Oceanside is the third largest city in San Diego County, with a population of 173,303. Together with Carlsbad and Vista, Oceanside forms the Tri-City area. U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, the nation's busiest military base, is situated just north of Oceanside. Within the past two decades, commercial and economic development has helped to diversify the city's economy, leading to the subsequent population boom. Oceanside's consistent growth is estimated to put its population above 250,000 by the year 2020.
The architecture of Oceanside consists primarily of Spanish Missionary styles. Almost all of the buildings in the city have arches, columns and bell domes. Other attractions in Oceanside include the California Surf Museum; the Oceanside Pier, which is the longest wooden pier on the West Coast; the bungalow featured in the movie Top Gun; the nature grounds of Mount Ecclesia and the spiritual temple called The Ecclesia, which sits atop a high mesa; and Legoland California in Carlsbad, which is easily accessible via Oceanside's Amtrak station.
When the lights go out, Oceanside comes out to play. Dining and nightlife in this city is an experience in itself. Popular nighttime hangouts include the The Haunted Head Saloon, a pirate-themed cross between a dive bar and a salty saloon; The Rusty Spur, the major billiards bar in Oceanside; McCabe's Beach Club, a hot spot for karaoke; and The Surf Bowl, Oceanside's only bowling alley. With its diverse beach community atmosphere, Oceanside has a wide variety of entertainment options to satisfy any taste.