Southern California has been experiencing a terrible heatwave for the past week, so I decided to go to the coast for much-needed relief from the heat! My girls and I decided to head over to Oceanside Harbor Beach. While heading over to the restroom, I decided to look at the Oceanside Harbor boat launch. I will be showcasing some of the highlights of San Diego’s North County-only Ocean boat launch ramp below.
Let’s first reiterate that I have a complete informational post that lists all of the San Diego Launch Ramps. (Click on the link for more information)
Oceanside Harbor Map
Oceanside Harbor is located 38 miles north of Downtown San Diego and 27 miles south of Orange County’s Dana Point Harbor Boat Launch Ramp. So the question is, if you live in San Diego, is the Oceanside launch ramp worth the trip or not? If you live in North County San Diego, then, of course, it is, yes?
But is it?
Down below, I will be showcasing the west side of Oceanside Harbor, where the boat launch is situated. What I love about this ramp is that everything is in such close proximately to each other. But if you think about it, this feature could be a negative attribute if it is busy.
Here is a PDF file of the Harbor map. I encourage you to print it out, as it is a great reference to use the next time you are in the area!
West Oceanside Harbor
Hours- The Oceanside Harbor launch ramp is open 24 hours.
NOAA Nautical Chart Catalog and Chart View-#18774– Special Note- this chart is to be used as a planning or analysis tool and may not be used as a navigational aid. Soundings on this chart are given in fathoms. One fathom equals 6 feet, so keep this in mind when using this chart.
Oceanside Harbor Office-
- 1540 Harbor Drive North
- 8 am- 4:30 pm Monday-Saturday
- (760) 435-4000
Parking- There are 110 paid parking spaces for cars with boat trailers found adjacent to the launch ramp.
- September 16 to May 14- $3/hour or $10/day
- May 15 to September 15- $4/hour or $15/day
- Free parking over at Parking Lot 1, which is east of the train tracks
- Oceanside City Parking Rates– here is a pamphlet that I found for you to use as a handy guide the next time you visit Oceanside
Oceanside Boat Launch- An Intimate Take
Let’s now take a look at what the Oceanside Harbor boat launch ramp has to offer.
First off, the launch ramp features four lanes with four boarding floats. For the public interest, located to the ramp’s left, a wheelchair ramp leads down to the tie-up docks, allowing for much easier access for individuals who use wheelchairs.
Secondly, both the bait barge and fuel dock are found immediately after leaving the launch. Proximity is what makes Oceanside Harbor so user-friendly. Everything, including the entrance to the Ocean, is relatively close to the launch ramp.
Wheelchair Accessible Ramp–
The United States Coast Guard Auxillary Office
The Coast Guard office is conveniently found just left of the ramp.
The United States Coast Guard Auxillary primary mission statement- “Recreational boating safety- consisting of our many boating safety classes, distribution boating safety information providing free vessel safety checks and doing safety patrols on land, water and in the air. Support of Maritime Homeland Security and other maritime safety challenges that have emerged in recent years.”
Phone number- (760) 435-4000
Oceanside Bait Company
Phone-(760) 434-1183-Channel 11
- Monday-Friday- 5 am to 11:00 am
- Saturday -Sunday- 5 am to 12:30 pm
- Monday-Friday- 6 am to 11 am
- Saturday-Sunday- 6 am to 12:30 pm
- 1/2 Scoop-$20
- Full Scoop- $30
Pelican Harbor Fuel Dock and Mini Mart
Otherwise known as Oceanside Harbor Fuel Dock
Address– 1380 North Pacific Street
Phone- (760) 722-5853
Hours– Monday- Sunday- 7 am to 6 pm
Just behind the fuel dock, you have the Pelican Harbor Deli Mart and Fish Market, where you can stock up on ice, snacks, sunscreen, and more! Here we have Oceanside Harbors’ very own convenience store, where you can stock up on all of your needs before heading out to sea. Hey, you can also purchase fresh fish on the way home if you happen to “get-skunked.”
As I was reading over the reviews online, they are known for their breakfast burritos and hot deli sandwiches. Take a look at the website provided up above to look at the menu for more information.
I think that I will give them a try the next time I am at Oceanside Harbor Beach!
Camping at Oceanside Harbor
RV camping is available in Parking Lot 11B year-round and Parking Lot 12 from Sept 15 to May 15. Camping is on a first-come-first-serve basis, as no reservations are needed.
Pop-ups, slidings, awnings, and tents are not allowed.
Rates are $20 per day, with a five-night limit per thirty days.
The Mysterious Clapping Circle-
If you happened to visit Oceanside Harbor, you need to stop for a minute and check out the clapping circle, which is found in the center of the parking lot near Lot 11.
Stand in the middle of the circle and clap. Rather than hearing what you would expect to, a squeaking sound is emitted. The only way I can explain the sound is that it sounds similar to that of a dolphin.
Pro’s and Con’s-Oceanside Harbor Boat Launch Ramp
While researching, I found a lot of informative information via reviews on fishing website platforms. I love going here to the Harbor, but I do not have a boat or a trailer, and I do not fish, so let’s see what others who are far more knowledgable than me have to say, shall we?
- less than five minutes away from the Ocean
- free parking (east of the railroad tracks)
- bait barge
- fuel dock
- Coast Guard Station adjacent to the launch ramp
- freshwater washdown station
- camping available
- Oceanside Harbor Village-restaurants and shops
- Harbor Fish and Chips (my favorite!)-http://harborfishandchips.net/
- extremely busy
- strick parking/ticket happy
- tricky entrance into the Harbor, especially on a W or WSW swell
- extremely busy
Here are a few more photos so you can get a better feel of the area.
My family and I have been coming down to Oceanside Harbor for over thirty years now. Needless to say, we have many, many fond memories of our experiences here.
So to answer my question, yes, I feel that even though it can be hectic over here, it is worth it in the long run.
Thanks for stopping by, and until next time!
–>More Oceanside Information<–
- Oceanside Harbor Cruises- Get on the Water!
- San Diego Sportfishing Party Boats
- Best San Diego Birding Hotspots
- Discovering Oceanside Pier
- List of San Diego Fishing Piers
- Touring 10 Beaches in North County San Diego
I have always had a deep-seated passion for the Ocean Environment which ultimately led me to receive a degree in Marine Biology. Living in the San Diego area for over 30 years, I have extensively explored the 70 miles of San Diego’s coastline, and I am here to share! Please use my website to your advantage and have a look around at all the wonders that the beaches of San Diego can offer you!