San Diego, CA

Best Runs in the Oceanside Area

Mark Lowenstein

Oceanside is the northernmost coastal city in greater San Diego, known for Harbor Beach, palm-lined marina walk, and festive path along Strand Beach. Here’s our selection of the best places to run in Oceanside:

Oceanside Marina. Mark Lowenstein

The Strand Beach Path. A festive paved path along Strand Beach goes for ~1 mile from Wisconsin Ave. to Breakwater Way. Combine with a jaunt out to the Oceanside Pier for a nearly 2-mile one-way run with ocean views the whole way! If doing an out and back, we recommend running on S. Pacific Ave. for one of the directions — there are nice ocean views! For a longer run, connect to our Harbor route or San Luis Rey Bike Trail (below). ROUTE MAP

Harbor Beach/Marina Route. This is a scenic run incorporating a jaunt out to the palm-lined Harborside Beach, and then the scenic path alongside the Oceanside Marina. The route starts at the north end of the Strand Path (for those who want to do an extension of the Strand Route), using N Pacific St. to cross over the river. Run the path out to the beach, then retrace your steps to do the 1.5-mile path along South Harbor & North Harbor. Combining with the Strand is 8-10 miles. ROUTE MAP

San Luis Rey River Trail. Mark Lowenstein

San Luis Rey River Trail. This is the longest paved multi-use path north of San Diego. The path runs for 8.9 miles from Neptune Way in the center of Oceanside to N Santa Fe Ave. at Guajome Park. The first 2 miles from Oceanside wind through a bit of a tangle of freeways, but then is awat from the main roads as it winds its way through the residential area of the north valley. Headed east, it’s pleasantly open and scenic, with views of the mountains. There are markers every 0.2 miles. Longer option: connect to Guajome Regional Park (below).  Note: no water or restrooms along the way.

Guajome Regional Park. This is a nice green space inland from the ocean. There are 4.5 miles of multi-use trails meandering through diverse Southern California habitats such as woodlands, chaparral, wetlands and mixed grasslands. There are two ponds and a fitness station area. The trails are mainly gravel-surfaced, with good footing, and rolling hill type terrain.

To connect to the park from the eastern terminus of the San Luis Rey River Trail, follow the dirt path below Highway 76 and connect through a tunnel to the park.   TRAIL MAP

Guajome Regional Park Willow Trail. Google Street View

Beach Running. One can run along the beach in Oceanside. There are sections of the beach that are a bit narrow, depending on season, surf, and tides. The Harbor Beach section at the north end is widest.



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