Oceanside CA— San Diego’s North Shore, is showing off its “wild” side with new and expanded eco-adventures that educate visitors about the rich marine and avian wildlife unique to the San Diego coastline. New year-round whale watching excursions, pelagic bird watching services and guided bird watching hikes showcase Oceanside’s natural beauty and cater to everyone from families and experienced eco-travelers to groups searching for a unique outing.
“Oceanside offers a treasure trove of exciting discoveries from rare birds that only inhabit our region to migrating marine animals that display their majestic beauty just off our coastline,” said Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside. “Visitors can get up close and personal through unique tour and activity options that explore the natural wonders of our beach community.”
The newest addition to Oceanside’s eco-tourism offerings is year-round whale watching through Oceanside Adventures. Operating out of Oceanside’s picturesque harbor, Oceanside Adventures takes passengers on a state-of-the-art, 50-foot catamaran for 2-hour excursions that explore the local waters flourishing with sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions. All Oceanside Adventures captains are American Cetacean Society Certified Naturalists and US Coast Guard licensed who provide expert and experienced commentary along the journey. Introductory fares are being offered throughout 2015 at $39 for adults, $29 for children 12 and under. Reservations can be made online at www.OceansideWhaleWatching.com, purchased by calling 888.507.1130 or in the harbor at the ticket facility at Helgren’s Sportfishing Center, 315 Harbor Drive South, Oceanside, California 92054.
Pelagic birding is another exciting new experience in Oceanside and offers visitors closer access to offshore banks where pelagic birds concentrate. The city’s Buena Vista Audubon Society (BVAS) offers full pelagic birding services for those wishing to add unique bird species like shearwaters, murrelets and perhaps even brown boobies to their lists. www.bvaudubon.org.
Buena Vista Audubon Society also offers guided nature and birding walks at several Oceanside locations including Whelan Lake, a 73-acre bird sanctuary bordering Camp Pendleton, and the Buena Vista Lagoon, a 223-acre wetland and California’s first Ecological Reserve. Oceanside enjoys the claim as one of the “birdiest” spots in the nation, consistently rated among the top 12 destinations for number of wintering birds. At the peak of birding season in the spring, birders often count as many as 75 different species of birds in various locations around the lagoon areas. Visitors can look for the California Gnatcatcher, a rare bird only found in
Southern California’s coastal region, or even spot the recently discovered Ridgeway Rail. At the Buena Vista Lagoon, visitors can enhance their bird watching with a visit to the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center, which contains interesting wildlife exhibits and a self-guided native plant walk. www.bvaudubon.org.
Staying in Oceanside
Oceanside offers a wide variety of accommodation options for any eco-tourism getaway from luxury 10-bedroom homes on the beach to LEED certified hotel rooms. Many properties offer travelers convenient amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi, continental breakfast and pools. Popular options include SpringHill Suites Marriott Oceanside, Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort, Holiday Inn Oceanside Marina, Residence Inn by Marriott Oceanside, Courtyard by Marriott Oceanside, Beach Front Only Vacation Rentals and Best Western Oceanside Palms. For more information on where to stay, visit www.visitoceanside.org.
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