Local Love: San Clemente Travel Guide

There’s so much to love about our backyard of sunny SoCal. So we’re highlighting some of our fave coastal towns – this time, it’s the southernmost part of Orange County, San Clemente. While it may seem like a sleepy beach town, SC has so much to offer and is definitely worth a Spring day trip! Check out our must-dos in the city that boasts “The World’s Best Climate” (according to many residents’ license plate frames).  

BITES

1. The Cellar

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner – you really can’t go wrong at The Cellar. Their brunch menu is small but perfectly curated, and everything is delish. We highly recommend grabbing a spot on their patio to enjoy the French Toast on a sunny day. It’s the perfect dinner spot too, with the best wine list in town.

2. La Colombiana

Colombian food isn’t your typical SoCal fare, so this spot is a true gem. Located on North El Camino Real, this hole-in-the-wall serves up authentic South American food. It’s a friendly, family-run environment with a welcoming little streetside patio. Be sure to order some arepas, carnitas, and (cheers!) their bottomless mimosas.

3. Vine Restaurant

If you’re a fan of farm-to-table menus, Vine is the place for you. Try the oysters, their amazing cocktails, and the handmade ravioli. Just be sure to get there early or make a reservation, because this Del Mar restaurant fills up quickly! 

SIPS

1. Bear Coast Coffee

Located across from the pier, Bear Coast is the perfect spot to grab a cold brew and enjoy a stroll. Their house-made almond milk is better than any store bought brand, and the Lavender Caramel Lattes are heavenly. And definitely don’t skip on a pastry, because they’re some of the best around. 

2. Pierside

A few doors down from Bear Coast, you’ll find Pierside. They have a pretty delicious menu any time of day, but we’re big fans of the happy hour. It’s one of the best spots to grab a drink with friends and enjoy the view from their charming patio. We love the Jalapeño Mint Margarita – and be sure to go on Taco Tuesday for a sweet deal. 

3. Artifex

Craft beer fans, rejoice! San Clemente has several great breweries, but our fave is probably Artifex. Located in an industrial park, this is a super chill spot to come enjoy a beer with friends. Bonus – most days they have a food truck stop by (follow their Instagram to stay updated on their happenings!)

SWIM

1. Riviera

This beach is a local fave for swimming, sunning, and spending time with the fam. Access can be hard to find if you’ve never been, so you can get all the deets from the city here. Plus, the San Clemente Coastal Trail passes through here, so you can easily walk to another beach or to the Pier. 

2. The Pier

We love this spot for casual strolls any time of year. Walk down the pier to see locals fishing, or get a bird’s-eye view of the surfers. Or sit up on the hill and enjoy a beautiful sunset. The beach in this spot is pretty good as well, win-win! 

3. SanO

While technically located in the northernmost part of San Diego county, this local fave is most easily accessed from San Clemente. Generations of longboarders have called this mellow spot with beginner-friendly waves their second home. Even if you don’t surf, you can enjoy the charming, old school atmosphere and beautiful views at San Onofre. 

SHOP

1. Hobie

Hobie is one of our fave shops in the area, and not just because they *ahem* carry our line. They have everything you could need under one roof, and with several stores in OC, they’ve earned their reputation as a leading surf shop. 

2. Swirl

This is your destination for anything from cute cutoffs to gorgeous maxi dresses. The friendly staff at Swirl will get you outfitted in trendy styles you’ll love. Plus, they now carry L*SPACE so you can get beach-ready here as well!

3. Novella Royale

Novella is a boho-babe fave for rad bell bottoms and all things ’70s chic. And now they have a stunning storefront right in San Clemente! Shop a curated collection of unique styles as well as vintage styles. This is definitely a shopping destination you’ll want to hit up for a well-made piece you’ll wear forever. 

Those are just a few of our must-dos while in San Clemente. If you’re a SoCal local, head over for a fun Saturday afternoon. And if you live out of state, be sure to cross this cute beach town off your travel bucket list.

See you on the beach!