A travel journal
to Oceanside by travelprone
Quote: With the widest beaches on the North Coast, Oceanside, for so long only a " Marine On Leave town", has been revamping itself in a serious bid for tourism. An historic Mission, great beach with amphitheatre for concerts, new Art Museum, well-equipped fishing pier, and revitalized downtown -all bid for tourist attention.
You can find seats in the colorful basket-decorated interior or choose to sit at one of the tables with umbrellas located on the street-side patio (good for people-watching). Conveniently located three blocks from the beach and two blocks from the Civic Center and its Art Museum, this café is open daily from 8 to 8 , accepts only cash, and you can eat here with an ocean view for not much cash, yet it’s distinctly superior to the usual fast food franchise. All of their food is prepared only with vegetable oil and their chicken is skinless; you’ll spend a little more than $2.00 for a ground beef or guacamole taco, and their entrees top off in cost at about $6.00 for sirloin fajitas or the Pescado Veracruz. Weekend lunch times are especially busy at Johnny’s, so their free parking lot in the rear of the restaurant is very much needed then.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 13, 2002
312 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, California 92054
Family oriented, with a kid’s menu that includes most of the foods kids like Kraft macaroni and cheese, corn dogs, and chicken fingers, this chain is based on nostalgic appeal for the days of car-hop restaurants (hence the red and white Ruby car-hop with a bow in her hair and wearing stiletto, ankle-strap heels) and offers American favorites like chili, burgers, shakes, and apple pie. In keeping with modern dietary concerns, practically every item on their menu can be served "lite", which means less fat. The formula seems to appeal because whenever I’ve gone to Ruby’s, there’s been a line of customers out the door and waiting to get in. On my most recent visit, I had a burger Greek style with feta cheese on top and lots of onion thinly sliced. It was a juicy, not dry, burger and with it I ordered a vanilla milk shake that was very tasty, and not thin, but heavy. With tip, my bill was almost $10.00, which I consider pricey.
But, it was a much better quality meal than that to be had at other burger franchises with the exception of In n’ Out Burger, a local chain that is my favorite American eatery. For breakfast the menu offers 3 egg omelets, pancakes, hotcakes, and French toast; for lunch, there’s a variety of burgers and hot dogs with a varied choice of toppings, 10 kind s of milk shakes, including a peanut butter one, and other standards like chili and a variety of soups and salads. At dinner time, the somewhat limited menu consists of foods like meat loaf, shrimp, turkey with stuffing and country fried steak-all American in a defined sense. All things considered, you won’t spend much money, and, especially is you have kids in tow, you will find this ocean-view restaurant may really fit the bill.On Wednesday, August 28, burgers will cost 82 cents, the price in 1982, when Ruby's was founded. All locations are offering this special promo, but for a different,one day only.
1 Pierview Way
Oceanside, California 92054
Attraction | "San Luis Rey de Francia Mission"
As fascinating as the museum's exhibits of early manuscripts, Indian artifacts, religious memorabilia, and photos are, the visitor should not neglect visiting the cemetery, the picnic grounds, and the gift shop on the grounds. Explore the nooks and crannies-that's how we found the ruins of an original mini-bull ring Indian style that we photographed. Also, the interior of the Mission is beautiful and has been used in the past for movie and TV productions, so take a peek into it if services are not on. The grounds are lovely, there's lots of flowers, a koi pond, and a lovely little chapel.
When the Franciscans took over the Mission in 1931, it was in disrepair, a state that had begun with the secularization of the California Missions when Spain pulled out of Southern California and Mexico could not afford the upkeep (circa 1833). Further decay ocurred when California became a State of the Union in the mid-nineteenth century. The friars have painstakingly rejuvenated it by many money-raising endeavours. Thus, there's an up-to- date audio-visually equipped Conference Center on site that is rented to various groups throughout the year. The Mission is a very active place with many special events scheduled yearly. Their "Christmas in July" crafts bazaar, which was being held on July 14 this year, and their colorful Mission Fiesta, which occurs every August, are summer highlights.
Of adobe, faced with brick, the Mission's architecture shows Spanish, Mexican and Moorish influences. As Oceanside's most important historic spot, this is a must-see not only visually, but culturally as seeing its museum and mission grounds enhances your understanding of how vitally important the Missions were in the story of early Southern California. Not too interesting ruins of Fremont's soldiers' barracks are in the process of development in an area just to your left as you enter the main entrance in front of the Mission itself. Further work on this site should amplify details about the period of Mission decay between 1850 and 1931.
Mission San Luis Rey
4050 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, California 92057
Attraction | "Oceanside Beach"
Not only was I astounded at the cleanliness of the beach, but also the face-lifts of many establishments close to it. And, then when I saw the gorgeous marina, the long fishing pier, the very active skateboard park, and a goodly week day crowd enjoying themselves in various pursuits, I contrasted this scene in my mind with many of the other North Coast beaches I'm familiar with. Moonlight Beach in Encinitas is a postage stamp in comparison with Oceanside Beach which is a big oceanside mural. With the other beaches, you invariably have to arrive at dawn to get a close-in parking spot that you pay for.Here, for a brief while, till a new project gets approved for recently razed land, is a window of opportunity for a summer's day at the beach without parking hassles.
You can fish from the pier without having to secure a license; a friend of ours does so when he doesn't have the time for a Baja trip and he can still get some yellowtail and feed his serious addiction to fishing.If you wish to go deep-sea fishing, head over to the adjacent marina ; a nominal $6.00 will buy you a day's fishing license and there are several outfits which will take you out on the ocean blue at reasonable costs. Our friend the fisherman has used Helgren's Oceanside Sportfishing, 315 South Harbor Drive, (722-2133), where fees start at $25.00. At the marina, you can also rent equipment for surfing, boogie-boarding, kayaking, jet skiing and other sea activities.
Oceanside Beaches and Harbor
1540 Harbor Drive N
Oceanside, California 92054
Attraction | "Oceanside Museum of Art"
As a fledgling museum, just opened a couple of years, it has to rely heavily on art loaned from other museums or by private collectors, but it does have a professional curator, and it has shown excellent taste in selecting the kind of exhibits that a small, local museum can book that will attract a wide audience. The vibrancy of its Civic Center surroundings enhances this museum's experience as the city went all out to make the complex a tranquil, appealing center in the downtown area. North County San Diego attracts many artists, in a "mini-Riviera" area of light,and this museum in the future has the potential to draw art from the locality and a fund of art teachers to help it appeal to younger audiences.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 13, 2002
Oceanside Museum Art of
704 Pierview Way
Oceanside, California 92054
Attraction | "Heritage Village Park & Museum"
The old Libby elementary school, Portola Inn, jail, blacksmith and livery, doctor's office, library, Blade newspaper office-they are all here. In the old general store, we discovered our own mother lode-a long wall filled with photos of old Oceanside, all of them collected by the mother of the head of the historical society that oversees the Park buildings. Then,we found out the docent was the wife of the son of the last blacksmith in Oceanside;when the city exercised its power of eminent domain, her husband donated the shop and its entire contents to the city. Mrs. Larsen was happy to answer all of our questions and showed a keen zest in doing so, as well as an excellent memory.
Similarly, the docent who staffed an example of a typical 1920's Oceanside home, a building where visitor's rest rooms were located, was welcoming and informative and shared with us our feeling that the site has not been well-publicized as it deserves to be. She mentioned the gazebo in the center of the site is available for wedding rentals and one was scheduled the next Saturday. In addition, she added, the Park has picnic tables scattered about in shady, treed areas available for guests. This home brought back many memories of my Grandma's house; it had a cast-iron stove, wooden ice box, mangle, and wind-up victorola, all echoes to me. And in the schoolhouse, its old ink-welled student desks, chalk board and cloak room recalled my very old, early elementary school days.As in many of the buildings, walls of the school house were lined with photos of school groups and past events.
Admission is free to this authentic "Memory Lane." Tours for youth, senior, and club groups can be arranged. The contact number is 760-433-8297 and tours can be scheduled from Mondays through Saturdays from 9-4, or on Sundays between 1 and 4. Or, you can just come by as we did on a Sunday right after our visit to the Mission.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 14, 2002
Heritage Village Park & Museum
220 Peyri Drive
Not being a surfer myself,I was rather unfamiliar with some of the significance of certain surfing firsts until I saw the useful explanations provided for the(egads!) non-surfer,translations of the language,the surfer lingo in which exhibits are captionedthat helped me understand what I was seeing. This is a place for surfing enthusiasts,a rare place where an attempt has been made to document the origins and evolution of the sport from one confined to Hawaiians only to one vastly popular in many corners of the world today.
There's a mass of new and old,but especially old,surfing boards and other equipment here,all compiled in a way that makes sense to surfer and non-surfer alike. Of all the surfing personalities here,in my opinion,Duke Kahanamoku,the two-time Olympic medalist, and the "Father of Surfing," was the most astouding and the tribute to him here is most moving. With limited,donated funds and much cooperation from afficionados who have donated most of the exhibit material,this unique,small museum,aptly located on Highway 101 in downtown Oceanside,is to be appreciated for its uniqueness and its relection of deication to the sport. Currently on exhibit is "Doc Ball & Early California Surfriders," dedicated to the surfing pioneers of the 1940's, with several,previously non-published photos provided by John Ball himself. What is fascinating is the kinds of boards yhat early surfers experimented with, some of which are on display, as well as accounts of how early surfers tried to develop new techniques and surfing strategies. It's open Thursdays through Mondays from 10 a.m. till 4p.m.,and well worth a look-see into another world.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 24, 2002
California Surf Museum
312 Pier View Way
Oceanside, California 92054