San Clemente Pier 1,296 feet long, re-built in 1985 as a wooden structure.
Address: 611 Avenida Victoria, San Clemente, California. Open daily around 4 a.m. - closes at midnight.
San Clemente, California -- San Clemente Pier is one of the highlights of visits to Orange County, California where there are five major piers in four beach cities and numerous, small fishing piers in Newport Beach.
The San Clemente Pier wasn't always the placid place it is today. At one time it served smuggling operations into Orange County during the prohibition of the early 1900's. Other entry points for bootleg booty included Seal Beach, where liquor was rolled off ships in barrels that floated to shore where they were loaded onto trucks and carted off to secure hiding spots in underground bars and businesses.
A rare hurricane that hit the California coast in 1939 destroyed the pier which included a cafe, tackle shop and Owl Boat Co. Rebuilt for $40,000, storms that affected many of the coastal landmarks in 1983 tore 400 feet from the end of the pier and 80 feet from its mid-section beyond the surf area. Repairs in 1985 $1.4 million was spent to repair San Clemente Pier in 1985 with a higher end section and polyethylene-coated steel piles. Once the home to sportfishing operations, Dana Point Harbor nearby provided a better alternative that has been the region's primary source for fishing boats, whale watching excursions and daily trips to Catalina Island for several decades now. San Clemente continues to serve as a tourist attraction and great dining place.
There's nothing that can compare with strolling on the San Clemente Pier, which is open daily at 4 a.m. and closes around midnight. Amtrak trains run adjacent to the beach and some routes actually stop at the base of the San Clemente Pier which makes it an ideal visit for day-trippers and vacationers on the road.
Fish are caught off the pier and for anglers, to the north in Dana Point Harbor you can book fishing trips (they run daily).