Winter often brings dreams of exotic ports of call and tropical beaches. But if you’re looking for a warm-weather getaway closer to home, Oceanside, California, should be on your short list. Just 38 miles north of San Diego and an easy drive or train ride from L.A., O’side is a laid-back beach town with a high sense of SoCal style, a blossoming creative community, and a full roster of activities. Add in mild temperatures, seasonal events, and fewer crowds than summer, and you’ve got more than enough reasons to visit.
Still need convincing? OK, we’ll press our case:
1. The Weather in Oceanside Is Unbeatable
Though temperatures do dip slightly from December to March, this is still Southern California. You’ll enjoy pleasantly cool days hovering in the mid-60s and plenty of sunshine to warm your face — Oceanside gets 266 days of sunshine per year! It’s ideal weather for anyone who wants to stay active outdoors — hot and muggy is not our brand — or avoid crowds.
2. Life in Oceanside Is Chill — and Mostly Outside
While the rest of the country is blanketed in snow, O’siders are still living life alfresco. You’ll find them browsing and grazing at the Oceanside Farmers Market and Sunset Market on Thursdays; sipping a house-roasted coffee at Revolution Roasters or a pale ale at Bagby Beer (we’re big on locally-produced here); or simply enjoying an evening stroll on the sand. You’ll also find plenty of locals at Mission Pacific’s Rooftop Bar, enjoying craft cocktails and Baja-inspired bites.
3. The Whales Love Oceanside, Too
From mid-December through April, more than 20,000 gray whales make their annual Pacific migration from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico, passing through the waters around San Diego and Oceanside. Hop on a whale-watching tour with Oceanside Adventures and you can also expect to spot minke whales, humpbacks, fin whales, all four species of dolphins, and sea lions.
4. Staying Active Is in Oceanside’s DNA
OK, there’s no snowboarding, but if you like to keep active, this is your spot. Oceanside is considered one of California’s most consistent surf spots, and many professional and amateur surfers flock here to catch a wave — or even to live. Never been out on a board? We’ll hook you up for a lesson with the pros at North County Surf Academy. Or maybe skateboarding is more your speed… or golf, biking, boating, fishing, yoga? Oceanside has got you covered.
5. The Sunsets Are More Spectacular Than Ever
Sure, Oceanside sunsets are stunning all year round, but they’re even more magical in the winter — it’s just science. Lower humidity, cleaner air, and the Earth spinning closer to the sun during the winter create the perfect conditions for photo-worthy sunsets. Take advantage of the longer golden hour and wildly vibrant hues and hone your creative side at one our Sip, Paint, and Gaze painting workshops. Prefer to savor the day’s last rays in peace? Book a room with a balcony and gaze out to the Pacific in blissful privacy.
6. You Can Stay at Mission Pacific!
OK, we’re biased, but Mission Pacific really is the perfect spot for a winter break. We’re located directly on the oceanfront, with beach butlers who’ll make sure you have everything you need. Our dining options offer something for every taste: Baja-inspired cuisine by award-winning chef Roberto Alcocer at Valle, farm-to-table brunch at High/Low, cocktails and bites at the Rooftop Bar. Next door at our sister hotel The Seabird, Sunny’s Spa will help you shake off any remaining stress.
Plus, some of our favorite special occasions, like celebrating New Year’s Eve at The Rooftop Bar or with an elevated four-course tasting menu at Valle restaurant, or planning an intimate Valentine’s Day escape, happen during the winter.
Ready to have one of the easiest, most relaxing, most rewarding winter breaks ever?