San Clemente Travel Guide

  • View from the San Clemente pier
    View from the San Clemente pier
    by cnango
  • Lifeguard Tower is closed. You're on your own.
    Lifeguard Tower is closed. You're on...
    by anacapa
  • Sports & Outdoors
    by cnango

San Clemente Highlights

  • Pro
    marinarena profile photo

    marinarena says…

     lesser unknown, so generally less crowded; nice people 

  • Con
    anacapa profile photo

    anacapa says…

     sunburns, too many hawaiian shirts 

  • In a nutshell
    bitchin profile photo

    bitchin says…

     rad 

San Clemente Things to Do

  • Max Berg Plaza Park

    History: On September 2nd, 1927 the El Heraldo de San Clemente, the local newspaper, read: Contract for four tiled fountains, brooks and a pool for Oriental birds in the plaza has been let to Strang Bros.Twelve-foot octagonal tiled fountains are to occupy the four corners of the pool, which will be in continuous flow, spilling water through four...

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  • Historic City Hall~Oscar Easley Building...

    This 9,845-square-foot building has Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1929 building was never actually City Hall, but a past owner branded it that way years ago. Historic City Hall has had many uses, including housing a bank, the City Clerk's Office and the offices of Oscar Easley, a...

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  • Old City Plaza

    We stopped in here to find a place to eat, but many of the establishments were not open or under renovations.History: Soon after San Clemente ( The Spanish Village by the Sea) was incorporated, the need for a "Fire House" was realized. The headlines in San Clemente’s first newspaper, "El Heraldo de San Clemente" June, 1928 read: "Building to house...

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  • San Clemente Beach Trails

    The San Clemente Beach Trails is a 2.3 mile long that connects North Beach to Calafia Beach with stops along the way at the Pier and T-Street. The day we were there, it was being enjoyed by walkers, joggers, families with their children, casual cyclists and folks walking their dogs. Lots of beautiful views and foliage to enjoy.Bicyclist’s Tips:...

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  • Beach Volleyball

    This area is near the pier, but at North Beach ~There is very easy access to the beach here with a snack bar and playground equipment, this is a great beach. Nice beachfront and playground even in the winter or take the train to the beach, this is the place, as an Amtrak/Metro link station here too. The surf is moderate to good with a nice sandy...

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  • San Clemente Pier

    Built in 1928, this 1,296 foot long wooden pier was built to be ultilize as a municipal fishing and pleasure pier that was constructed at no cost to local citizens. In 1939, and again in 1983, strong storms damaged the pier requiring it to be rebuilt. A hurricane in 1939 destroyed the pier which included a cafe, tackle shop and Owl Boat Co. It was...

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  • Pier Fishing

    Since the piers opening in 1928, it has been a favorite spot of local fishing enthusiasts. Here you may catch a variety of fish such as corbina, spotfin croaker, yellowfin croaker, sargo, barred surfperch, guitarfish, various rays, small sharks, white croaker, queenfish, halibut, sand bass, silver & walleye surfperch, sculpin (California...

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  • Surfing

    San Clemente home to many sufers because of having swells all year long from South to North. It is also home to many surfing magazines, shops, school and surf board shapers.Here is a site that gives you a real time view of the weather conditionsFor (example) it will give you:*Low Tide -> 1:49 AM at 1.0 *High Tide -> 7:45 AM at 4.9 *Low Tide...

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  • Enjoy the Views!

    We stayed till the sun started going down. What beautiful views. A really great place to relax and spend the day walking along the pier or even the beach. We enjoyed the walking and biking trail. Such beautiful scenery.

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San Clemente Hotels

San Clemente Restaurants

  • At the end of the San Clemente Pier

    Located right on the pier is a wonderful establishment that offers some great choices of foods to enjoy.Hours: winter: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays; summer: 9 a.m. to sunset dailyOn the menu:FOOD:• Cheeseburger Combo (cheeseburger, fries and a drink): $7.95• Clam...

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  • Beauty by the sea!

    We ate here and it was absolutely delightful. The service was good and the food very tasty. We had the Fish and Chips served with steak fries, Cole slaw and sourdought bread. We really enjoyed our view of the ocean and especially the pier.

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  • Tasty Fish Tacos

    Pedro's is a local taco stand that offers very good fish tacos and other mexican food treats. It has a surf theme with a walk up window and a drive-through. The fish tacos are great, and I've been wanting to try the fried chicken burrito.This is the place to go for good comfort food.There are two locations in San Clemente, and one each in Fallbrook...

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  • Great Seafood

    Great ocean front dining, good food and drinks. Located on the historic San Clemente Pier. The glassed-in decks over the breaking white water are awesome especially on abeautiful summer day. Love the swordfish - what you see on the photo. Their "trestle" cocktail is really good. Try it.

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  • coffee house in a historic setting

    This is a picturesque spot to enjoy a cup of coffee or a morning bagel. The cafe is very low key, very casual. You stand in line to order. Sandwiches are served in a paper-lined plastic basket. The court yard and the interior lobby are very classic old California. Though the chairs in the courtyard are plastic, etc., the charm of the location is...

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  • Watch the sunset over the Pacific

    The restaurant is low key, casual. There are lots of tables outside. Chairs at the outdoor tables are white plastic, garden variety. There are clear wind barriers that make sitting outdoors enjoyable on windier days. This place is very comfortable and casual. The wait staff is very friendly. The menu offers a variety of dishes in a nice range of...

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San Clemente Nightlife

  • Dinner and a Play in San Clemente

    On the corner of Ola Vista and Aveneda Cabrillo in San Clemente is the little community theater, the Cabrillo Playhouse.It is a small theater with only 66 seats, so you are not far from the stage in any seat. Broadway plays and musicals are performed here about 6 times a year.

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  • Best live music

    Live music 6 nights a week and some pretty good bands. Usually have reggae on FRiday nights. Check the website for schedules.Or, you can try Gordon James on Fri/Sat nights. They are a bit mellower - classic rock and jazz.

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  • Tropicana Bar and Grill

    This is a neat place to hang out at at the end of the day with friends. 1 pool table.karaoke on thursdays,weekend dancing and entertainment. very relaxed,in the daytime a swimsuit will do at night t-shirt and jeans.

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San Clemente Transportation

  • Amtrak Train Station

    Located right next to the pier. This line covers (RED) Inland Empire-Orange County Line& (Orange) Orange County Line.615 Avenida Victoria San Clemente, CA 92672Take I-5 S, follow signs for Soto St/Santa Ana/State Hwy 60 E/Pomona, Exit 75 Ave Palizada toward San Clemente, Right onto E Avenida Palizada, Take the 2nd left onto N El Camino Real, Turn...

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  • Parking

    All Parking Machines (2 Pier Bowl), (2 Linda Lane), (3 North Beach) are now equipped to take credit cards.All parking is $1.50 per hour for those hours designated on the back of the meters. Annual parking permits are available for $50 for San Clemente residents and $100 for non-residents.The City has 6 primary parking areas near the beach:Calafia...

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  • Arrive via train

    San Clemente is one of the most lovely stops along the Pacific Surfline of Amtrak. Actually, at two points in SC, one can arrive directly at the beach. The northern stop is at :San Clemente (Commuter) Station1850 Avenida EstacionSan Clemente, CA 92672* Note: The Amtrak train does NOT stop here.The other stop in SC is at :Pier Station615 Avenida...

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San Clemente Shopping

  • Shopping by the sea!

    There are lots of wonderful shops located right across from the pier.Schmid's Fine Chocolates99 Avenida Del MarSan Clemente, CA (949)Hand Made Fine Chocolates.Cindy's Swimwear98 Avenida Del MarSan Clemente, CA 92672Swimwear and accessories. Bikinis, one piece suits and beach cover-ups. Tops sizes from AA to DD. You will find Cindy's at the top of...

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  • Ripcurl Outlet Store

    Rip Curl outlet store for surf gear and beach apparel. wetsuits, rash guards, swim suits, summer clothing, flip flops, sunglasses On June 1, 2008, I paid $14 for a $29 pair of shorts, and $12 for a $26 tank. Great discounted prices.

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  • "Shabby Chic" style in San Clemente

    An eclectic mix of cards, pottery, pillows, soaps, lotions and knick knacks. I could have gotten lost in there for hours just looking at her selection of greeting cards. The shop owner has done an exceptional job of selecting items that you don't see everywhere. One of the items I purchased was an old fashioned flour sack dish towel. The towel is...

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San Clemente Warnings and Dangers

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    by Yaqui Updated Mar 24, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is a "under ground passage to the pier (see photo" so please use! Yet, the easier route or walkway is the path to the pier crosses a train crossing (see photo) and also along the beach trails. Although a crossing guard comes down, folks still try to cross the track. I saw and thought these folks were crazy. Especially when they had children with them. Not exactly a good example:( So when you are down here, use the under ground passage please (see photo!

    An article:
    Amtrak train kills San Clemente pedestrian
    By SEAN EMERY / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

    SAN CLEMENTE – A pedestrian was struck and killed by an Amtrak train on Monday afternoon, authorities said. Deputies shortly before 4:30 p.m. responded to reports of a train striking a pedestrian on the tracks near Camino Capistrano and El Camino Real, said Lt. Joe Balicki of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
    The pedestrian, who authorities have identified only as a 54-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene.
    Investigators are interviewing witnesses, including the conductor, Balicki said.
    Witnesses reported that the man walked onto the tracks before being struck by the southbound train, Lt. Dan Dwyer said.
    Investigators have not determined whether the man intentionally stepped in front of the train.
    The collision forced railway officials to close down the tracks for Amtrak and Metrolink traffic as investigators went over the scene, stranding some riders for hours. Several OCTA buses were used to transport Metrolink riders between the Laguna Niguel and Oceanside stations.
    The death is the latest in a series of fatalities involving pedestrians struck by trains in the past year.
    In July, August and September, six pedestrians were struck and killed by trains in North County. In October, a Capistrano Beach man was struck and killed by a train in Dana Point.http://www.ocregister.com/articles/train-381621-pedestrian-struck.html

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    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

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San Clemente Off The Beaten Path

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    Casa Romantica

    by marinarena Written May 31, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Known by many residents but often missed by most outsiders is a gem of a cultural center just walking distance from the shore.
    Casa Romantica is a beautiful 2 1/2 acre home that is a setting for small town artistic expression and entertainment. It is one of southern California's lesser known institution for exploring local ,state and national history. Vieweing the old Spanish charm of the architecture here is enough reason to stop by.

    In Early Summer, there is a special exhibition honoring the recovery, especially at the World Trade Center after the tragedy of 9/11.

    Casa Romantica has the only west coast showing of the exhibit Recovery: The World Trade Center Recoverry Operation!

    415 Avenida Granada, 92672

    See website for all events at the center.

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    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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San Clemente Sports & Outdoors

  • Surfing at San Clemente

    San Clemente has the most surf spots in California. And with it's mild weather and great swells, the beaches of San Clemente can be enjoyed all year round.:

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  • Biking

    Great place to start a bike ride up PCH heading north or down through San Onofre to the South. If you head south you can ride all the way to San Diego through Camp Pendleton and at least 1/3 of this ride is pretty free of auto traffic.

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  • San Clemente Hotels

    22 Hotels in San Clemente

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San Clemente Favorites

  • San Clemente Police Service

    These are retired Senior Volunteers who provide services to the citizens of San Clemente. The provide services such as:Vacation Home ChecksVisit to the homebound as part of the "You Are Not Alone Program" aka the YANA ProgramTraffic and Crowd ControlVehicle Code EnforcementFoot Patrol in Business AreaPACT: “Police and Community Together” House in...

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  • Marina Safety Buidling

    Marine Safety Division is to help ensure that visitors to the beach have a safe and enjoyable day. This is achieved through providing for water rescue services, first aid, minor law enforcement, and various public education programs focusing on ocean safety. The Marine Safety Division is also responsible for assisting with environmental issues...

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  • San Clemente Street Fair (End of Summer)

    Taking the train (Amtrak) right to "Main Shore", the place to be in SC. Recommended by one of my brothers, I have enjoyed the San Clemente Street Fair in the past few years. It's nothing so special, as there are many street fest during the summer in SoCal, but this one has been particularly fun for me. Locals come together for good food, wine and...

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