1. Experience the quieter side of harbor life on a romantic Moonlight Paddle. Depending on the ocean level, test your flexibility as you glide via kayak beneath a street bridge or two (hint, you’ll want to be as “laid back” as possible). Oceanside Harbor. Guided tours offered by City of Oceanside Parks and Recreation Division. 760-435-5041.
2. Make like a seabird and view city and coast by helicopter. Waverider Helicopter Tours founder and chief pilot Kurt Dawson provides a smooth ride while pointing out sites like Charlie’s house from the movie Top Gun and St. Malo, an uber-exclusive enclave built in the 1930s to resemble a village in Normandy, France. 760-691-9144.
3. At Apotheque Lifestyle Spa, folks can create personal oil fragrances, andshop the on-site boutique. 322 N. Cleveland Street. 760-967-7727.
4. Learn about the evolution of surfboards—from wooden plank boards to fiberglass boards to the short-board revolution—at the California Surf Museum. Browse surfboard wax collected from the past 50 years, see Bethany Hamilton’s shark-bitten board, and shop the surf-themed gift shop. 312 Pier View Way. 760-721-6876.
5. Take a two-hour whale-watching excursion on Oceanside Adventure’s 50-foot catamaran while tour operators share their extensive knowledge of whales and whale-migration habits. 256 Harbor Drive S. 888-507-1130.