Downtown Oceanside, Coast Hwy 101

Location: North Coast Highway
and South Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA (map)
Phone: (760) 754-4512
More info: Website

Coast Hwy 101

Oceanside’s main drag, North Coast Hwy 101, seems to go on forever, stretching from Vista Way to Harbor Drive.

Traveling along Oceanside’s downtown Hwy 101 is surely an adventure, as if going in a timewarp back to the fifties and sixties. Much seems to be as it was back then, with an ecclectic mix of mom and pop shops, restaurants and old cafes, thrift shops, army and navy stores, beauty salons, office buildings, surf and watersports shops, florists shops, liquor stores, and more.

Downtown Oceanside has seen seedy days, when it was a place you wanted to avoid. Now, it’s cleaner than it use to be, with many restored exteriors and newly painted murals and faces.

The main street is lined with palm trees and sidewalks. You could walk from one end of town to the other, along long blocks, punctuated by cross streets that go the ocean, a few blocks away.

Notable Downtown Attractions

The heart of downtown Oceanside, around Hwy 101 and Pier View Way, has some notable attractions, including the California Surf Museum, The Oceanside Museum of Art, the 16 screen Regal Theaters, and the recently built Civic Center and Library. Downtown Oceanside is about four blocks from the beach and Oceanside Pier.

Many of Oceanside’s outdoor events, including holiday parades, street faire, and farmers’ markets take place in this part of town.