If you are driving up or down coastal Pacific Street in Oceanside and you aren’t looking for it- you can blink and miss Buccaneer Beach. The locals who know and love this spot don’t mind it that way.
This tucked away spot offers a rare bounty of conveniences for parents and little ones: beach with a lifeguard tower, a playground, green space, public bathrooms, free parking, and a small restaurant and coffee stand all in one very small space. Bonus: It is surrounded by Palm Trees, a waterway with ducks to spot, and the coaster goes by every quarter of an hour to the delight of many a little train enthusiast.
This convenient hub for toddlers and their caretakers is a frequent meeting point for mother runners from the nearby chapter of Stroller Warriors. If you are a part of the Camp Pendleton Stroller Warriors chances are you know the wonders of Buccaneer Beach already. For those of you that have not been plan a meet up with a fellow child wrangler. You can park with ease, caffeinate, and enjoy the choice of beach, grass, or playground.
There is a sizeable parking lot immediately off South Pacific Street. Parking is free and this MilMom has never had any trouble finding an open spot. The lot is closed overnight but opens very early in the morning.
The playground is divided into two major structures that are tailored to different age groups. There is a smaller play structure perfect for toddlers and a larger structure with a very high slide for the bold and agile older siblings. The playground has a lot of equipment that is not standard in many local playgrounds: rope nets to climb, spinning chairs, and a large modern spinning structure reminiscent of a merry-go-round. Immediately behind the playgrounds is the train tracks where the Coaster and the Surfliner glide through periodically. If your little ones like to watch the train this is a perfect spot to view it moving without obstruction.
This very small beach is the smallest beach with a lifeguard tower in Oceanside. The beach is flanked by homes and condos that typically dominate the beachfront in this part of Oceanside. Buccaneer beach is a small-undeveloped window to the Ocean for everyone to enjoy. A nearby waterway empties into the ocean at this site. The relative “smallness” of the beach makes it so your little one can’t wander to far away from eyesight. If you arrive early in the morning there are often surfers within close view.
One of my favorite aspects of visiting Buccaneer Beach is I can get a fresh brewed espresso drink from Buccaneer Café, and if we are hungry a breakfast burrito or Acai bowl. The café opens at 8am every morning. Visiting the beach with my tot and stopping at this café makes the entire experience, in my mind, quintessentially SoCal.