Oceanside is the beach town that will make you rethink what it means to relax. During our recent family Oceanside getaway, our mission was to simply check in and relax. And The Seabird Resort delivered this in spades.
Oceanside welcomed The Seabird and its neighboring sister property, Mission Pacific Hotel, in May 2021. As the largest beach development in San Diego County in 50 years, both hotels majestically stand as a testament to a game-changing new era for Oceanside as a Southern California travel destination.
If the thought “I really need a vacation from my vacation” has ever crossed your mind, you should consider spending a weekend at The Seabird or Mission Pacific. The unparalleled ease and effortlessness of a stay at Oceanside’s newest hotels is like a breath of fresh seaside air. And the chic hotel atmosphere coupled with Oceanside’s laid-back spirit was the perfect recipe for our weekend of relaxation.
This is such a great getaway for Angelenos with kids because it offers refreshingly easy access from L.A., along with the possibility of a car-free vacation. I highly recommend booking tickets on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train from Union Station in L.A. to Oceanside. Taking the trai is a wonderful travel alternative because it allows you to relax during this two-hour coastal ride and avoid all the traffic. Additionally, The Seabird and Mission Pacific are nestled just one block from the Amtrak station, and there’s even an on-site concierge service to transport guests’ bags from the train station.
And best of all, once you arrive, you can fully immerse yourself in the stress-free comfort of a car-free holiday. There’s no need to drive anywhere because everything you need is within a four-block radius of both hotels. And they are across the street from a beachside playground! Just plop and drop at these properties, then rest assured that there’s abundant playtime for all. You really can’t do any better for a family-friendly Southern California escape.
Where to stay
Guests of both The Seabird and Mission Pacific can enjoy access to the public spaces and programs at either property, so it’s really like one integrated destination within itself. And with so many options for family-friendly activities, luxe amenities and entertainment, it’s the perfect parental plop and drop in a super chic but not pretentious setting.
There’s delicious dining venues, a family-friendly beach setup adjacent to Oceanside Pier Playground, rooftop pool decks, an art gallery, a library/game room for relaxing, fire pits with iconic ocean views for cocktail and snack time, shopping, a spa escape and assistance all around to get everyone (especially mom!) refreshed and ready to go again.
Fun activities for the whole family
Alongside an easy beach setup and cozy pool area that’s well-suited for families, The Seabird provides an impressive array of thoughtfully planned activities to keep kids ages 4-14 engaged as part of the “Little Seabirds” program. From seashell and rock panting to treasure hunts and kite flying, playtime abounds. And for a parent’s night out, The Seabird also offers a supervised Kid’s Club on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
For family pool time, I would recommend renting a private pool cabana as a fun treat. The cabana detail really made our pool day an event and gave us a respite to ourselves. Even if the pool area is crowded, you’ll still feel like you have your own personal lounge area that’s yours to keep congregating back to all day.
Our family beach day was also a breeze thanks to the resort’s Beach Rambler kiosk where you can reserve complimentary chairs and umbrellas that their team sets up. Unwind after your beach day with some evening snacks and refreshing drinks around the hotel’s gas fire pits.
A chic seaside escape
One of the major highlights was checking in to Sunny’s Spa at The Seabird for a blissful massage. Getting pampered and renewed with a spa escape is exactly what any mom needs on vacation—the MVP of relaxation. I felt so at peace in the spa’s light and airy lounge area with stunning Pacific views that I never wanted to leave. Surrounded by shades of blue repeating everywhere — underfoot, in my eyes and the glistening Pacific Ocean, I felt a calmness that was like hitting the reset button.
Mission Pacific’s swanky Rooftop Bar was just the ticket to celebrate and enjoy some tasty cocktails, glorious Pacific views and gorgeous sunsets. And if you’re looking for some shopping, head to The Ozone gift shop at The Mission Pacific to pick up some stylish items.
Where to eat
Within the Seabird, head to Piper for dinner and check out their inventive made-to-order pasta station with a fun open-kitchen design. At Mission Pacific, sample some breakfast classics and casual midday eats at HIGH/LOW. This chill oceanfront café was the perfect vantage point to enjoy a lazy brunch and to watch surfers catching waves. And to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can’t miss out on the High Pie shop at The Mission Pacific’s interior courtyard. This pie shop is housed in the charming Victorian cottage that was featured in the 1986 movie “Top Gun.”
From dining to recreation, everything you need for some easy-breezy family fun time is all within these two fabulous hotels. It’s the perfect car-free vacation and the perfect spot to experience maximum fun with minimum fuss and some much-deserved relaxation next to the sea.
Margot Black is a travel writer and mom based in L.A.