Oceanside is a beach community and coastline that has been, in the past, popularly inhabited by many young infantry Marines stationed locally looking to get their lost uniform items replaced or otherwise tailored for their next duty assignment. Often times these Marines, while waiting for their tailoring, were looking to engage in a game of pool, imbibe in a few cold drinks or meet the girl of their dreams in which to write letters home to while deployed.
For more than a decade Oceanside has longed for development and positive changes of their own beach community stereotype; one that I remember of drunk Marines, lazy pot-smoking surfers, vagrants and prostitution. Oceanside boasts the third longest all-wooden pier, by only a few feet, on the West Coast, the largest single military installation occupying nearly 17 miles of untouched California coastline and some of the same surf shops that have been here since the 60’s. Oceanside shares a harbor with the local Marine base for amphibious vehicles and special operations boat crews and has been host to numerous beach sporting events including ESPN’s X-Games.
This community has seen change over the years to include a thriving and growing diverse culinary culture with many excellent places to dine, multiple micro-breweries and brew houses that host their own cuisine, and Oceanside has begun upper-scale housing developments bringing more money, and a bit more of an affluent crowd to this beach community.
Currently the pier and beach area in downtown Oceanside is seeing a surge in multi-level housing along the beach and I can see this is going to bring yet more money and more of a crowd that no longer desires to see the home where the movie Top Gun was filmed (it’s still around here somewhere), but rather to see the more expensive cars along CA-101 Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), more expensive shops, and more great places to eat and drink.
Because of the historic pier and harbor area, Oceanside looks as if it might become the next La Jolla, if they can ever get rid of the uniform tailor shops; but as long as the neighboring Marines are nearby, the shops will be here to support the troops. Perhaps one of these days the property value will tax the tailor right out of town.
Oceanside is a great place to stroll around for the day, afternoon and even in the evenings as most everything is within a short walk. Bring the kids, dogs and a pocket with some cash, as you may just find something to occupy your time here in Oceanside, . . . and something to capture your money.