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Wide Angle San Clemente Pier looking towards the hills

Located right along the California Coast, San Clemente offers a reprieve from big city life, right in the middle of San Diego and Los Angeles. It also offers some amazing views with mountains, hills and the ocean to enjoy. Here are some suggested things to do, places to stay at, and places where you can get some tasty food.

Things to do

On the southern edge of the city is where you will find San Clemente State Beach. This mile-long beach offers a steep bluff with near-perfect waves. This family-friendly beach also includes a campground, as well as hiking paths and bike paths.

San Clemente Pier City Beach includes clean sand and a boardwalk. The pier provides an ideal location for fishing or grabbing a bite to eat. Train service takes you right to the beach. Just north of the pier beach is a small park called Linda Lane that has a playground for kids.

During July, San Clemente hosts the annual Ocean Festival. The festival highlights surfing, swimming and other competitions, as well as sand castle building. You will also find frequent art fairs within this community.

Where to stay

Because San Clemente is a larger city with plenty of tourism, you’ll also find plenty of options for lodging. Look right out onto the pier while staying at the Beachcomber Inn. Or consider nearby Villa Del Mar Inn, Casa Tropicana B&B, or San Clemente Cove Resort. For those of you that want to camp (tent, trailer & RV), check out the campground at San Clemente State Beach where you can literally walk right to Calafia Beach. If that camping option is full, check out nearby San Mateo Campground.

Where to eat

Choose from a variety of options when dining in San Clemente. Hapa J’s offers Asian fusion-style and Hawaiian choices, while Ellies Table at North Beach includes your choice of sandwiches, coffee, and bakery items, with outdoor seating and a family-friendly atmosphere.

Where to shop

As for shopping, head to San Clemente’s downtown district for a variety of unique stores and boutiques along Avenida Del Mar. The nearby San Clemente Outlet Mall is another options. It has dozens of retail stores and dining options.


With more than 60,000 residents, San Clemente is broadly regarded as the “Spanish Village by the Sea”. Much of the architecture in the area is Spanish-Colonial. Expect to find everything from beach condominiums, to luxury estates within the area’s ten major neighborhoods.