Oceanside, San Diego's North Shore, is officially welcoming visitors with a revitalized "gateway" to the city thanks to the recent completion of the Mission Avenue Improvement Project. The $2.5 million project has transformed Oceanside's main corridor from the I-5 freeway to the coast by creating a more pedestrian-friendly, beautiful streetscape that encourages visitors to spend time in the downtown community.
"For many visitors, Mission Avenue is their first glimpse of our city," said Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside. "The recent enhancements have created a charming, welcoming space that entices guests to stop and explore the many local eateries, shops and businesses in downtown."
Oceanside's new Mission Avenue now features a pedestrian friendly design that includes water-wise landscaping, statuesque palm trees and widened sidewalks. A variety of young trees have been planted that will eventually create a beautiful canopy effect over the street. Traffic now flows one-way to the west, giving motorists a picturesque view of the ocean as they journey through downtown toward the beach. Back-in, angled parking makes it easy to stop at the shops and dining venues along the street such as Swami's Cafe Oceanside, Rim Talay Thai Cuisine and Ty's Burger House- all which have expanded sidewalk seating to take advantage of the nearly perfect year-round weather and ocean views.
The changes along Mission Avenue have attracted several new businesses to the area. Mission Avenue Bar and Grill recently opened and is a popular gathering spot that features a modern, industrial-style décor, New American cuisine, over 39 different California beers and 30 whiskeys and bourbons. A new local sushi bar, Sumo Hut Bar & Grill, will open later this year and Oceanside's popular Dairy Queen will move to an expanded location in the heart of Mission Avenue just two blocks east of its current location.
The Mission Avenue Improvement Project is just one of the recent updates to Oceanside's beachside community. In February 2014, the new 149-room SpringHill Suites Marriott Oceanside and its adjacent Hello Betty Fish House opened just one block from the pier. Along Coast Highway, numerous dining establishments have opened in former retail sites with many dedicated to featuring local craft beer. A few of the newcomers include Local Tap House and Kitchen, Masters Kitchen and Cocktails, the Pour House, Privateer Coal Fire Pizza and Bagby Beer Company. Artists Alley, just off Mission Avenue, has reestablished its presence and now features several galleries and a floral shop. It is also a major gathering spot for Oceanside's new Art Walk that showcases Oceanside's vibrant art community on the first Friday of each month through live performances, music, poetry, art education, culinary demonstrations and art galleries embedded in local businesses and public spaces. Soon to be completed are 22 new soccer fields at Oceanside's El Corazon development, which will officially be called the SoCal Sports Complex Oceanside. The soccer fields are expected to draw thousands of visitors each year and are just the first in what's planned for a 465-acre site that will eventually include park land, open space, residential development and possibly a hotel.
About Oceanside: Celebrating its 126th year, Oceanside is located along the beautiful Southern California coastline and considered the gateway city between metropolitan San Diego and Los Angeles. A classic Southern California beach town, Oceanside enjoys a rich history as an ideal place to stay and experience California's casual spirit. The city boasts a number of important historical and cultural attractions such as Mission San Luis Rey (The King of Missions), California's longest wooden pier, vintage 101 Café, 1920's era Robert's Cottages, Top Gun House, California Surf Museum and the Oceanside Museum of Art. The city has served as a film location for dozens of Hollywood productions and was once the preferred getaway of many of Hollywood's elite. Bordering Camp Pendleton, Oceanside has long enjoyed a strong relationship with the U.S. military and a deep commitment to the men and women serving the nation. Today, with 3.5 miles of sandy beach, a quaint New England-style harbor and a stellar year-round climate, Oceanside is a highly sought after location for enjoying active pursuits including surfing, stand up paddling, kayaking, boating, fishing, bike-riding, skydiving and more.
About Visit Oceanside: Visit Oceanside Conference and Visitors Bureau is the official tourism marketing organization in Oceanside, Calif; promoting travel to the city for both leisure and group visitors. The organization influences more than $60 million in visitor spending in Oceanside each year, which supports nearly 700 tourism-related jobs. Visit Oceanside also operates one of the state's official California Welcome Centers. With just one stop, visitors can find local, regional and state maps, purchase discount tickets to major Southern California attractions, make hotel reservations or shop for the perfect California keepsake. The Visit Oceanside CVB and California Welcome Center- Oceanside are conveniently located just off Interstate 5 at 928 North Coast Highway. For more information, please call (800)350-7873 or visit www.visitoceanside.org.