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Oceanside Neighborhood Guide: South Oceanside

Pelicans at Buena Vista Lagoon

The eclectic South Oceanside neighborhood of Oceanside encompasses the southwest section of the city and is a great place to live, work or play. The beach is just minutes away from any home in this community, and quaint shops and eateries dot the streets.

The close proximity of Highway 101 and Interstate 5 provides locals with easy access to North County attractions, Carlsbad and San Diego, but with so much to do within the neighborhood, residents rarely need to travel very far from home to run errands, meet up with friends or spend the afternoon on the sand.


The influences of Spanish, Mexican and European cultures that settled here throughout the years can still be seen in the architecture and historic sites scattered throughout Oceanside and the surrounding areas.

First thriving as an agricultural area, and then later becoming a popular coastal resort destination, Oceanside has grown and transformed over the years as commercial enterprises, Camp Pendleton and the urge to enjoy sunny, beachside living has drawn a diverse array of people to make this area their home.


South Oceanside provides an array of housing options, including beachfront estates with a higher average value than that of homes found throughout other areas of Oceanside, as well as mobile homes that provide housing options that are more affordable, on average, than similar properties found in other Oceanside neighborhoods.

Single-family, detached homes make up just less than 50% of the housing units available in South Oceanside and had a 2010 average estimated value of $732,674. A large part of the remaining housing units in the neighborhood are comprised of mobile homes, which had an average estimated value of $90,012 in 2010. There are also some attached units available, such as townhomes, which had a 2010 average estimated value of $361,482.

The majority of homes in this neighborhood were built before 1980 with more than 100 homes dating back to before 1939 and fewer than 100 homes being built after 2005. Many of the homes in this community have beach access or ocean views.

Restaurants, Shopping & Entertainment

South Oceanside is home to lots of dining, shopping and entertainment, including the well-known 101 Café the Beach Break Café (a local hangout), surf shops, antique stores, bike shops, thrift stores, boutiques and stores to help you prepare for your next outdoor adventure.

Highway 101 runs through the middle of the neighborhood, which provides residents and visitors with easy access to the upscale shopping and dining options in Carlsbad, as well as the many eateries and retail outlets found throughout Oceanside.

Parks & Recreation

Buena Vista Lagoon

South Oceanside residents live in the perfect location to enjoy the beaches of Oceanside every day and are just minutes away from Carlsbad beaches as well. Residents of this community who do not live directly on the beach live only minutes away, but if they ever grow tired of the sand, there are plenty of parks and some great spots for outdoor recreation located within the community.

Buccaneer Park, which is right across the street from Buccaneer Beach, is a four-acre park located on Pacific Street that offers playground equipment, picnic tables, barbecue grills, a basketball court, a multipurpose field and a snack bar.

The South Oceanside School Park is located at the corner of Cassidy Street and Stewart Street and offers a multipurpose field, a baseball field, courts for basketball and tennis, and playground equipment.

Marshall Street Park and Swim Center located on Marshall Street is a small park with a playground, sand area, ocean views, picnic tables and a public swimming pool offering summer swimming programs.

Lion’s Club Park is a tiny, .5-acre park located at Cassidy Street and Broadway offering a picnic area with barbecue grills.

There is also Loma Alta Slough, which is a 107-acre coastal wetland located just north of Buccaneer Park and fed by the seven-mile Loma Alta Creek that begins in Vista. Native and non-native plant species abound in the slough, and the creek is home to some 100 species of wildlife. While there is limited access to the creek, the slough is accessible to the public for walking, fishing, bird watching, bicycling and picnicking.

On the southern border of this neighborhood, residents can enjoy Buena Vista Lagoon, which is a 223-acre coastal wetland and ecological reserve accessible to the public for fishing and passive recreational activities. The Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center, located at the Buena Vista Lagoon, is a great, family-friendly North County attraction offering nature trails, guided nature walks, school programs, lots of exhibits and a library.


South Oceanside Elementary School Sign

The South Oceanside neighborhood is served by the Oceanside Unified School District. Schools located within the community include Children’s House of Oceanside Montessori School and South Oceanside Elementary School. There are also trade schools and schools offering extracurricular activities, such as Oceanside College of Beauty, dance schools, martial arts studios, an acting studio and a gallery offering children’s art classes.

Saint Mary, Star of the Sea School and Santa Margarita Elementary School are located just to the north of Oceanside Boulevard within blocks of this neighborhood.


Most of South Oceanside is bordered by Oceanside Boulevard to the north. It is bordered by Interstate 5 to the east, the Buena Vista Lagoon and Carlsbad to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Additional Information

South Oceanside Elementary School Playground

If coastal living, an eclectic community, and nearby shopping, dining and entertainment options are what you crave, the beachside neighborhood of South Oceanside is the perfect place to look for your next dream home or find a beachfront vacation rental for your next family getaway!


Photo Credits: The Pelicans at Buena Vista Lagoon photo is courtesy of the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center website. The Loma Alta Creek and Slough photo is courtesy of the City of Oceanside website. The Buena Vista Lagoon photo is courtesy of the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center website. The South Oceanside Elementary School Sign photo is courtesy of the South Oceanside Elementary School website. The South Oceanside Elementary School Playground photo is courtesy of the South Oceanside Elementary School website.

AJ Davis-Varela: AJ is a freelance writer and blogger at Articles by AJ specializing in travel, real estate, natural wellness and green living. She is a magazine columnist, a former San Diego newspaper columnist, has been published in a variety of print and online publications, and regularly contributes to several websites and blogs. You can connect with AJ on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+