I love to travel, but since I live in Southern California, I thought I would start with some of my favorite places nearby and one of those places is absolutely San Clemente, CA.
Hidden Beach: Your Guide to San Clemente, CA
The thing is, I actually used to live in San Clemente when I was younger until we moved closer inland toward LA when I was about 10 and I have never forgotten this incredibly lovely beach city.
Not only is it magical to me for all of the fond childhood memories I have, but also because, in my opinion, this is one of the best beach destinations in Southern California, yet it’s a bit of a hidden gem.
Not that many people know about it which is why it’s the perfect beach town to visit!
This city is quite small when compared to Laguna Beach areas, but it’s charming and quaint in it’s own way and, in my opinion, has loads more character.
Here Are Some Of the Best Places to See In San Clemente:
T Street Beach
My favorite place to visit, by far, is the T Street Beach.
T Street is pretty much a local spot. It’s not that it’s some difficult-to-find beach, but it’s just the place most of the locals go when they go to the beach – which is basically all the time. This beach, unlike some beaches in California, is really clean and the people are friendly, there are showers and bathrooms, and a cheap snack bar where you can get snacks and drinks. There’s no admission price to get into T Street – it’s free – but there is metered parking if you want to park anywhere nearby so my advice is to stay at one of the lovely hotels near the San Clemente Pier because both the pier and T Street beach are within walking distance.
San Clemente Pier
The pier is a fun place to take a walk or run, go fishing, or enjoy some yummy food. The best restaurant is definitely Fisherman’s which is right on the pier and serves a variety of food choices, both fish and steak types. It’s decidely more fancy than other restaurants you’ll find in San Clemente and it can be more pricey, but it’s worth the cost in my opinion. The pier is quite long as piers go in California so it’s lovely to eat at Fisherman’s and then take a stroll afterwards.
Waterfront Shops, Inn Hotels, & Ice Cream
There are many hotels and inns just opposite the pier on the waterfront which are all really quaint and nice to stay in. Personally, I’ve always rented a house with friends and family when I’ve stayed in San Clemente or simply gone for the day as I only live a few hours away, but I know there are tons of hotel options to choose from and a few nice ones which are right near the pier. Aside from places to stay, the waterfront has a lovely ice cream parlor, some souvenir shops, and a few casual places to eat if you’re on a budget.
Downtown San Clemente – Del Mar Shopping & Restaurants
Downtown San Clemente is a few minutes inland from the pier and is definitely worth a look. There are tons of great restaurants and cafes, including a very delicious Italian deli that has great sub sandwiches. Aside from food options, there are tons of shops on this street, including some beachwear clothing stores and various knick knack type shops that are fun to browse through. There is also a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream shop on the top corner and you can go all the way up the Del Mar street (left or right) and find various pub bars, surf shops, and other restaurants and cafes.
Overall, San Clemente is a fantastic place to visit if you really want to experience beach life in a less tourist type way. Laguna Beach and other LA beaches are also beautiful, but they aren’t as down-to-earth as this. They will also be more packed with people. I think San Clemente has so much to experience and offer visitors, especially if you enjoy exploring on foot and enjoying life on the beach. This is definitely worth a visit and it will probably cost you a lot less than the more mainstream spots.
What Do You Think of California Beaches?
Have You Ever Been to San Clemente?
What would you like me to write a travel guide to next? I know many places from LA to San Diego to Palm Springs to Las Vegas – I’d love to know what you want to hear about!