Moving to Oceanside, California

There’s a reason they call California The Golden State. People flock here from all over the country to move to a place where the sun shines more often than it rains.

Southern California is especially popular. Big cities like San Diego and Los Angeles get most of the attention, but if you’re planning to relocate to Oceanside, we have some information to help you.

About Oceanside

Oceanside is a coastal community in the northern part of San Diego County. It’s located just south of a Marine base, Camp Pendleton. The city of Oceanside is considered part of a tri-city area that includes Carlsbad and Vista.

As of 2010, the population was 167,086, making Oceanside the third-largest city in San Diego County. It has a long history. The first European settlers arrived in the area in 1769, part of Father Junipero Serra’s mission group.

Until 1821, the area was ruled by the Spanish. Then, it became part of Mexico; and finally, in 1848, California joined the United States. In 1850, a man named Andrew Jackson Myers bought land that became the original town site of Oceanside. The town officially incorporated in 1888.

By the 20th century, it was a thriving beach side community, typified by its six miles of beautiful California coast. Camp Pendleton opened during World War II, and for a while, the city was home to a large ammunition manufacturing facility.

Today, Oceanside is considered one of the prettiest and most affordable areas in Southern California.

Oceanside Climate

Like all western San Diego County, Oceanside is a coastal desert. That means it has some unique weather characteristics and quirks.

The first is that Oceanside gets about 266 days of sunshine per year. That’s quite a lot when compared to other cities, and it means this is a great place to live if you love to spend time outdoors. By contrast, it sees only 23 days of measurable precipitation each year.

The average temperatures here make this a very comfortable place to live. The summertime average high is only 79 degrees. Temperatures do sometimes soar into the 90s or low triple digits, but not as frequently as they do in the inland parts of San Diego County. In the winter, the nights can be cold, but most days temperatures are in the 50s or 60s at the lowest.

While there are benefits to having so little rain, there are risks too. This area sometimes experiences wildfires, but again, not as frequently as inland areas. Earthquakes occur, but they’re rare and usually small. This part of California isn’t as earthquake-prone as areas farther to the North.

Education in Oceanside

If you have kids, you’ll want to know about Oceanside’s school system. It’s a little unusual in that the school district your kids attend will vary depending on your address.

Most children in Oceanside are served by the Oceanside Unified School District. It has 24 schools, including two comprehensive high schools and three charter schools. One of the charter schools is the School of Business and Technology. Schools in Oceanside offer great programs for children, including an instrumental music program for kids in grades 4-12.

Other school districts that serve this area include the Vista Unified School District, the Bonsall Union School District, and the Carlsbad Unified School District.

If you’re interested in higher education, you’ll be glad to know that Oceanside is home to a campus of MiraCosta College. There are other colleges in nearby San Marcos and Carlsbad. Oceanside is also within commuting distance of colleges in other parts of San Diego County, including the UCSD campus in La Jolla.

The Cost of Living in Oceanside

You may have heard that the cost of living in California is high, and you’ve heard right. Real estate in certain areas is very expensive.

That’s true in Oceanside, too, but to a lesser extent than in some other areas. In other words, it’s affordable by Southern California standards.

The biggest price driver is home and rental prices, which are more than twice as high as the national average. If you’re moving here from out of state, you may feel some sticker shock when you start looking for a place to live.

The good news is that other prices are more in line with the national average. Groceries and utilities are only slightly higher than in the rest of the country. Transportation is about 12% higher than the average, and that’s mostly due to California’s high gas and vehicle registration prices.

In other words, if you can afford a home or apartment here, your other expenses should be manageable. However, you will want to keep the cost of living in mind if you’re negotiating a salary. You should make more here than if you were living in a less expensive area.

Planning Your Move to Oceanside

Planning any move is a challenge. The first thing we want to mention is that you should book your moving company as early as possible. San Diego County is a popular destination, and moving companies here are always busy. The same goes for rental trucks if you’re moving from somewhere else in the area.

It’s unlikely you’ll have to worry about rain on your moving day. But, if you’re moving between November and March, you may want to wrap your belongings in plastic and have tarps on hand in case you need them.

It doesn’t get as hot here as it does inland, but a move in the summer months will be more comfortable if you can do it in the morning before the sun as at full strength. That’s particularly important if you plan on moving heavy items by yourself.

You’ll want to get your utilities connected prior to your arrival. Here are some helpful links:

San Diego Gas and Electric (electricity & natural gas)

City of Oceanside (water)

City of Oceanside (trash & recycling)

Xfinity (cable & internet)

We recommend that you rent a storage unit at one of our Oceanside locations. You may also want to check out our Oceanside facilities. Many homes in California lack spacious basements and attics, which can make storing things in your home difficult.

If you’re moving to California from another state, you’ll have just 30 days to obtain a California driver’s license and register your vehicle. You should know that California has some of the strictest emission laws in the country. Most vehicles will need to pass an emissions test before being registered.

California has a full guide for new residents on the DMV website. You can find it here. It includes a driver’s manual and a full list of testing locations for your convenience.

Entertainment and Recreation in Oceanside

It’s nice to know what entertainment options you’ll have in your new home – and we have good news. Oceanside is a great place to live, and you won’t have any trouble finding things to do there.

Let’s start with outdoor activities. Oceanside is famous for its beaches, which are covered in white sand and perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The water here might be a little colder than you think – this part of California is on the Arctic Stream, so don’t be surprised if you see surfers wearing wetsuits even in the warm weather.

San Diego County is one of the best places in the US to golf. There are hundreds of beautiful courses here, both in Oceanside and around the county.

Oceanside has more than 50 parks and recreational areas. Many have sports fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, and walking trails.

Oceanside has several world-class restaurants and live music venues. While driving in Southern California is never what we’d call easy, it’s also within a reasonably easy distance of San Diego’s famed Gaslight District, where you can find hundreds of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Finally, we want to mention a few other things of interest in San Diego County. Balboa Park, located in downtown San Diego, is the nation’s largest municipal park. It’s home to many of San Diego’s museums, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.


Planning any move is a challenge, but this information in this guide will ensure that you have what you need to make a smooth transition to your new home in beautiful Oceanside.