San Clemente, in Orange County, California, is a great weekend getaway from Los Angeles and San Diego. Things to Do in San Clemente CA, the lovely downtown area is ideal for shopping and strolling, and the scenic San Clemente Pier is ideal for watching colorful sunsets over the Pacific. San Clemente California, has beautiful sandy beaches, museums, attractions, and delicious restaurants.
The following are the top things to do in San Clemente. Call the attractions and restaurants ahead of time to confirm current hours of operation.
19 List of Things to Do in San Clemente CA Today
1.Visit Del Mar Street in San Clemente, California.
Avenida Del Mar in downtown San Clemente California is a shopper’s dream, with trendy boutiques, designer and brand stores, art galleries, quirky cafés, bustling restaurants, and sophisticated wine bars. Del Mar Street, affectionately known as the “Beating Heart of San Clemente,” is a short walk from the San Clemente Pier and offers a wealth of entertainment both day and night.
Spend the afternoon shopping, where you’re sure to find something for the kids at Petit Bonhomme, sports beach wear at Killer Dana, and trendy ladies wear at upscale boutiques such as Rascal’s, Angel Wings, and Bliss. After that, treat yourself to a light lunch of Mexican at La Siesta or sushi at Del Mar Sushi.
2.Sights to See: San Clemente Pier
The San Clemente Pier, located at the very end of Del Mar Street, is one of the city’s most popular attractions. The pier and its famous clock tower, surrounded by miles of sandy beaches and crashing waves at dana point, provide stunning views of the coastline and the city both during the day and at night in newport beach.
There are numerous benches on the pier where you can sit and take in the breathtaking views while listening to the waves crashing on the shore. During the summer, the pier’s sides are packed with surfers looking for the perfect wave, and sitting in the sun and people watching is a popular pastime among the locals.
Fishing is another popular activity on the pier, with many anglers lining the sides. The pier also has a variety of restaurants, ranging from fast food to sit-down dining with beautiful sea views at pacific coast highway. The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar offers fresh seafood, and the Oyster Bar is ideal for sundowners at San Clemente.
3.Kids Activities in My Neighborhood: San Clemente Coastal Trail, San Clemente, California
The San Clemente Beach Trail, which runs for five miles south from the North Beach train station to San Clemente State Beach, is the ideal way to explore the beautiful San Clemente coastline.
The beach trail runs alongside many of San Clemente’s beaches, as well as the San Clemente Pier, T-Street, the downtown district, and a variety of parks, volleyball courts, and restaurants.
The Beach Trail is pet-friendly, with pet hygiene stations located along the route, and several beaches have public restrooms and concessions for two-legged walkers and joggers. The Trail is beautiful at any time of day, with fresh ocean breezes in the morning and cool starry nights after the sun sets.
4.Nearby Beaches: San Clemente State Beach
San Clemente State Beach, located on the city’s southern outskirts, is one of Orange County’s most popular beach campgrounds at San Francisco. San Clemente State Beach, which stretches for a mile between the breaking ocean surf and the foot of a steep bluff, is surrounded by beautiful ocean, hill, and mountain views and has a temperate climate.
San Clemente State Beach has a variety of campsites for motorhomes, caravans, and tents with restrooms, indoor and outdoor showers, and drinking water overlooking the spectacular beaches of San Onofre.
There are cultural and historical sites to visit in the area, as well as an Environmental Learning and Visitors Center with interpretive exhibits and programs, hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, surfing, and wildlife watching at San Clemente outlets. Because of the campground’s popularity, reservations are required and should be made as soon as possible sat California State Park. California Tourist Attractions
San Clemente, CA 92672, 225 Avenida Califia
5.Nearby Attractions: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, San Clemente, California
The magnificent Casa Romantica, perched on a bluff overlooking the historic San Clemente Pier, celebrates California’s history, culture, and ecology thing. The seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom home was built in 1927 by a well-known architect of the time, Carl Lindbloom, for the founder of San Clemente, Ole Hanson.
Casa Romantica is surrounded by five acres of beautifully landscaped estate gardens with winding trails and walking paths, flowering shrubs, cacti, and other endemic species, and stunning ocean views at San Clemente Trolley. Casa Romantica, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been transformed into a multi-purpose museum and function center for the community to enjoy.
San Clemente, CA 92672, 415 Avenida Granada, 949-498-2139
6.What to Do Near Me: San Onofre State Beach, San Clemente, California
San Onofre State Beach is one of California’s most well-known beaches, attracting over 2.5 million visitors each year who come to surf, swim, sunbathe, camp, kayak, fish, and cycle.
San Onofre State Beach is one of California’s top five most visited state parks, with three distinct areas: the San Onofre Bluffs, the San Mateo Campground, and the San Onofre Surf Beach. Swimming and surfing are popular at San Onofre Bluffs, which also has camping near the sandstone bluffs.
The campground has outdoor showers and chemical toilets, as well as fire pits and picnic tables at each campsite. San Mateo Campground is located slightly inland from San Onofre State Beach and offers indoor hot showers, flush toilets, and a 1.5-mile nature trail that leads to ‘Trestles Beach,’ a world-class surfing site.
San Onofre Surf Beach is only open for day use and has several surf breaks ranging from gentle breaking waves for beginners to Trestles, one of the world’s most consistent breaks.
7.Nearby Attractions: Surfing Heritage and Culture Center, San Clemente, CA
The Surfing Heritage and Culture Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sport of surfing.
The center is dedicated to preserving, presenting, and promoting surfing’s heritage for the enjoyment and education of future generations. In addition, the center hopes to inspire and encourage people to understand and share their passion and love for surfing.
The Center covers the entire spectrum of surfing, from its history and development to current trends, and houses significant surfboards and other culturally significant objects, as well as breathtaking photography.
This world-class museum/resource facility, which serves as a symbolic center for wave riding culture in the United States, also offers educational and outreach programs that support and promote the sport on all levels.
San Clemente, CA 92672, 110 Calle Iglesia, 949-388-0313
8.Kids Activities in San Clemente, California: San Clemente North Beach
San Clemente North Beach is named after being the northernmost beach along the San Clemente Coastline and offers a variety of activities such as walking, swimming, picnics, bonfires, and cookouts.
Picnic tables and barbecue pits, as well as concessions and restrooms, are scattered along the beach, and there is a small playground with swings and other equipment for children. Access to the beach is easy with plenty of parking nearby, located near the train station at the corner of Pico and El Camino Real. While dogs are not permitted on the beach, they are permitted to be walked along the surrounding beach trails.
San Clemente, CA 92672, 1725 Avenida Estacion
9.Nearby Attractions: Talega Golf Club, San Clemente, California
Talega Golf Club, located high above the hills of San Clemente, features a par 72, 18-hole championship golf course, a Spanish colonial clubhouse, and stunning views.
The Fred Couples Signature course is one of the best in Southern California for golf. Talega Golf Club, which opened in 2001, has 18 holes, a driving range, a beautiful Spanish colonial clubhouse with a bell tower and village courtyard setting, a restaurant and bar, a pro shop, and a gift shop.
The Signature Grille and Bar at Talega Golf Club serves breakfast “on the go” at the Deli every morning and midday lunch in the dining room or on the patio. Private events can be held at the Signature Grille and its private patio, and the Grille’s bar serves a variety of libations to complement the cuisine.
949-369-6226, 990 Avenida Talega, San Clemente, CA 92673
10.Nearby Attractions: Vine Restaurant, San Clemente, CA
VINE Restaurant provides an unforgettable Wine Country dining experience with a rustic, contemporary wine bar, open kitchen, and semi-private dining table that can be reserved for private events.
With over 25 labels to choose from, the Restaurant provides guests with an exceptional dining experience paired with award-winning wines from Napa Valley and other wine producing regions. VINE’s culinary team creates a menu of dishes made from scratch with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and presented with passion and flair, beautifully furnished in warm earthy tones with comfortable seating and soft lighting.
Signature dishes include hand-reared meats, freshly caught seafood, and handpicked fruits and vegetables, as well as a diverse beverage menu that includes artisan craft beers and handcrafted cocktails, as well as over 25 global wine selections by the glass.
949-361-2079, 211 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672
11.Things to Do Near Me: Iva Lee’s, San Clemente, California
If you’re looking for cozy, comfort food and a casual, relaxed atmosphere, Iva Lee’s is the place to be.
The quaint little restaurant, named after Iva Lee, who was born and raised in the South, serves some of the best Southern food in the county, from fried green tomatoes and jambalaya to sweet potato fries and meatloaf. Iva Lee’s is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and features laid-back blues and jazz music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
Combine the incredible cuisine with a selection of wines and spirits from the bar menu, and finish with the signature dessert of homemade bread pudding smothered in Jack Daniel’s sauce.
949-361-2855, 555 North El Camino Real – Suite E, San Clemente, CA 92672
12. Courtney’s SandCastle Universal Playground, San Clemente, California, is a great place for kids to go.
Courtney’s SandCastle Universal Playground is a universal playground designed primarily for children with physical, mental, and sensory disabilities, but it also offers a variety of fun and interactive play opportunities for children of all ages.
Courtney’s SandCastle Universal Playground, named after Courtney Faye Smith, who has been confined to a wheelchair due to a rare muscular degenerative disease, aims to improve the quality of life by fostering acceptance, awareness, and diversity.
The Playground, designed by Richard Fisher, features a simulated 150-square-foot ship themed play structure with a stern wheel and talking tubes, a climbing rock, and a mock castle themed play structure with sloping wheelchair accessible ramps and bucket swings. Aromatic plants, bushes, and plants, as well as a musical pathway and several interactive water features, make up a lovely Sensory Garden.
San Clemente, CA 92673, 949-940-9246, 987 Avenida Vista Hermosa
13.Nearby Activities: Sugar Blossom, San Clemente, CA
Sugar Blossom is a boutique bakery and shop that sells sweet treats, pastries, and confectionery such as cupcakes, cookies, and specialty cakes.
Goods are baked on-site every day using only the highest quality ingredients, such as Madagascar bourbon vanilla, Valrhona, and Callebaut chocolates, and can be ordered for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and baby showers.
Sugar Blossom has a vibrant, elegant space designed by LA-based interior designer Seyie Putsure of Seyie Design, complete with bright overhead lights to highlight their delectable offerings.
949-429-5555, 204 Avenida Del Mar – Suite F, San Clemente, CA 92672
14 Things to Do in San Clemente, California: San Clemente Outlets
The Outlets at San Clemente offers a variety of high-end shopping, dining, and entertainment options all under one roof. The Spanish hacienda-style Outlets at San Clemente, located off the 5 freeway, features over 45 retailers spanning 500,000 square feet in an impressive outdoor shopping center.
A range of deluxe services and amenities enhance the overall experience. The Outlet Mall features a variety of popular brands and high-end retailers such as Under Armour, Levis, Calvin Klein, Nike, Sunglasses Hut, and others, as well as fast food restaurants and full-service restaurants.
The Outlets at San Clemente also provides shoppers with cutting-edge amenities like free high-speed wireless Internet, pet-friendly cleanup stations, covered/indoor parking, a VIP loyalty program with a members-only lounge, bag check, and stroller and wheelchair rentals. The finished project will include up to 70 stores and 12 restaurants, including four with ocean views.
San Clemente, CA 92672, 101 West Avenida Vista Hermosa – Suite 190, 949-535-2323
15. The Cellar is one of the best things to do in San Clemente, California.
The Cellar is an artisan cheese shop and eatery in the heart of San Diego’s famous Del Mar Street, serving an all-American menu of sharing platters, cheese boards, and hearty mains. The Cellar is more than a cheese shop; it’s a good place to enjoy good food, wine, live music, and, of course, cheese. It has a cellar-like ambiance with dark woods and a warm and welcoming vibe.
Aside from a wide selection of high-quality cheese, the menu includes tasty small plates, salads, and substantial entrees like stacked burgers, mac ‘n cheese, juicy short ribs, and perfectly grilled salmon. The Cellar is also a popular meeting place for both locals and visitors, and it hosts a number of weekly and monthly events throughout the year.
949-492-3663, 156 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672
16.Things to Do in San Clemente, California: Artifex Brewing Company
Artifex Brewery attracts a friendly, relaxed crowd thanks to its outdoor patio and indoor seating area next to the fermentation tanks (must be 21 to enter.)
The Brewery features a beautiful space with subtle but impactful design elements such as hand-stained wood panels, custom wood benches and tables, and windows with flip-up glass panels that create a social bar space while letting in the coastal breezes. Hibiscus-This Ale, Afternoon Tea Brown Ale, and No Name IPA are just a few of the great beers available at Artifex. Artifex offers a wide selection of beers on tap. During happy hour, “Food Truck Fridays” are a great time to grab a brew and some good food.
San Clemente, CA 92673, 949-429-7805, 919 Calle Amanecer
17.Nearby Activities: Billy’s, San Clemente, CA
Billy’s is an award-winning deli in San Clemente that serves everything from curated meats and cheeses to freshly prepared salads, homemade soups, fresh seafood, barbecue meats, and specialty wines.
Visitors can buy the food and take it home, or they can eat it on the dog-friendly patio, which has comfortable seating in a shady, relaxed setting. Every first Sunday of the month, guests can enjoy live music and entertainment.
A fresh produce and fruit stand outside gives the deli a French market feel, and a unique selection of craft beers, ales, and wines from around the world are available to enjoy on the patio or to take away.
949-498-5924, 111 Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672
18. Antoine’s Cafe is one of the things to do in San Clemente, California.
Antoine’s Café is a family-friendly neighborhood café that has been serving breakfast and lunch to San Clemente residents for over 15 years. The small, cozy café is always packed and has a vibrant, bustling ambiance, offering a casual, relaxed setting in which to enjoy delicious, home-cooked food.
Breakfast options include healthy omelets, eggs benedict, French toast, or classic bacon and eggs, while lunch options include homemade soups, fresh salads, juicy burgers, and traditional French Croque Monsieur. Freshly brewed gourmet coffee and mimosas with freshly squeezed orange juice are available all day. Antoine’s Café serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week.
949-492-1763, 218 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672
19. San Clemente Surf School is one of the things to do in San Clemente, California.
With the San Clemente Surf School, you can learn to surf and enjoy some of the world’s best waves. The SCSS is a year-round school that provides a wide range of surfing lessons for students of all ages and skill levels, from beginner to advanced.
Lessons begin with 10-15 minutes of land instruction, including ocean awareness, wave judgment, and surf etiquette, before heading to the water to practice balancing exercises and paddling before dropping in and riding a wave. Instructors are experienced surfers who have received lifesaving and CPR training. The lesson includes the use of surfboards and wetsuits.
The SCSS also offers a Surf Team program, which encourages students to keep surfing and improving their skills in a fun and safe environment.
Stewart Surfboards is located at 2102 S. El Camino Rea, San Clemente, CA 92672 and can be reached at 949-334-7649.
FAQs about Things to Do in San Clemente CA
Is it worthwhile to go to San Clemente?
San Clemente is a beautiful coastal city rich in culture and history. There are numerous things to do and see throughout the city. The city’s Spanish-style architecture is magnificent and worth admiring. The city is surrounded by beaches and golden sunshine.
What is San Clemente famous for?
Orange County’s southernmost city, located on the California Coast midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, is known for its ocean, hill, and mountain views, a pleasant climate, and Spanish colonial-style architecture. The city slogan in San Clemente is “Spanish Village by the Sea.”
Is there a downtown in San Clemente?
Downtown’s tree-lined streets, plazas, and seating areas encourage pedestrian activity, particularly along Avenida Del Mar and the El Camino Real intersection, making for an excellent shopping and dining experience.