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  • Steve Marcotte,

Museum shopping

​The gift shop at California Surf Museum and the Museum Store at the Oceanside Museum of Art are treasure troves of California surf culture and fine art just waiting to be discovered.

Two Oceanside museums are not only fun to visit but also great places to find that unique souvenir or special local gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life. From clothing to jewelry and fine art, you may be surprised at what you will find in the gift shop at the California Surf Museum (CSM), 312 Pier View Way, and the Museum Store inside the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA), 704 Pier View Way.

California Surf Museum

“What we are trying to do is not be a surf shop,” said Camille Cacas, manager of the gift shop inside the California Surf Museum. “We carry museum-quality gifts that are not outrageously priced.”

In the gift shop, you will find paintings from local artists and classic surf posters. “I think the posters of the VW Bus are becoming more popular than the classic Woodie,” Cacas said.

The museum shop features books on surf culture, cookbooks, travel books, even a combination cookbook/travel book, “First We Surf Then We Eat” written by California Surf Museum President Jim Kempton.

“This book will make a great gift. He has interlaced travel stories and photos with different recipes,” Cacas said. They also spotlight books from various authors who have held a book signing at the museum.

The gift shop also carries ukuleles, which sell out quickly, along with another best seller, hoodies and T-shirts featuring the CSM iconic Silver Surfer logo.

Many items in the shop have a connection to what is on display inside the museum itself.

“People like to buy various replicas of Bethany Hamilton’s surfboard, which is on display at the museum and is our No. 1 draw,” Cacas said. At age 13, professional surfer Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm in a shark attack and her story was told in the movie “Soul Surfer.”

“I want everything I bring in here to have a connection to the ocean,” Cacas said.

Oceanside Museum of Art

Bringing in quality merchandise is likewise a priority for Alan Endean, manager of the Museum Store at the Oceanside Museum of art.

“We have items that are completely unique,” Endean explained. “People use to call this a gift shop but it is a Museum Store. It’s part of the museum and has to reflect what’s going on in the museum as a whole. We have everything from books and jewelry to things that almost defy categorization.”

“We are working on pulling together more things that relate to what we are showing in the galleries,” said Executive Director Maria Mingalone. “It has been really successful for us.”

Not only does the merchandise reflect what’s on display in the museum, but it’s also a reflection of the people who work and volunteer there along with the people of San Diego’s north county.

“Apart from what correlates with the galleries, about 90 percent of the store is all local north county artists, including works from many of the people who volunteer here. Anything that’s made locally, that’s new, unusual, you can’t buy other places and isn’t mass produced, we will find a place to sell it,” Endean said. “We don’t have the card with an ocean picture and I love Oceanside stamped on it. People who want to find something for Christmas, a birthday, whatever, you know you can come over here and get something that no one else is going to get. Our items are tactile, a part of remembering your visit to Oceanside or the Museum.”

Along with being able to find that unique gift or souvenir at these museum stores, your purchases help support the artists and these Oceanside cultural treasures.

To find out more about the stores, visit and

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