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North America > United States of America > California > Southern California > Orange County (California) > Beach Cities > San Clemente

San Clemente

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San Clemente is a city by the beach in Orange County in Southern California. It is called the "little Spanish village by the sea" because many of the buildings have a rustic and antique Spanish look to them. People from San Clemente pride themselves on the laid-back and closely knit community traditions that are practiced in this small town. Not only does the culture have a great influence on all the people who live there, but anyone who visits is also sure to experience this feeling as well.

Get in[edit]

San Clemente is located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego of Interstate 5, which has 7 exits in the city. The nearest airport is John Wayne Airport, 25 miles north of San Clemente. Further airports include Los Angeles International Airport and San Diego International.

There are two train stations in San Clemente, one at the pier, and one at North Beach. Both 1 San Clemente Pier and 2 San Clemente is served by Metrolink via its Inland Empire - Orange County Line and Orange County Line services between Los Angeles, Oceanside and San Bernardino and cities in between, only on weekends. Additionally, San Clemente Pier is also served by Amtrak and its Pacific Surfliner service, with two trains south in the late morning and two trains north in the early evening daily. One of these trips each way extends to/from the Santa Barbara area. The Pacific Surfliner operates 12 trips daily through the area, but most trains don't stop here.

Get around[edit]

It is possible to walk around the center of the town although it is a little bit of a slope up from the beach and pier to Avenida Del Mar shopping and restaurant area. There is free 2 hour car parking around the area although close to the beach expect to pay and display.

See[edit]

Do[edit]

The beach is the largest attraction in San Clemente. Local teens tend to venture north to the Kaleidoscope or the Irvine Spectrum for entertainment, but the local movie theater, the Krikorian, is relatively cheap and well-run.

  • Beach Trail. It is easier to exercise when you have a view like this to look at. From Riviera Beach to the pier is one mile, and from the pier to North Beach is one mile. If you’re looking to step up the rigor of your work out, you can run the stairs along the way.
  • Leslie Park, 1910 Calle de Los Alamos. Some inexpensive ways to enjoy what SC has to offer is to check out the scenery. Leslie Park is a small park that overlooks a beach where most locals visit. From this point, you can see all the way down to the edge of State Beach, the Pier, and even down to Dana Point.
  • Stewart Surfboards, 2102 S El Camino Real, +1 949 492-1085. 9-6 7 days a week. Stewart Surfboards is a fixture in the surfing community, A great place to get started with surfing they offer surf lessons as well as surfboard rentals.Legendary longboard shaper, Bill Stewart creator of the modern longboard still owns and runs the store

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Avenida Del Mar. this street is the heart of Village San Clemente. There are a lot of charming shops, cafés, and restaurants on this historic stretch. If you are looking to bring something for the kids, just stop in Petit Bonhomme. They have reasonable prices and they carry from infants up to size 16 for both boys and girls. If you are looking for a souvenir, they have adult and matching kid button up shirts boy the men and dresses for girls with all the local cities from San Clemente to Laguna Beach. For the older kids, there is Killer Dana for the sporty beachy wear and lots of cute stuff for the ladies at shops like Rascal's, Angel Wings and Bliss which is more upscale. There are a lot of stores with fun home décor items like Christopher Lee Ltd. They carry beautiful items. Visit Russel’s Stationary for your souvenirs like shells and shirts and lots of other items. There are a lot of cute antique stores up and down Del Mar that you should at least poke into. They even have ice cream and sandwiches. Right next door is Auntie Dee’s Jerky Store. They have all sorts of goodies including vegan beef jerky.
  • 2 Trestle's Outlet, 3011 S El Camino Real, +1 949 498-7474. Trestles outlet is in south side San Clemente. They sell the overstocked bathing suits and beachwear from companies such as RipCurl that are also in department stores, but they are much cheaper.

Eat[edit]

There are a variety of local restaurants that are fairly priced and simply delicious.

  • 1 Hapa J's, 2016 S El Camino Real, +1 949 276-6657. Unique cuisine with a Hawaiian influence. Family owned and affordable. Very tasty "Man Fries" and "Khalua Pig Nachos"
  • 2 Velvet Yogurt, 111 S El Camino Real, +1 949 276-4625. Creamy frozen yogurt that is perfect after a long day spent at the beach. And it's a healthy indulgence!
  • 3 Selma's, 218 Avenida Del Mar,, +1 949 276-2828. Best deep dish pizza in town. Also must try the "mothership" cookie and ice cream for dessert.
  • 4 Cafe Calypso, 114 Avenida Del Mar, +1 949 366-9386. Open for breakfast and lunch. Home of San Clemente's famous Acai Bowls and amazing Chinese Chicken Salad. Prices range from $8-$10 for a salad, and about $7 for the Acai Bowl (this is fairly standard in comparison to other restaurants of this nature).
  • 5 La Rocco's, 113 S El Camino Real, +1 949 366-8890. Famous for their "Whitestone" Pizza. Inexpensive and informal dining.
  • 6 La Tiendita, 114 Avenida Victoria, +1 949 366-2924. Family owned and operated, delicious Mexican food made by locals who are originally from Mexico.
  • 7 Cafe del Sol, 3817 S El Camino Real, +1 949 492-7120. Another great place for Mexican food. Very affordable and tasty, and theres a drive-through window for your convenience.
  • 8 Antonio's, 218 S El Camino Real, +1 949 492-1763. Great breakfasts on Camino Real in the heart of the village.
  • 9 The Fisherman, 611 Avenida Victoria, +1 949 498-6390. For good seafood in the best location in town on the pier. Expect a bit of a wait in summer.
  • 10 Iva Lee's, 555 N El Camino Real (El Camino Real just north of Palizada), +1 949 361-2855. For San Clemente's take on Cajun cuisine.
  • 11 Tina & Vince's, 221 Avenida Del Mar (on Del Mar), +1 949 498-5156. Italian deli with great pizza and homemade specialties
  • 12 Pedro's, 550 N El Camino Real, +1 949 498-5908. For the best burritos in town .
  • 13 La Siesta, 920 N El Camino Real, +1 949 498-3094.
  • 14 Nick's, 213 Avenida Del Mar,, +1 949 481-2200. This is a rather formal restaurant and the prices tend to be high, but there are also items on the menu that are less expensive.
  • 15 Mongkut Thai, 212 Avenida Del Mar.
  • 16 Sonny’s Pizza, 429 N El Camino Real (Corner of Palizada and El Camino Real.), +1 949 498-2540.
  • 17 [dead link] Carbonara’s Trattoria, 111 Avenida Del Mar, +1 949 366-1040. Warm friendly service, great food and family atmosphere makes it a San Clemente locals' favorite for Italian food.
  • 18 Schmid's Fine Chocolates, 99 Avenida Del Mar, +1 949 369-1052. For dessert, chocolate dipped strawberries or a special treat.
  • 19 South of Nick's, 110 N El Camino Real, +1 949 481-4545. This restaurant branches off of the southern California favorite "Nick's" which is detailed above. South of Nicks differs because it features a high class Mexican menu with items that originate from south of the border. Keeping consistent with the fairly high pricing of Nick's, this place is of a more formal nature than most Mexican restaurants in the San Clemente area.
  • 20 Cafe Mimosa, 243 Avenida Del Mar, +1 949 481-6780. French style food

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Molly Blooms Irish Bar, 2391 S El Camino Real, +1 949 218-0120.
  • 2 Oles Tavern, 127 S El Camino Real, +1 949 498-9400. sports bar
  • 3 The Cellar, 156 Avenida Del Mar, +1 949 492-3663. wine bar
  • 4 Duke's, 204 S El Camino Real, +1 949 481-2040. A sports bar and restaurant. They serve a plethora of dishes ranging from enchiladas to cheeseburgers. A standard bar scene. There are also a few Billiards tables as well as video games. People of all ages gather here. It is a family restaurant that usually transforms into a place only for adults later into the night.
  • 5 OC Tavern, 2369 S El Camino Real, +1 949 542-8877. A bar where many youngsters congregate. Sports bar with multiple TVs, Billiards tables, video games, and a restaurant in the back. OC Tavern also offers amazing appetizers and happy hour specials.

Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through San Clemente
Santa AnaDana Point  N I-5.svg S  OceansideSan Diego
Los AngelesSan Juan Capistrano  N Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Icon.png S  OceansideSan Diego


This city travel guide to San Clemente is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.