Oceanside Harbor and Camp Pendleton

OCEANSIDE — San Diego County’s northernmost harbor is soon approaching its 60th anniversary – the landmark arrives in 2023 – but did you know a recreational boating destination in Oceanside initially met with opposition from an arm of the federal government.

An Oceanside historian noted the city looked into the possibility of a harbor back in 1949. Proposals, however, met with pushback from the military personnel at Camp Pendleton, which is adjacent to the northwestern Oceanside coastline.

Opposition thawed about nine years later, when federal military officials signaled a willingness to build a harbor in the shadows of Camp Pendleton. Plans finally came to fruition in 1959, when a delegation from Camp Pendleton met with Oceanside’s leadership and congressional representatives to designate the area where a new harbor would be built.

A harbor district was created in 1960, followed by a groundbreaking in early 1961. The harbor itself was completed in June 1963 – with a price tag of $7 million. Oceanside Yacht Club was founded a few months later. Groundbreaking on the Cape Cod-style village occurred in 1964.

The $7 million price tag to build Oceanside Harbor, when adjusting for inflation, would cost nearly $57.5 million today, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The harbor district eventually merged with City Hall, as Oceanside Harbor becoming a city entity in 1993.

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