Oceanside, California is a great jumping-off point for anyone wanting to explore North San Diego County. It is a prime destination for those visiting U.S. Marines as they are based at Camp Pendleton just to the north. Whether you prefer accommodations right on the shoreline where you can hear the surf crashing, or want to head inland to enjoy rolling hills, wineries, and a slower pace of life, this North County haven has something for everyone. Book an unforgettable Oceanside vacation rental today. Check out the 10 most scenic getaway locations in Oceanside.

1. Oceanside

Choose a cozy duplex or an expansive executive-style retreat with a mid-century vibe and ocean views when you stay in the heart of Oceanside. As one of the cities on El Camino Real in California’s distant past, Oceanside is home to one of the state’s famous missions. Mission San Luis Rey has been beautifully restored to help you understand the history of this region. Head to the Oceanside Sunset Market to have fun shopping flea market booths for unique gifts and souvenirs.

2. Oceanside Strand

Along the Oceanside Strand, which runs along the Pacific Ocean, you can choose from beachfront condos or rentals on quiet stretches of sand that offer ocean views from every room. Take your fishing gear to the end of the Oceanside Pier to try your luck, or lean on the rail to watch the surfers as they catch waves. Harbor Beach, near the pier, is one of the five beaches in the area, and because sand is reclaimed every year, you can always count on plenty of space to lay down your towel.

3. Carlsbad

When you stay in a cute beach house in Carlsbad, just south of Oceanside, you put yourself within easy reach of white sandy beaches, the charming village of Carlsbad, and Legoland. Little kids love the rides at Legoland, and adults find the recreated landmarks of Miniland fascinating. Shoppers from all over Southern California flock to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets to find high-end designer clothing at astonishingly low prices.

4. Vista

Relax in luxury when you rent a beautifully furnished vacation rental in Vista. Enjoy a summer musical or concert Moonlight Amphitheater, where you can relax on the lawn while enjoying a show. You can also head to the Wave Waterpark for a fun day of sliding or floating down the lazy river with your family.

5. Lake San Marcos

When you stay in a cozy home near Lake San Marcos in North County, you enjoy a combination of privacy and peace while still being within easy reach of the beach and area attractions. You also have a wide choice of golf courses in the neighborhood. Bring your clubs to enjoy 18 holes at St. Mark, Twin Oaks, or Lake San Marcos Executive golf course.

6. Encinitas

Choose a cozy beach house within walking distance of Moonlight Beach, or stay in the hills where you can enjoy expansive ocean views when you choose Encinitas for your vacation destination. Garden lovers enjoy a warm welcome here, with the Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage and Meditation Gardens and the San Diego Botanic Garden offering you calm, relaxing environments. When it’s time to get active, you have plenty of options, as you’re in a prime spot for surfing, ocean kayaking, and kitesurfing. You can also explore some of the area’s famous tidepools.

7. Cardiff-by-the-Sea

Set up your vacation home base in an upscale townhome near the Cardiff-by-the-Sea beaches and lagoons, or head up to nearby Ball Mountain if you prefer a vacation retreat with a ranch style. Herons, egrets, hummingbirds, and ducks all fill the Sal Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, which is a birder’s paradise with easy-to-follow trails. If you’ve always wanted to learn to surf, sign up for lessons at the Eli Howard Surf School, where you can eventually graduate to kitesurfing.

8. Rancho Santa Fe

Come to Rancho Santa Fe if you want to pamper yourself during your vacation. The spa at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe is open to everyone, so you can spend one or more days enjoying massages, pedicures, skin treatments, and other spa favorites. Rancho Santa Fe is also home to high-end art galleries, and the local golf courses are beautifully landscaped and welcoming.

9. Solana Beach

Sit on the balcony of your vacation rental and watch the waves roll in Solana Beach. Locals and visitors love Fletcher Cove beach, thanks to its kids’ playground and beautiful white sand. In the evening, head to a performance at the well-regarded North Coast Repertory Theater, or do a little pub-hopping up and down the main drag, where nightlife is casual and plentiful.

10. Del Mar

A beach house rental in Del Mar is the perfect home base if you want to enjoy the Del Mar race track. You can see some of the country’s top thoroughbreds during race season. During the summer, Del Mar is home to the San Diego County Fair, replete with deep-friend goodies, fun evening concerts, carnival rides, and arts and crafts exhibits.