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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

  • Lake Elsinore, California

    Hike Bear Canyon Trail to Sitton Peak

    6.4 mi / 2200 ft gain
    A MUST hike for any orange country resident! The hike starts of off Ortega HWY 74 at the Bear Canyon Trail head on the same side of the road as the Ortega oaks candy store. Its recommended you park in the lot across the street from the trail head (tip:there is a working water spicket in the parki...
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  • Lake Elsinore, California

    Sitton Peak

    9.36 mi / 2011 ft gain
    It's amazing what you can find in your own backyard if you really do you research. In Orange County there are so many awesome hiking options that are often overlooked. The Bear Canyon to Sitton Peak Trail in the San Mateo Wilderness is one of those. Sitton tops out at 3,273 feet and it's a 5 mil...
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  • Palomar Mountain, California

    Hike to Palomar Observatory from the Palomar Observatory Campground

    5.0
    4.4 mi / 718 ft gain
    Situated in the Palomar Mountains of Cleveland National Forest, Palomar Observatory Campground offers many amenities for enjoyable camping and exploring the area.  A portion of the campsites loop has been cleared of trees with level cement pads to allow campers to set up their own telescopes.  Dr...
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  • Poway, California

    Hike around Goodan Ranch

    5.0
    3 mi
    Starting at the Sycamore Canyon Trail head, you will see the sign and gate that leads to Goodan Ranch. Head down the gravel road for 1.1 miles, until you reach a 3-way directional split. Heading straight for another .5 miles will take you directly to the ruins of the old Goodan house. Here you wi...
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  • Laguna Niguel, California

    Colinas Ridge Trail

    2.01 mi / 131 ft gain
    First, you'll be parking in the parking lot for the dog park. It's free parking and there are roughly 40 spaces, so there is plenty of parking. I've never seen more than 20 cars here at any one time. Once parked you'll find the trail head/ start on the northwest side of the lot (opposite the dog ...
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  • Dana Point, California

    Hike the Salt Creek Trail

    5.0
    3 mi / 20 ft gain
    Starting from the Salt Creek Beach parking lot (a paid lot that takes cash, debit, and credit cards and charges by the hour. There are pay stations at a few points in the parking lots), you head west towards the ocean...through a tunnel and down the hill towards the beach. Once you get to the bas...
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  • Dana Point, California

    Surf Salt Creek

    5.0
    There are two HUGE parking lots off of PCH, so parking isn't an issue (unless it's on a weekend in the summer, then it does get full). This is a paid lot with a few pay stations located around the parking lot, and they take cash and credit/ debit card...you can pay by the hour. Once you find your...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    Laguna Beach Caves

    3.8
    Explore some beautiful caves right on the beach in Laguna. The stairs leading down to the beach are just off the side of PCH at 9th st. You can park anywhere along the PCH on both sides near 9th st. Head down the stairs and the main caves are on the left. To the right there are also some small c...
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  • Lake Elsinore, California

    Ride the San Juan Trail

    4.5
    11 mi / 3400 ft gain
    The San Juan Trail is located off the Ortega Highway (Hwy 74) in Southern Orange County. It is done frequently as a long, 11 mile climb that is rewarded by an almost continuous descent of 3400ft. The out-and-back trail head is back Hot Spring Canyon Rd from the San Juan Fire Station. It can also ...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    Skimboard Table Rock Beach

    Laguna Beach is both the birthplace *and* and the capital of skimboarding, and for good reason: it boasts an impressive array of beaches where (if you know where to look) you can find one where the conditions are right for one of the most difficult but rewarding of water sports. Table Rock is one...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    Aliso Peak via the Valido Trail

    5.0
    1.14 mi / 325 ft gain
    The Valido Trail trailhead can be found just off West street off the Pacific Coast Highway, just south of Aliso Beach. Park on West Street past the trailhead. The trail proceeds approximate .5 miles till it intersects with the Aliso Peak Trail. Go left .4 miles to the obvious summit and wooden p...
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  • San Diego, California

    Mission Trails 5 Peaks

    15 mi
    The 15-ish mile route we took made it a great workout, but it didn’t crush us. We left the apartment at 6 am and were back home with plenty of time to prep cook and eat a big dinner before 5 pm. Although I completed the hike in 1 day(and I highly recommend it)many people completed each hike indi...
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  • San Diego, California

    South Fortuna Mountain

    5.0
    4.59 mi / 997 ft gain
    Hiking at sunset/night is a great way to beat both the heat and the crowds. On a clear day, you can see from Mexico to Catalina Island! If you stay long enough, you can see all of San Diego's city lights turn on, or the marine layer fog creeps into the canyons. South Fortuna Peak is part of Miss...
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  • San Diego, California

    Bonfire at Fiesta Island

    4.7
    This island offers scenic views of of mission bay and if you're lucky, you can catch fireworks from Sea World. The bonfire rings are stationed around the island, so make sure you get there early to stake yours out, especially if you're headed there on the weekend. Dogs are allowed off leash at th...
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  • Santee, California

    Oak Canyon in Mission Trails Regional Park

    5.0
    3.22 mi / 249 ft gain
    Starting on Father Junipero Serra Trail, drive 0.7 miles west to the Old Mission Dam parking lot on the left. The park closes the gates at 7pm, so make sure to park early, or plan your hike in such a way that you don't get locked in! If you think you'll need longer, you can park out on the main r...
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  • Santee, California

    Kwaay Paay Trail

    2.4 mi / 846 ft gain
    Park your car in the small gravel parking lot at the southwest corner of Father Junipero Serra Trail and Bushy Hill Drive (this is especially important if you plan to take the sunset hike, so you'll be outside the locked park gate when you descend). There will be other hikers parked there, but I'...
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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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