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Sizzle Reel: From the big screen to television, Oceanside plays a starring role in Hollywood. We’re uncovering the main character energy all over town.



Why Oceanside Is a Camera-Ready Movie Location: It’s a vibe.

Located 83 miles from Los Angeles, Oceanside continues to lure Hollywood with a vibe that’s so beachy you can almost taste the salt spray. Since the silent film era, over 70 movies and shows have been filmed in and around Greater Oceanside. The iconic pier, dramatic beaches, stunning scenery as well as our diverse neighborhoods, make Oceanside a natural choice to capture a more soulful, authentic side of Southern California. Book your stay here.  

For almost as long as Hollywood has been making movies, celebrities have frollicked along our coastline—from Kirsten Dunst and Tom Cruise to the cast of Animal Kingdom and most recently, The Bachelorette. 

In Oceanside, every corner tells a story, setting the stage for an epic discovery where Hollywood magic meets oceanfront bliss. Let’s dive in.  Make a weekend of it. Stay and play at the hotel where “The Bachelorette” filmed the action. 

A Star is Born: The Rose of the Rancho

In 1914, prolific director Cecile B. De Mille, the founding father of American cinema, discovered cinematic gold in Oceanside. De Mille, a registered guest at the Oceanside Beach Hotel, was here to film David Belasco’s drama, “The Rose of the Rancho,” featuring scenes from the Mission San Luis Rey and Pala. The director was lured by the diverse topography so close to the beach, ideal for the cast and crew. 

Golden Age: A Hollywood Playground

In 1920, Hollywood’s most famous silent movie stars and notable couple,  Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, proclaimed “Oceanside has undoubtedly the finest beach in California.” And so, they erected a tent colony, dubbed “The End of the World Camp,” as their beach playground. Consider it the era’s answer to glamping—where famous Hollywood friends and society titan Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr. retreated from LA’s hustle-and-bustle.

Mid-Century Disney: Zorro 

In the 1950’s, Walt Disney Studios handpicked Mission San Luis Rey to film its TV show “Zorro.”  Artistically, the 1798 mission is a marvel—the only surviving California mission laid out in the style of a European gothic cathedral boasting heroic hand-carved doors, historic murals and punctuated with gargoyles, sculptures and tranquil water features like a koi pond and fountains. A skull and crossbones at the cemetery entrance that was added by Disney, still exists today. 

80’s Blockbuster: Top Gun

The home style that personifies the image of early California cool—the beach cottage—represents Oceanside’s relaxed, breezy lifestyle with built-in beachgoing. So, when Paramount was seeking the perfect location for “Top Gun” character Charlie Blackwood’s residence, the studio settled on this historical Victorian cottage as the ideal filming spot. The Top Gun House has spent the last decade being lovingly restored and repainted to match its 1986 color palette. 

Today, the Top Gun House is an integral part of Mission Pacific Beach Resort—a nostalgic bakery that’s home to the High Pie. Located front-and-center at Mission Pacific Beach Resort, it’s filled with movie memorabilia including a refurbished Yamaha Kawasaki Ninja ZX900 Motorcycle parked out front, identical to the one Maverick rode on palm-lined Pacific Street in Oceanside. Movie fans from all over the world flock to have their photo taken in front of this iconic house. Satisfy your sweet tooth and your selfie.


In it to Win It: Bring it On

Scenes of the popular 2010 cheerleading movie, “Bring It On” starring Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union were filmed across the street from Mission Pacific Beach Resort at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre. “Bring It On” centers around a cheerleading squad rivalry. For the action-filled finale— where the two teams vie for championships—locals were brought in as extras to fill the stands.  From the scene, you can easily spot Oceanside Pier and palm trees in the background. Recreate the scene: Ready your “in it to win it” high kick.


Animal Style: Animal Kingdom

With more than 70 locations over seven seasons, no TV show has covered more local territory in Oceanside than “Animal Kingdom,” which followed the fictional Cody family and their exploits. We saw the Cody family surfing Oceanside’s iconic breaks. Cruising its streets by truck and muscle car. On BMX bikes, and skateboards too. 

The acclaimed TNT show, which used Oceanside as base since its 2016 debut, starrs Ellen Barkin and Scott Speedman. Character Daren Cody’s fictional bar has been a popular location at 314 Wisconsin, as well as a beach cottage on the South Strand where character “Baz” lived with his girlfriend. Other locations include surf shops, the Oceanside Pier, Pier Plaza, Oceanside Harbor and Oceanside Airport. 

Get on Board: Soul Surfer

Nothing-—not even the loss of her arm—could come between pro surfer Bethany Hamilton and the waves. Her heroic tale, “Soul Surfer” is a best-selling memoir that inspired the 2011 movie of the same name. It’s a rake of fortitude: a shark attack that cost her arm, but not her spirit. With surfing in her DNA, she returned to the sport.  

While the movie’s surf scenes were filmed at Waikiki Beach in Hamilton’s native Hawaii, her real surfboard is part of the permanent collection at Ocenside’s California Surf Museum. The shark-bitten board, as well as the swimsuit she was wearing—originally a gift from local San Diego photographer Aaron Chang—are on display at the California Surf Museum, just a quick jaunt from Mission Pacific Beach Resort.


Photo courtesy of California Surf Museum

Love Story: Purple Hearts

Not all is fair in love and war in Sofia Carson and Nicholas Galitzine’s sweeping romance in this popular film “Purple Hearts.” The Netflix Original, released in 2022, was filmed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and other Oceanside spots including Tremont Street, Oceanside Harbor, Oceanside Pier Plaza and Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre. The modern-day movie tells the story of Cassie Salazar, an aspiring musician played by Carson, and Luke Morrow, a soon-to-be-deployed Marine played by Galitzine. 

They are opposites paired in a phony marriage of convenience until tragedy makes their relationship all too real. “Come Back Home,” which was co-written and performed by Carson, is one of four original songs featured in the film that has become an unofficial anthem to Oceanside. 

From Fantasy to Reality: The Bachelorette

Relive “The Bachelorette” at Mission Pacific Beach Resort, which earned its place in Bachelor Nation in 2023. ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” featuring Charity Lawson and her male entourage, was filmed throughout Mission Pacific Beach Resort and downtown Oceanside.  

Lawson conducted a rose ceremony in the lobby; She spilled tea and hosted cocktail parties at The Rooftop Bar; and she and the boys performed a Barbie-themed concert at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre across the street. Bachelor royalty JoJo Fletcher, a judge and hotel guest, was also part of the action. 

The ocean-front hotel was chosen for its strikingly scenic setting, adding to the drama and excitement of “The Bachelorette.” For the ultimate fan experience, book the Fantasy Suite, with memorable overnight packages for romantic weekends or the ultimate  girls getaways. This real-life bachelorette weekend comes with bragging rights. Pull up a lounge chair at Mission Pacific’s rooftop pool deck and bask in your own star-studded afternoon. This is your moment in the sun.