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Get Out of Town!
Late Dose of Summer Sun and Sand
August, 2014 - Issue #118
If you're looking for a late-summer dose of sun and sand, or just do-nothing seclusion, Oceanside has something new to consider.

Marriott opened a waterfront Springhill Suites in Oceanside earlier this year. It's an ideal base camp for a weekend in northern San Diego County. Whether you're traveling as a couple and looking for mellow, or you've got the whole crew and your itinerary is theme-park-and-zoo manic.

Just steps from the pier, the beach is an easy stroll in one direction. Downtown, with attractions like the California Surf Museum, is equally accessible by foot in the opposite direction. And Legoland and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are just a little further south. But since we were seeking to escape the manic at home and find mellow at the beach, we found there's really no need to leave the hotel.

"The rooftop swimming pool puts you above the buzz of the street, with a sizable deck where you can STRETCH OUT on a lounge chair and soak in some Vitamin D."
Our spacious ocean-view king was the perfect place to do nothing more taxing than relaxing. With the glass patio door left open to catch an ocean breeze, we were content to just lounge and let the afternoon unwind over a bottle of wine.

If you're in search of sunshine, that's also available without leaving the property. The rooftop swimming pool puts you above the buzz of the street, with a sizable deck where you can stretch out on a lounge chair and soak in some Vitamin D. And the adjacent spa offers panoramic views of Oceanside and the beach.

The property also features a new beach-themed eatery, so when you're hungry, there's no need to head anywhere else. Hello Betty Fish House sits at the corner of Mission and Myers, giving you a front-row seat for people-watching as beach-goers head to and from Oceanside's sand and pier.

Roll-up doors open wide, creating an airy space that feels as if it's one big patio, whether you're sitting outside like we were, or at one of the many tables inside. There is also a second-floor roof-top lounge with a full bar, limited menu service and couch seating.

Hello Betty is a bustling, come-as-you-are kind of place. Whether you're decked out for a night out, or you just rinsed the sand off your feet at the hotel's foot wash station, you'll feel at home. Especially after you order one of their signature cocktails.

April chose Beach Break Therapy, a sweet mix of Hangar 1 Kaffir Lime, Sugar Island Coconut Rum, pineapple, lime and bitters. I'm always on the lookout for tasty draught beer, so I opted for something I hadn't tried before - Rough Draft Belgian Vanilla Stout.

From ceviche to Scottish salmon, the menu justifies the inclusion of "fish house" in the restaurant's name. But there is something to satisfy everyone, beef-eaters and vegetarians alike.

Tacos are popular, so I went with one pork belly and one mahi mahi. Both were generously sized and piled high with meat. April went all-fish, ordering the grilled mahi mahi with salsa verde.

We finished dinner just before sunset. Rather than end our evening with dessert, we headed for the hotel's rooftop spa, and more of what we'd gone searching for that weekend. Coastal overcast had settled in, bringing a chill to the air. But the spa was bubbling and warm, and we settled in to enjoy the view - a bird's-eye panorama of the surrounding city, the glowing lights of the pier marching toward the horizon - and the chance to exchange manic for mellow.

Eric Harnish lives in Castaic, a famous taco destination in its own right.

Make the Trip
Marriott Springhill Suites
760-722-1003

Hello Betty Fish House
760- 722-1008
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