20 Best Things to Do in San Clemente

20 Best Things to Do in San Clemente

Located just an hour's drive away from the Land of Hollywood, San Clemente is a charming and delightful coastal city in Orange County in the state of California.

It is located on the California Coast and has pristine white sandy beaches. This beguiling city is also known for its mountain views and hills.

The slogan of San Clemente is "Spanish Village by the Sea". Rightfully so, it has stunning Spanish colonial-style architecture that is worth swooning over.

The town is also famous for surfing and has a rich surfing culture.

San Clemente has perfect weather too, the city is always full of sunshine and is never too cold.

This laidback city is a famous tourist destination and does not fail to ever impress people from around the globe.

Here are the best things to do in San Clemente, California.

Visit The Heavenly San Clemente Pier

San Clemente Pier
Alizada Studios / Shutterstock.com

San Clemente Pier is the most popular attraction in the city. It is located a the end of the Del Mar Street with a stunning backdrop of miles and miles of blue ocean and white beaches.

The pier has a meager entry fee of $1.50 per hour and remains open from 10 am till 5 pm.

The San Clemente Pier has a gorgeous clock tower. Surfing is a popular activity, and the pier is full of surfers in the summer.

The dock is also famous for fishing. There are fantastic seafood restaurants on the pier, where you can eat delicious freshwater fish and oysters, among many other delectable fresh seafood.

There are plenty of benches on the pier where you can sit back and enjoy the breathtaking view of the city and the coast while listening to the peaceful sound of waves crashing into the shore.

While you're there, don't forget to watch a sunrise or a sunset for a divine view.

San Clemente steps to beach and pier
Donald Atkinson / shutterstock.com

Eat, Drink, Shop At Del Mar Street

Located in Downtown San Clemente, Del Mar Street is the main street of San Clemente with several eateries, shopping outlets, boutiques, art galleries, wine bars, and more.

It is located just a few minutes away from the San Clemente Pier. The street is one of the most pleasant main streets in Orange County and is known as the beating heart of the city.

You can spend your afternoon strolling around and exploring all the different places on the street and shopping your heart out.

After shopping, you can enjoy brunch at these delectable Italian or Mexican food at Carbonara's Trattoria and La Siesta.

After enjoying your brunch, you can go out to drink the most exquisite wines at any of the numerous wine bars on the Avenida Del Mar Street.

Bask In Sunshine At San Clemente State Beach

San Clemente State Beach
SunflowerMomma / shutterstock.com

Situated at the South end of the city, San Clemente State Beach is one of the most famous beaches of Orange County, California.

The State Beach is also a popular site for beach camping and has 160 campsites, including 72 with full hookups.

The campground has some impressive facilities like hot showers, picnic areas, amphitheater, and much more.

The beach is also famous for a number of recreational activities, including whale watching, surfing, snorkeling, hiking,  and many other activities.

The beach offers spectacular views of the ocean, hills, mountains, and an environment to relax your body and mind while tanning in California's golden sunshine.

San Clemente beach view
Jon Bilous / shutterstock.com

Stroll Around The City

San Clemente Walk
bonandbon / Shutterstock.com

Walking is one of the best ways to explore any city. San Clemente is a tiny and picturesque town, which makes it perfect for exploring it on foot.

You can stroll around the town to take in the scenic glory of the charming city and discover what the city has to offer while gazing at the magnificent Spanish architecture in the city.

You can find the town's little secrets that you wouldn't have known if you were exploring the city like every other tourist.

Long walks along the palm trees lined boulevard with clean air will instantly refresh your mind and body.

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
Dawn Damico / shutterstock.com

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is a prestigious cultural institution of Orange County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Orange County, California.  

This historical landmark is now renowned for its culturally rich programs of music, theater, art, and so much more.

The cultural center also hosts several free educational arts workshops for children all year round.

The estate covers 2.5 acres of beautiful coastal area with more than 33 tended gardens, which overlooks San Clemente Pier and offers sweeping views.

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is the cultural gem of San Clemente and is a must when you're in town.

Stop At San Onofre State Beach

San Onofre State Beach
WJ Media Design / shutterstock.com

Located just 3 miles south of San Clemente, San Onofre State Beach is a 3000-acre state park in San Diego County. It is one of the most visited parks in California and has a lot to offer.

It hosted more than 2.5 million visitors in the last year alone. It is perfect for cycling, swimming, kayaking, surfing, fishing, sunbathing, and much more.

It is also a popular site for camping. The state park is located on the Californian coastal line and overlooks the majestic and everlasting Pacific ocean.

The white sandy beaches are always basking on the golden sunshine and are perfect for relaxing while enjoying the blue sea and its glorious waves.

Witness The History At Surfing Heritage and Culture Center

Surfing Heritage & Culture Center is a non-profit organization that honors the art of surfing.

This treasure-trove houses one of the grandest collections of surf archives in the world and everything else related to surfing and its history, including surfboards, photos, videos, literature, and much more.

The displays are fascinating, and the staff is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about sharing history with the visitors.

Surfing Heritage and Culture Center is an incredible place to witness the history and significance of surfing in the Californian culture.

Pay A Visit To San Clemente North Beach

San Clemente North Beach
Anthony Fontanez / shutterstock.com

San Clemente North Beach is the northernmost beach along San Clemente's coastline.

Sitting on the San Clemente Beach Trail, North Beach is a multi-use trail that offers a lot of recreational activities to the visitors, such as walking, swimming, surfing, cooking, picnics, and much more.

This beach is great for watching sunrises or sunsets along with the stunning views of the humongous and beguiling Pacific ocean.

Play Golf At Talega Golf Club

Located in the hills of San Clemente, Talega Golf Club is one of the best 18-hole golf courses in Southern California.

The club was opened in 2001 and had a village courtyard setting with Spanish colonial architecture, which makes it very pleasing to the eyes. You can book yourself a tee time in advance.

The golf club also has a restaurant and bar where you can enjoy wholesome foods and drinks after playing golf.

The location of the Talega Golf Club is perfect for enjoying the breathtaking view of the city with the ocean breeze flowing through your hair.

Courtney's SandCastle Universal Playground

Courtney's SandCastle Universal Playground is the most famous playground for children to play in San Clemente.

It is a gated park to ensure the safety of the little ones. The playground has sandboxes, play castles, climbing rocks, and much.

The grounds are clean and well maintained, which makes the playground an ideal place for children to have fun.

Enjoy The View From San Clemente Coastal Trail

San Clemente Coastal Trail
Wayne Via / shutterstock.com

San Clemente Coastal Trail is one of the best places in San Clemente to enjoy the beauty of the ocean and explore the beachline of San Clemente. It is a 2.3 miles long trail with the sandy shoreline.

It is famous for many different activities such as walking, cycling, and running while witnessing the breathtaking and everlasting Pacific ocean and its beauty. You can rent bikes to ride from the nearby Bicycle San Clemente.

You can also walk your pooch along the trail but only on a leash. Don't forget to visit this beautiful place when you're in the town; San Clemente Coastal Trail is a great way to enjoy walking on a sunny day along the water.

San Clemente view of trail and railroad
Jon Bilous / shutterstock.com

Learn Surfing At San Clemente Surf School

San Clemente Surf School
kesterhu / shutterstock.com

Surfing is a must in San Clemente. The city has a rich surfing culture and history. You can learn how to surf at the San Clemente Surf School.

It is a licensed surfing school that teaches surfing to beginners year-round. You can sign-up for the teaching lessons online with experienced and trained surfers.

Where to Stay

San Clemente from above
Nilda Ludim Alvidrez / shutterstock.com

The city has a wide range of hotels, from budget to luxurious. Some of the most comfortable hotels in the town are-Best Western Plus Casablanca Inn, Sea Horse Resort, San Clemente Inn, The Volare, and Holiday Inn Express.

These hotels are conveniently located overlooking the ocean and provide many amenities to make your stay more comfortable.

Gobble Down Delicious Food At Antoine's Cafe

Voted "The Best of San Clemente" for the eight consecutive years, Antoine's Cafe is a local cafe that serves traditional American breakfast and lunch with vegan and vegetarian-friendly options.

This place is a little gem and has been a staple of San Clemente since 1991. Antoine's Cafe serves mouthwatering Eggs California, fish tacos, juicy burgers, and so much more.

Eat Deli Sandwiches At Billy's

Located in the heart of San Clemente, Billy's is an award-winning deli situated on Del Mar Street.

It serves delicious deli sandwiches made from the in-house cured meat along with fresh seafood, cannolis, wraps, specialty wines, and much more. The deli has excellent service with the even greater staff.

Don't forget to eat the tremendous homemade sandwiches when you visit this eatery.

Drink Beer At Artifex Brewing Company

Artifex Brewing Company is a small brewery in San Clemente, and it serves the best beer of the town.

They serve a wide variety of beers, and if you're a beginner, ask the staff which beer to try, they are very knowledgeable and friendly.

The brewery almost always has a food truck outside, so you can enjoy your fresh beer with some delicious Californian grub to make the experience much more enjoyable and pleasant.

Devour Cheese And Wine At The Cellar

Located in the Avenida Del Mar Street, The Cellar is an eatery that also serves impressive artisanal cheeses along with fantastic wines.

The menu mostly consists of traditional American food with vegan and vegetarian options.

It also has live music that you can enjoy while eating your food and cheese.  The Cellar also hosts plenty of events all year round for the locals as well as tourists.

Eat Rich Desserts At Sugar Blossom

Is a meal ever complete without dessert? Sugar Blossom is a bakery in Downtown San Clemente.

This bakery is a real gem run by a friendly couple and serves terrific desserts made with the highest quality ingredients.

The bakery also makes amazing designed cakes for marriages and other events. The bakery itself is very chic and beautiful, with bright colors showcasing the sweet delights.

San Clemente is a gorgeous coastal city full of culture and history.

The entire city is full of things that you can do and explore. The Spanish style architecture in the city is magnificent and worth swooning over.

The city is full of beaches and golden sunshine. Visit this lovely picturesque town to experience the coastal life of California.

Do not forget to tell us your favorite thing from the list and make sure to do all these things when you visit San Clemente.

Best Airbnbs in San Clemente

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Best Hotels in San Clemente

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