Palm trees at San Clemente Beach

San Clemente Beaches

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Sunbathing at San Clemente Beach
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Highlights | Parks & Playgrounds | Logistics & Amenities | Getting There

San Clemente beaches, tucked away in a corner of Orange County, are known for their casual lifestyle, Spanish architecture, gardens of palm trees, and year-round tropical red and yellow blooms. Surfers love San Clemente beaches and families are drawn here by the wide, sandy beaches and a relaxed, small-town atmosphere. From quaint seaside inns to popular national brands, San Clemente has a great selection of affordable hotels and accomodations provided by ARES Travel--Southern California's cheapest internet travel provider.

San Clemente Highlights

San Clemente, California, offers many great attractions — the San Clemente pier, San Onofre State Park, Trestles, San Clemente State Beach, Calafia, T-Street, San Clemente City Beach, and North Beach, among others.

San Clemente Pier. The San Clemente pier, built in 1928 for strolling and fishing, is the heart and soul of this area. Families love the beach south of the pier and surfers congregate year-round to the north. The pier features a bait and tackle shop and restaurant / bar. Don’t miss the sunset from the end of the pier; early risers can watch the fisher folk set up shop.

San Onofre State Park. Located 3 miles south of San Clemente, this beach is a short drive and evokes the southern California of days past (if you can ignore the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, that is). Surf Beach is for day use; you can swim, surf (good place for beginners), body board, or explore the tide pools at low tide.

Trestles. Trestles, just south of San Clemente, is a major surfing venue thanks to a great surf break.

San Clemente State Beach. San Clemente State Beach has been popular since it was first developed in the 1930s. Swimmers, body surfers, and board surfers gather here along with those who don snorkels or bait a hook. The park is dramatized by steep sandstone bluffs that have been left undeveloped so native plants and trees can flourish. Rocks at the park’s northern end offer tide pooling (at low tide), and offshore rocks support a sea lion population.

Calafia. Located at the south end of San Clemente, Calafia has a secluded, private atmosphere. Surfing is good when conditions (offshore winds) are right. Sandy bluffs overlook the beach and there are some grassy picnic areas.

T Street. This is a good family beach. Although T Street offers a consistently good ride, surfing is only allowed in the morning and evening hours during summer months,.

San Clemente City Beach. This very family-friendly beach spans El Camino Real to Del Mar and includes the pier. The south end of the pier is for swimming and body boarding only during the summer; people surf year-round on the north side.

North Beach. North Beach, which extends from El Camino Real to Avenida Pico, is perfect for swimming and body boarding. Nearby features include Ole Hanson Beach Club, a park, pool, and Metrolink Station. Just south of North Beach lies, “204,” a surfing beach.

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Parks & Playgrounds

San Clemente has an abundance of parks and playgrounds. For a playground with easy beach access, choose Linda Lane Park (Del Mar to Seville to Linda Lane). Other parks offer basketball courts, exercise courses, tennis courts, BBQ / picnic facilities, jogging / walking trails, and grassy fields for Frisbee workouts. An added bonus at many parks is a stunning Pacific Ocean view.

San Clemente Logistics & Amenities

San Clemente Pier area: Metered parking, restrooms, showers, volleyball, a picnic area, and fire rings. An Amtrak train passes several times a day.

San Onofre: Lifeguards on duty during summer months, restrooms, showers, fee to enter park. This nice, long beach fills fast in the summer so head out early.

San Clemente State Beach: Visitor center, nature trail, butterfly trail, and restrooms.

Calafia: Convenient parking, easy beach access, showers, and restrooms.

T Street: Easy access, play area, fire rings, picnic tables, restrooms, and showers.

San Clemente City Beach: Good parking, restrooms, showers, food concessions, and beach equipment rentals.

North Beach: Kid’s play area, parking, restrooms, showers, fire rings, picnic tables, grassy area, and concessions during summer months. Park in the lot.

Getting There

San Clemente State Beach: Take Avenida Calafia exit off I-5.

San Onofre: Take I-5 south to the Basilone Road exit.

Trestles: Take the Christianitos Freeway exit off I-5, park in the lot next to Carl’s Jr., and follow the people carrying surfboards. Trestles is about a mile down the trail.

Calafia: Take Avenida Presidente.

T Street: Take El Camino Real to Esplanade.

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Surf & Weather
Orange County Weather
Orange County Surf Report
Orange County Links
Orange County Beach Safety Info

Local Highlights & Info
San Clemente State Beach
San Onofre State Beach

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Knotts Berry Farm

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