With a new innovative beachside playground, Buccaneer Beach won’t be Oceanside’s off-the-beaten-path beach for long. Families can hang out local-style at the small sandy beach, crazy climbing structures or basketball courts and even eat at the cafe across the street.

Atmosphere: Tourists don’t usually find Buccaneer Beach, as they’re usually headed to Oceanside Pier or Oceanside Harbor. It’s close to private homes, so beachgoers are mostly “O-side” locals — mainly surfers and those looking for a little privacy. The shaded park is a great spot to picnic and play after a few hours at the beach.

Parking and Entrance: Park in the free Buccaneer Park lot or on the street. The walk-in entrance to the beach is right across the street from Buccaneer Galley.

Nice Walks and Views: With a baby carrier, you could walk on the sand and check out the houses lining the beach. You can also see a beautiful sunset from the park.

Activities for Toddlers: Keep your toddler and older kids happy by letting them explore the cool playground, grass area, and nearby lagoon. The play structure was completely redone in 2013, and has a Kompan ropes course, fast slides and a spinning apparatus. Train tracks run above the park on a hill, so it’s a safe place to watch the trains go by. (Article continues after playground pics)

Bathrooms: Bathrooms (with chemical toilets) are attached to the cafe.

Perks for Parents: Basketball with a beach view, beginner surfing.

Where to Stay with Kids: Nothing within walking distance. Best Western Oceanside Inn is pretty close, and right off the 5 freeway. Microwaves and free breakfast.

Baby-friendly Restaurants: Hot meals are served al fresco at the small café, Buccaneer Galley, a few notches above a concession stand. The Galley is open for breakfast and lunch, and is popular for an after-surf coffee. Beach Break Café is just a bit south on Coast Hwy.; wait can be long but take out is available.

What Else to Do: Thursdays evenings, head to Sunset Farmer’s Market for entertainment and treats. California Surf Museum is near Oceanside Pier.