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The Five Best Beaches Near San Clemente, California

The Five Best Beaches Near San Clemente, California

Nestled in gorgeous southern California are some fantastic beaches near San Clemente for you and your family to visit. Team


2 min read

August 18, 2023

San Clemente, California, often referred to as the 'Spanish Village by the Sea', is a picturesque city known for its breathtaking coastline. While the town itself offers some stunning beaches, there are several hidden gems nearby that are worth exploring. If you're planning a visit and want to spend your days soaking up the sun on some of the area's most beautiful stretches of sand, look no further. Here are the five best beaches near San Clemente.

San Clemente State Beach

Starting with the obvious, San Clemente State Beach is a quintessential SoCal beach and for a good reason. Its mile-long stretch of coastline is ideal for both relaxation and recreation. Swimmers, surfers, and beachgoers flock here to enjoy its gentle waves, towering bluffs, and spacious campsites. Sunsets are particularly magnificent, with the iconic San Clemente Pier serving as the perfect backdrop.

Trestles Beach

Situated just south of San Clemente, Trestles Beach is a world-renowned surfing destination. It's named after the nearby Trestle Bridge and is home to various surf breaks, such as Uppers, Lowers, and Middles. While the waves are the main attraction, Trestles is also a beautiful beach to explore, with its natural beauty and relative seclusion. However, be prepared for a bit of a trek to reach it — but many would argue that the walk is part of the charm.

Calafia Beach

A more intimate beach compared to others on the list, Calafia Beach is nestled between rolling hills and rugged cliffs. It's an excellent spot for family outings as it provides ample picnic areas, BBQ pits, and restrooms. The San Clemente Coastal Trail, which runs alongside the beach, offers a scenic pathway for joggers and walkers alike, promising panoramic views of the Pacific.

Poche Beach

Located north of central San Clemente, Poche Beach is a popular spot for locals. It offers a relaxing environment and is ideal for those who prefer quieter beach days, away from the more crowded locations. However, the beach has faced water quality issues in the past, so it's essential to check current conditions before diving in. On the upside, the beach's proximity to residential areas means you'll find amenities close by, making it convenient for a day trip.

Doheny State Beach

Technically located in Dana Point, Doheny State Beach is just a short drive north of San Clemente and offers a blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. One of California's first state beaches, Doheny is split into two main areas: the northern section is popular among surfers, while the southern part, with its calm waters, is ideal for swimming and picnicking. The beach also boasts a large campground, volleyball courts, and various annual events, ensuring there's always something happening.

Whether you're an avid surfer, a sunbather, or someone who just loves a scenic coastal view, the beaches near San Clemente, California, offer a diverse range of experiences. These five beaches provide a mixture of world-class surfing, tranquil sunbathing spots, and picturesque landscapes, ensuring that everyone can find their ideal seaside escape. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your surfboard or favorite book, and get ready for some unforgettable beach days near San Clemente.

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