 years authoring more than 20 travel guidebooks. In addition, she wrote a weekly newspaper travel column “Going My Way” for a decade and has contributed to several magazines such as USA Today publications and AARP. Her most recent travel guidebook, SECRET SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA , is a popular guide to off-the-beaten-path adventures. PS Wish You Were Here Travel spans the globe, featuring national and international travel opportunities and focusing on unique explorations.
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