Luxury, history and gourmet cuisine in Oceanside

In honor of Oceanside turning 125 this year, my friend and I decided to revisit the charming seaside town for cool mid-week escape.
Our getaway began at the Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort, where we checked into a gorgeous fifth-floor suite overlooking the pool deck and the Pacific Ocean. The room was highlighted by a master bedroom with king bed, flat screen TV and huge bathroom with walk-in shower and jumbo Jacuzzi tub.
The suite also boasted a large living room with giant flat screen TV, sofa and dining table; a full kitchen with stove, refrigerator and sink; and a balcony looking over the pool and famed Oceanside pier.
Once acquainted with the room, we walked down Pacific Street to the Oceanside Harbor for a fish and chips lunch and then a tour of the harbor in our own private electric boat, which we rented through Oceanside Boat Rentals.
Stretching 18-ft, the vessel was a perfect way to see the harbor, which abounds with sport fishing, whale watching, boating and other water-oriented activities. While cruising the harbor, we pulled beside million-dollar yachts and little dinghies, and waved to fisherman on the shore and fellow boaters. It was a fabulous hour-long tour.
Back at the hotel, I swam in the pool, which overlooks the ocean and pier and then worked-out in the fitness center and sat in the sauna. Afterwards, we walked to the bottom floor of the Wyndham Hotel and enjoyed a memorable dinner at 333 Pacific Restaurant.
Serving up modern steak and seafood, 333 was bustling with locals when we arrived. While waiting for our table, we sampled vodka from an incredible selection of more than 100 varieties from around the world.
Our meal began with a couple superb appetizers. First we shared a delightful Ceviche plate, with scallop, albacore, shrimp, calamari ceviche, serrano chilies, and fried wontons. We followed this with Baja Crab Stack, with avocado, mango, cucumber, toasted tortilla strips, margarita salsa, and fried serrano chilies. We washed them down with Grey Goose vodka Bloody Mary’s, garnished with shrimp.
For a main course, I kept with my seafood journey and devoured a big, tasty bowl of the restaurant’s signature Cioppino, with calamari, shrimp, salmon, jumbo lump crab, lobster, mussels & clams, roasted tomato sauce, and focaccia toast. My friend had the unforgettable 333 Filet Trio of succulent steak, with peppercorn demi, oscar, bleu cheese crust. We paired the food with white and red wine.
After dinner we walked across the street to historic Oceanside Pier, which at 1,942 ft-long, is one of the longest wooden construction recreational piers on the West Coast. While strolling along the wooden planks I thought about the city’s rich history.
Founded in 1888, Oceanside boasts a number of important historical and cultural attractions such as Mission San Luis Rey (The King of Missions), vintage 101 Café, 1920’s era Robert’s Cottages, Top Gun House, California Surf Museum and the Oceanside Museum of Art. The city is also known for its support and proximity to Camp Pendleton marine base, which is just north of town.
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, kayaking, boating, fishing, bike-riding, skydiving and more.
For more info on visiting Oceanside, visit: For info on staying at Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort, visit:; and for renting an electric boat to tour the harbor, visit: For 333 Pacific Restaurant, visit:

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-Photo by Greg Aragon

March 4, 2013

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