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Oceanside, California

Oceanside, California is a great place to explore the great outdoors. Visitors can enjoy a variety of top activities and attractions in and near the area. Take a scenic hike along the San Luis Rey River Trail, only minutes away from Oceanside. Must-visit attractions in the area include the Oceanside Pier, the California Surf Museum, and Buccaneer Beach. For a more adventurous experience, visitors can explore the nearby San Luis Rey Downs Wildlife Area for a chance to spot some local wildlife. With so many adventures to choose from, Oceanside is the perfect destination for nature.

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Top Spots in and near Oceanside

  • San Diego, California

    Hike the Rose Canyon Trail

    3.5
    8.9 mi / 725 ft gain
    This hike is open year-round but is especially beautiful in the spring when the wildflowers are blooming and the spring is running. This trail offers good entry level mountain biking, with mostly flat well maintained trails and a couple of challenging but doable hills. 
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  • San Juan Capistrano, California

    Hike the Pinhead Peak Trail at Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park

    4.0
    2 mi / 220 ft gain
    Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park is the perfect place to getaway from the hubbub of LA. Enjoy the scenic drive north on Ortega Highway before reaching the entrance gate to the park. Parking Fees are currently $3 on Weekdays and $5 on Weekends. Camping Fees vary depending on your group size.  The...
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  • Aguanga, California

    Vail Lake Loop

    4.0
    7.25 mi / 922 ft gain
    Vail Lake Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Temecula, California.
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  • San Diego, California

    La Jolla Coast Walk Trail

    5.0
    2.32 mi / 295 ft gain
    La Jolla Coast Walk is a beautiful coastline trail, but is a bit of a heavily trafficked tourist trail. The hike can be started and ended at 3 separate locations. The trail is easily accessible with a small parking lot and tons of restaurants nearby.  The trail begins near another popular touris...
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  • San Diego, California

    Photographing Hospitals Reef

    5.0
    Hospitals Reef is a photographer’s paradise. San Diego is known for its many beaches, but Hospitals Reef is one of my favorites to photograph. It’s easy to see why when you get there. The unique rocky shoreline is home to many unusual and wonderful sights.There is a section of rocks filled with p...
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  • Trabuco Canyon, California

    Bell Canyon Trail

    3.86 mi / 102 ft gain
    Bell Canyon Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see wildflowers located near San Juan Capistrano, California.
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  • Ramona, California

    Mount Woodson's East Approach

    3.0
    3.96 mi / 1385 ft gain
    Mount Woodson is a well-known hiking trail in San Diego County. It is known for its breathtaking views and the famous potato chip rock. The Trail on the east side of the Mountain is fairly steep but is about half the distance of the trail on the west side of the mountain. To get to the trail on ...
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  • Palomar Mountain, California

    Hike Thunder Spring and Chimney Flat Loop

    3.0
    4 mi / 900 ft gain
    Palomar Mountain is the hidden gem of San Diego. Well, not so hidden per se- but most don't know that the little climb up the mountain can transport you from the prevalent brush-filled terrain of SD to a lush, diverse forest.The great thing about Palomar is that every day you visit could be compl...
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  • Palomar Mountain, California

    Hike to French Valley

    5.0
    3.8 mi / 450 ft gain
    When it comes to Palomar Mountain State Park, most people stick to Doane Lake and Upper Doane Valley. Yet on the far right of the parking lot at Doane Pond, there is actually a trailhead that will guide you to a completely different section of the park. The Lower Doane Valley trail is, in my opti...
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  • Ramona, California

    Iron Mountain Peak Trail

    4.1
    5.67 mi / 1030 ft gain
    Iron Mountain is the longest wilderness trail in Poway, CA. The parking lot is free and provides bathroom and water fountain amenities. The distance from the parking area to the summit is approximately 3.2 miles. Beginning with a wide smooth trail, slowly transitioning into semi-technical incline...
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  • Temecula, California

    Dripping Springs Trail

    4.0
    13.68 mi / 3287 ft gain
    The trail immediately begins to climb out of the campground on a well-graded incline. The next mile contains some climbing leading to a set of switchbacks. A long strenuous climb ensues until the 3200' elevation is reached. The trail then makes an easy southward traverse to the basin before resum...
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  • San Diego, California

    Surf Scripps Pier

    5.0
    Park on La Jolla Shores Drive and make the short walk down the boat ramp north of the pier. This spot often has some of the clearest waters in San Diego, making it a picturesque place to surf. During low tide, check out the tide pools just north of the surf spot to find some awesome sea life.
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  • Dana Point, California

    Stand Up Paddle Dana Point Harbor

    5.0
    Whether I’m looking for a quick workout on the water, wanting to catch some waves, or simply explore the coastline, Dana Point is one of my favorite places to paddle. There is plenty of parking close to the beach, so you don’t have to walk far with your board. It’s also a great spot to launch as ...
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  • Dana Point, California

    Explore Tide Pools at Dana Point

    5.0
    If you're ever driving on the 5 between San Diego and Los Angeles and traffic is miserable (always), consider making a stop at Dana Point to check out the tide pools. The best place is behind the Ocean Institute which offers plenty of free parking and a short walk behind the building will quickly...
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  • San Diego, California

    Watch the Sunset at Windansea Beach

    5.0
    One of San Diego's hidden gems. This beach offers an incredible and beautiful view any time of the day. My favorite time to go to this beach is during the sunset. There is a set of stairs just north of the parking lot that leads down to the cliffs where you can sit, hang out, and relax. It's also...
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  • Dana Point, California

    Walk the Dana Point Preserve Trail

    5.0
    0.5 mi
    Ocean views the whole time, plenty of wildlife and different species of native plants make this short hike beautiful. With the hike being short enough to complete in the afternoon after a day at the beach you can see a beautiful view of the coastline north and south. There is plenty of parking in...
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Oceanside, California

O’side (as locals affectionately call it) is a destination of discovery where you can explore everything from awe-inspiring sea life through exciting ocean adventures, California history at the “King of Missions,” and surf culture at the California Surf Museum. As a playful and diverse destination, we value personal expression and originality, inviting you to play in a real SoCal beach town and Respect the O’riginals.

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