San Clemente, California has served over 100 years as a beach getaway for presidents and regular people, but mostly regular people. One of its best assets in addition to the hilltop hotels and beach rentals with views of the Pacific Ocean is the Amtrak train passing through the city and stopping right at the beach.
From beach vacations and surfing vacations to ocean view dining on San Clemente Pier, the living is easy as world class surfers in San Clemente will attest.
The San Clemente Pier and beach is the best place to begin exploring. Plan time for sunbathing, reading a book, swimming, swinging the kids on the beach swings, having a picnic overlooking the beach, or dining on the pier. Sunset meals and cocktails at Fishermans Restaurant feature affordable options the locals know about and relish.
Events: San Clemente hosts numerous surfing contests, art events, and an annual Polar Plunge on Jan 1. The biggest event, by far, is the Ocean Festival held each summer. It's a blast! Another summer event is the city's Summer Concerts at the Beach. Very cool!
When you go: Book an affordable hotel room near the beach. San Clemente offers a great value compared to north Orange County beach-close accommodations. The hotels are affordable, providing cheap, beach-close accommodations not far from Legoland California in Carlsbad, and Disneyland in Anaheim. Do give yourself time to wander downtown and shop in the quaint shopping district with its cute gifts, ceramics, clothing, and even some souvenir items.
What to take: Take a book to read, some sunblock, casual clothes, and you can't rent bodyboards, surfboards and bicycles upon arrival.
What you should know: San Clemente Pier is at the base of an incline.
You'll get plenty of exercise climbing stairs and hills near the waterfront.
There are playgrounds on the beach, making the city an ideal spot for family