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Ocean Hills is a quiet, residential neighborhood in San Diego's sprawling North County. With its beautiful hills and proximity to the ocean, this neighborhood combines the best of suburban life with a rural vibe that lets you buy fresh strawberries from roadside stands and stop for a unique beer at one of the area's many top-notch boutique breweries. Glossing over all of it is that laid-back, beachside vibe -- with plenty of surf, sand, and sun.

Ocean Hills also contains the Ocean Hills Country Club, a master-planned, upscale community for those 55 and up that's often confused for the Ocean Hills neighborhood in casual conversation. Access to San Diego proper to the south takes about an hour either by train or car.

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Rent Trends

As of September 2017, the average apartment rent in Oceanside, CA is $1,719 for one bedroom, $1,905 for two bedrooms, and $2,380 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Oceanside has increased by 8.1% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
1 BR
671
$1,719
2 BR
893
$1,905
3 BR
1,115
$2,380
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

35 Walk Score® Car-Dependent
19 Transit Score® Minimal Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

Many of the restaurants in the Ocean Hills area cluster around South Melrose Drive in Vista. Head that way when you're looking for basic, casual choices featuring Italian, Mexican, Japanese, or American food. Give Sushi on the Edge a try when you want good sushi served with locally bottled beers. Located in a nearby strip mall, this shop's small size belies the huge selection of sushi items. Choose the coco crunch roll, spicy salmon roll or riceless "monkey brain" roll. If you're not in the mood for sushi, check out the chicken teriyaki or daily fresh fish specials.

If you head out to the Oceanside Pier, you can enjoy a day of fishing, then head to the end of the pier and dine at Ruby's -- a small café with a fantastic ocean view. Oceanside Pier is the longest wooden pier on the West Coast.

Everyone in San Diego knows that the best tacos can often be found in the most humble places. Take advantage of this fact in Ocean Hills from local neighborhood taco shops, such as Juniors Taco Shop, where locals love the carne asada fries, or Super Taco, where diners praise the fish tacos and breakfast burritos. Ocean Hills residents who have special occasions to celebrate typically hop on Route 78 and head west to Carlsbad.

As a quiet, bedroom community, Ocean Hills doesn't sport any bars or lounges of its own, but you can find plenty of choices once you venture a little further afield, with many noted breweries close by in Vista. Check out the Belching Beaver Brewery's peanut butter milk stout when you feel adventurous, and grab a bottle or two to take home and pour over ice cream. Mother Earth Brew Co. serves flights of beers, making it easy to check out the Cali' Creamin' vanilla cream ale or Kismet IPA. Head west to Carlsbad or Oceanside or east to San Marcos if you're looking for live music venues.

History

The area around Ocean Hills was part of one of the great ranchos of California during the 1880s and remained largely agricultural for decades, covered by vineyards until Prohibition forced them to close. The population exploded in the 1960s and beyond as many apartment complexes and housing developments sprung up throughout the area.

Immediately north of Ocean Hills, you'll find the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum. Future engineers and the mechanically minded find this museum fascinating; make sure you ask for the tour of the workroom.

The Vista area celebrates its agricultural roots with the Vista Strawberry Festival at harvest time each June. Take part in the 5K/10K run, and then join the fun with some strawberry pizza, deep-fried strawberries and local beers.

Transportation

The North County Transit District uses nearby downtown Vista as one of its major hubs to carry people around San Diego's North County area, but no bus service comes into the Ocean Hills neighborhood. As a result, most residents rely on their own cars for transportation. While taxis or airport shuttles are available by phone out of Carlsbad or Oceanside, Uber hasn't really penetrated this far inland. However, Amtrak's Coaster train runs into downtown San Diego, and the Sprinter light rail line takes you eastward toward Escondido.

Route 78 connects Ocean Hills locals to Interstate 15 in the east, giving them access to California's Inland Empire, Palm Springs and ultimately Las Vegas, while Interstate 5 is just a short hop to the west, leading south to San Diego proper as well as north to Orange County and Los Angeles. Abundant free parking makes it easy to get around locally. Because the area tends to be very hilly, few people commute by bicycle or on foot, even though streets are safe for both types of low-tech transport.

Cost

The cost of living in Ocean Hills sits right at the average for San Diego. While the homes in Ocean Hills Country Club are restricted to those 55 and over, other residents find themselves paying about $1,470 for a one-bedroom apartment, though most apartments in the neighborhood tend to have two or more bedrooms.

The North County Transit District's Breeze bus service can take you all around North County, from Oceanside to Escondido, for $1.75 per ride. If you need to head downtown, hop the Coaster for $5.50 each way, including free transfers to the Breeze buses. When you decide to drive your own car, expect to pay about 11 percent above the national average for a gallon of gas. Once you're home and ready for a beer, expect to pay $5 or $6 for a locally brewed beer, and you can even find a flight of beers for that same $5.

Shopping

For significant shopping, most Ocean Hills residents head west to Carlsbad, where they can hit up the Westfield Carlsbad mall or, to save money and find unexpected treasures, head to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, where high-end stores including Barneys New York, Michael Kors and Kate Spade share space with outlets from Banana Republic, Crate and Barrel, and many others.

Closer to home, take care of all your hobby needs at RC Hobbies on Melrose Drive. The staff here really know what they're talking about, so you can get the help you need to make the right choices, whether you're into remote control cars, aerials or boats.

The Indian Store in Vista carries an enormous selection of Native American books and music. Choose from beautiful leather goods, jewelry and baskets, or take the time to sit down for a free class teaching how to make a dream weaver.

With Albertsons and handy to the Ocean Hills neighborhood and Trader Joes not far away, locals find it easy to get their grocery shopping done. Head to Frazier Farms in Vista for organic produce and bulk items. The store also features a deli, a juice bar, and fresh sushi, and the prices are always delightfully reasonable. The Vista Farmers Market opens its doors every Saturday morning. Grab a watermelon lemonade while you shop, and don't forget to look for the fresh fish selections in the back. Stop by Couple Berry Farms just down the road to pick up seasonal produce right at the farm. Locals rave about the strawberries, squash, and tomatoes.

Parks

Ocean Hills itself doesn't have any parks within its borders, other than the golf course attached to the Ocean Hills Country Club retirement community. However, the rolling hills of inland North County are home to several parks very nearby.

Head to Buena Vista Park when you want to go for a hike down peaceful, well-maintained trails. This low-key park also has picnic tables available as well as a duck pond. Dog owners love this park, but make sure to keep your four-legged friend on a leash and clean up after him.

Oak Riparian Park contains bike trails that connect to paths leading all the way to Carlsbad. Two age-delineated playgrounds and a soccer field make this free park popular with families.

A little further south, Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park provides a look at California's history. Take the tour that explains all the buildings, enjoy all the peacocks walking around and make sure to come back every December for the Christmas tree lighting. Check out the summer outdoor movie schedule as well.

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Shadowridge Heights
1510 S Melrose Dr, Vista, CA 92081
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Apartments for Rent in Ocean Hills, Oceanside, CA

Ocean Hills is a quiet, residential neighborhood in San Diego's sprawling North County. With its beautiful hills and proximity to the ocean, this neighborhood combines the best of suburban life with a rural vibe that lets you buy fresh strawberries from roadside stands and stop for a unique beer at one of the area's many top-notch boutique breweries. Glossing over all of it is that laid-back, beachside vibe -- with plenty of surf, sand, and sun.

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