The beach culture is alive and well in Oceanside, despite redevelopment activities that are changing the face of the waterfront. Mixed-use hotels and residences are under construction to enhance the beach culture and make it more accessible. Visitors to this part of downtown Oceanside can stay within walking distance of the city’s best swimming and surfing beaches: Harbor Beach, brimming with beach activities and fun, and Buccaneer Beach, home to some of the best surfing in North County. Many who have been in the military link Oceanside with Camp Pendleton, the sprawling U.S. Marine base that lies at the north end of the city. Until recently the military was Oceanside’s main industry, but now that’s being eclipsed by tourism. Proximity to the base still has its benefits, as most businesspeople offer discounts to active military personnel and their families. Also home to the largest and one of the best-preserved California missions, Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside’s history extends back to the 1700s, when the Spanish friars walked along the California coast founding missions as they went. Today Oceanside celebrates its historic culture with the regionally exciting Oceanside Museum of Art, displaying the works of San Diego area artists. Residents and visitors gather weekly at the farmers’ market and Sunset Market, where shopping for fresh-picked produce is a pleasant pastime.
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