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Oceanside Neighborhood Walk

The O’Side: O’fficially Bonafide

Article by: Danielle Berkley

Here’s a notion you need to put into motion: Oceanside.

CCCan I get a little O’Side all day long, can I get a little O’Side all night long…

WOW. Let’s start there.
Reading about it simply doesn’t do it justice. Simple research on the internet describes O’Side as a SoCal beach town with great weather, beaches, and a historic wooden pier. Now don’t get me wrong, those are fine adjectives, however, simply put, take a little trip, and give yourself a sweet gift.

Oceanside Neighborhood Walk

What makes this community stand out is the LOCAL spirit—being innovative and creative because where they live is just as important as how they live which is just as important as what they do for a living.

Can I say live one more time? Live! Personally, I was astounded at the growth and development in so many arenas—culinary, retail, surf, custom ANYTHING, not another fashion valley, ya know yo!


Incorporated in 1888, this was a popular weekend retreat for rancho families. As legend has it, Oceanside named itself. In early times when people were living on the ranches in the valley, they would say “we’re going to the “ocean side”.” At the time, when the paperwork was filed to incorporate the town, it was accidentally written as one word.

Well, isn’t that just a “fun” fact.

Oceanside saw a huge increase in population beginning in the early 1900s. In the 1890’s Oceanside had three hotels, two drug stores, two living stables, hardware store, and even a bakery.

**Make sure to check out the San Luis Rey River Trail while you’re nearby!**

In less than ten years this town would come to experience the “Boom Years”. In the 1920’s streetlights were installed, a movie theater, and even a golf course., a new City Hall was built, as well as the addition of a two-year college.

The city has had six piers built on Overview Way since 1893. One in 1889, another in 1946 (the longest pier on the west coast at 1900 ft) and in yet again in 1987.

After WW II, again the population boomed to earn the title of being a modern city. In part, this was due to the construction of the nation’s largest Marine Corp base: Camp Pendleton. 1940-1952 the population went from 4652- 12858 residents. It is the third largest city in San Diego County with a population of about 180,000.

TIP: If you’re enjoying this post, make sure to check out our list of ‘Hidden Gems in Los Angeles‘ next!

Mostly what you read about the O’Side seems to me inherent such as, stunning views, beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and attractions. Simply put, that is not enough for me. Therefore, it seems redundant to say that the main economy was tourism, Pendleton, recreational goods manufactories.

There is an area in O’Side that I am calling Little Lost Vegas. I had no idea there are nine streets named after casinos in Las Vegas. There’s more too, the original Ocean’s 11 was filmed here. Say whaat?!? I know, I know. If you recall the old school Las Vegas—ratpack days when the hot spots were:

The Hacienda, The Frontier, The Sands, The Mint, The Sahara, and The Dunes, to name a few, were quite the mecca in their heyday. Those bygone days of fresh glitter and jazz may be in Las Vegas past, but their memory lives on in residential street signs in O’Side’s, “Valley of the Dead Casinos” (also known as San Luis Rey Valley).

The casino street houses are located just off Mission Ave. What I find most intriguing is that those casinos in Las Vegas have been replaced and/or renamed since the 1950’s and yet their names live on in the streets of Oceanside, Ca. The only two streets to share a modern-day connection to Las Vegas are Tropicana Drive and Flamingo Drive.
Lastly, Barbara Mandrell lived on Riviera Drive. YES!


M’Odern Day:

Redevelopment, Innovation, Community—old and new generations embracing their city life. Rock On! is where it is at—two new beach resorts opened and spurred a nine-block master plan which included a diverse portfolio and advantages for businesses. Perhaps one of the most important attributes is the city’s dedication to being small business friendly (If I must see one more Marriot or Brigantine, I will BARF!).

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To encourage new investments, an incentive plan was created for new commercial, industrial, MedTech industries, biotech, and agriculture—it is an ideal climate for tomatoes, citrus, and flowers and property tax is the lowest in the county.

The O’Side O’fficially is a thriving coastal community continuing to grow. With the combination of location and well-priced land, it is not hard to see why this town is BOOMing once again…Didn’t someone once say history repeats itself? I digress.

I would go to O’Side immediately–Discover and Explore—there is a ton to see and do. Jessica and I were absolutely astounded at the truly amazing changes from street art to installation art to mural art-art everywhere.

Not only art but five skateparks, an aquatic complex and the latest to come will be outdoor gyms. Can you dig it? Yeah, like I knew you would. The Pride in Oceanside thrives. Not only that BUT soon we will be able to visit a wave lagoon park.

Speaking of…. let’s talkabout the walkabout. YES, the iconic wooden pier, wide sandy beaches, picturesque scenery, and a growing reputation as the leading destination for foodies in San Diego County are just a few Perks if you will.

If you ask people who live there, most you will find say something like this; it has a vibe that fits a certain person perhaps. It has more grit, more diversity, and more down to earth people. I like it and it is keeping it real. Like the dude in the Big Lebowski, The O’Side Abides. That’s a lot I got. Til Next time folks, get out and walkabout. I dare You.

Mural on right by artist Paul Knebels

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