For a relaxing vacation, head to the California Coast and enjoy some time in San Clemente. This lovely city is known as the Spanish Village by the Sea and is perfect for lazing on sandy beaches, exploring its wooden pier, and enjoying the unique Spanish architecture. San Clemente has long been a place to be but now has the reputation for welcoming shoppers who can enjoy some retail therapy at the many boutiques in the Old City Plaza, as well as at local outlets. San Clemente is also home to a variety of restaurants, with enough range for someone looking for something romantic in the Old City Plaza or for someone wanting a family friendly restaurant by the pier.
The San Clemente Pier is a popular fishing stop, and a good place to enjoy the views of the Pacific. Spend the day at San Clemente State Park and adventure on walking trails and sandy beaches. The San Clemente Beach Trail is around 2.3 miles long, and is a popular route to North Beach and Calafia Beach. While surfers come to San Clemente for the waves, there is also the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center that engages more with the historical context of surfing in the area.
The best time to visit San Clemente is during the summer when there is good weather for spending the day at the beach. Make sure to bust out a pair of Rainbow Sandals for the warm temperatures, as the popular flip-flops are headquartered in San Clemente.
For the ultimate Southern California experience, San Clemente is the perfect beach town destination. The beaches in the area are world-class, making the city a hidden gem on the west coast. Located just a short drive from San Diego and Los Angeles, San Clemente is perfectly positioned for a stop-off on a longer road trip or as a destination in itself.
The San Clemente Pier is a real icon, and is a lovely place to visit no matter the time of day. Visitors can dine on the pier and watch the sun set below the waves, offering stunning views of the ocean and San Clemente Beach. The beach is large and golden, perfect for relaxing in the sun, having a bonfire at night, or building sandcastles with the kids (or by yourself, we get it, its fun). While the paths for San Clemente State Beach offer a leisurely stroll, the trails in the hills behind the city are moderately difficult for more serious hikers. Roller Coaster trail is a 4.7-mile loop trail that wanders through the areas rolling hills and wild flowers. Another Patriot Trail and Cerro Rebal Trail extends from the nearby Capistrano Beach and is also moderately difficult but a shorter route of 3.6 miles.
For more breathtaking views of the coastline, take a walk along San Clemente coastal trail. At 2.3-miles long, the route is a popular for biking, walking, and jogging. The ultimate beach hangout is at T Street, one of the best surfing spots in Orange County. Head to T Street for beach access, located south of the pier, and go surfing, boogie boarding, or simply for the laid-back atmosphere. T Street is not the only place to hitch a ride on a wave though. San Clemente is also home to one of the most recognizable breaks. Trestles, as it is called, is easily one of the most legendary surf spots in California. The name Trestles is a general name for 3 separate wave breaks Upper Trestles, Lower Trestles, and Middle Trestles, known colloquially as Uppers, Lowers, and Middles. Uppers and Lowers are bookended by other spots known as Cottons and The Church. Lowers is known to provide the most consistent and best wave. However, when Uppers is on its day it offers long rights, which are easily as satisfying as anything at Lowers, plus the lineup is usually a bit thinner. Surfing and surf culture runs deep in San Clemente. Every year Lowers hosts events by the World Surfing League World Tour (WSL World Tour) and the NSSA Nationals. NSSA is the National Scholastic Surfing Association, the most elite level of competitive amateur surfing. For the high school division, San Clemente High School has won six of the last seven national surfing titles.
For some culture, pay a visit to the historic Casa Romantica cultural center. The estate is a great inexpensive attraction for the whole family, with interesting gardens and stunning vistas. It is also home to events all year round. Another popular daytrip is a whale-watching tour off the coast. Not only do attendees have the chance to witness the California Gray Whale in its natural habitat, but dolphins and sea lions are frequent guests as well.
Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the scenic San Clemente Municipal Golf Course, which is just one mile from the Pacific Ocean. The course boasts about their player friendly prices and regulations including half price for juniors, options between walking and riding in a golf cart, and Fridays being included in weekday prices instead of weekend ones. Golfers can also make their way to Talega Golf Club, located in the hills of San Clemente. More upscale than the aforementioned “Muni”, Talega Golf Club will definitely cost more but its course is one of the best. The 18-hole, par 72 course was designed by golfing legend and crowd favorite, Fred Couples. Since its founding in 2001 critics from publications like Golf Digest, ESPN, and Zagat Survey have all called it one of the best championship golf courses in the United States. Talega’s clubhouse, which adheres to the gorgeous Spanish colonial architecture seen throughout town, is continuously used as a venue for weddings and banquets. The Signature Grille Restaurant at Talega is also a fun place to grab a bite to eat after a round of golf, or even for non-players who want to enjoy a breeze and a view of the sea from San Clemente’s hills.
One of the best places to look for San Clemente vacation rentals is downtown San Clemente. Here, guests can step out of their vacation home and be within walking distance of all the main shopping streets, bars, and restaurants. Avenida Del Mar is one of the main streets that runs through the town and is perfect for an evening stroll or bite to eat. Rentals vary for different specifications, from small two-person apartments to larger villas with room for all the family. Vacation rentals in San Clemente near State Beach tend to be a popular choice also. Outside of homes of the short-term rental variety, San Clemente also has some great hotels. For young budget travelers trying to meet new friends and to experience the San Clemente ambiance without breaking the bank can stay at Nomads Hotel. This hostel offers private and dorm rooms, and also has a fun full service bar and restaurant onsite. For those going for more of a resort experience can spend time at the Riviera Beach Spa Resort and the San Clemente Cove Resort. Both are awesome places to enjoy a glass of wine while gazing at breathtaking ocean views.
Those looking to find a vacation accommodation or house rental in San Clemente should not have much of an issue, but for those who may want to try something different can check out neighboring Dana Point, just ten minutes north of San Clemente’s downtown area. Dana Point has a similar sleepy Orange County vibe, which is occasionally disrupted by a lively restaurant or excited beach goers. Dana Point is well known for its quaint harbor and for high quality beaches like Capistrano Beach, Doheny State Beach, and Salt Creek Beach.
This climate histogram shows you the weather patterns in San Clemente. The hottest month in San Clemente is June, when temperatures peak at 102 ˚F. The coolest month is December, when temperatures drop to 37 ˚F. The wettest month in San Clemente is December with 1.32 inches of rain, while the driest month is September with 0.1 inches of rain.
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