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Exploring South “O”

Oceanside Pier at Sunset

South Oceanside, or “South O,” as locals call it, is the coastal area from Oceanside Pier south to the Buena Vista Lagoon. In South O, you’ll find a happy blend of hipster parents, tattooed bikers, and yoginis on pedaling on The Strand. It’s a walkable and beach-cruiser-able area of Oceanside that has plenty of things to see and do. This is just a starter list for the uninitiated of some of the more notable attractions.

Oceanside Pier —

The historic Oceanside Pier is a prized community landmark. At its current 1,942 feet in length, it remains one of the longest wooden piers on the West Coast. The pier is the place where young and old, fisherman and surfer, tourist and residents mingle, stroll, and sit, watching the waves or the sunset, taking in the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.

South Oceanside School Park —

South Oceanside School Park is a small neighborhood park located next to its namesake, South Oceanside School. The park includes a large multipurpose field, a baseball field, two tennis courts and a fenced in playground with picnic bench and large shade tree. Eucalyptus trees are located at some points along the park’s periphery. The park is located at Cassidy and Stewart Streets.

California Surf Museum —

Until the California surf Museum was opened, very little had been done in an organized way to preserve the history of surfing, its boards, or its artifacts. At a time when the historical roots of many beach communities are rapidly changing or worse, disappearing, the California Surf Museum is providing a strong link between the past and present lifestyles of the surf community. The museum is constantly locating, collecting, documenting and preserving historic surf related memorabilia. The California Surf Museum offers a series of rotating exhibits that present a varied picture of the many facets of surfing.

Oceanside Museum of Art —

Oceanside Museum of Art is a cultural jewel location in downtown Oceanside with a view of the Pacific Oceans and the historic Oceanside Pier. The museum is housed in a classic Irving Gill designed building that represents the flavor of Southern California in the 1930’s. Providing North San Diego County with a variety of programming that compliments its progressive exhibition schedule, OMA presents five provocative exhibits each year.

Buena Vista Audubon Society Nature Center —

At the absolute southern edge of Oceanside, you’ll find the Buena Vista Audubon Society’s Nature center. Sited on the Buena Vista Lagoon, the Center offers a variety of natural history experiences. In the course of an afternoon, you can walk amid native plants to see views of the lagoon and its bird life, discover tracks along the shore that reveal the night’s animal visitors, tour the garden of native plants, find the world’s tiniest mammals in one of the exhibits of local habitat, learn what endangered species live in the lagoon and challenge your children with nature games.

Next time: South O’s Favorite Eats!

Your Turn…

What’s your favorite South O landmark?

Sugar Jones: Sugar Jones has been blogging about life since 2008. She has contributed to various local news stations for lifestyle segments, speaking about tech, social media, travel, food, and family.