San Clemente

San Clemente is a south Orange County beach city of 63,522 residents. Located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, San Clemente was designed and developed by a former Seattle mayor, Ole Hanson. This “Spanish village by the sea” was envisioned by Hanson as a family oasis away from the bustle of the city. With ocean, hill, and mountain views, and plenty of beach access and outdoor recreation, San Clemente is a seaside suburb with local charm and an active village lifestyle.

Typical of many coastal areas in southern California, the cost of homes are well above the state average, yet real estate values in San Clemente have been declining since 2009. Many homes sell well below the median property value. The area just south of the I-5 on Avenida Del Mar is considered downtown, or Old City Plaza. Not only is this the most walkable part of the San Clemente, but it's also the heart of the historic district and home to chic shops, restaurants and bars. Even further south down Del Mar, near the pier and San Clemente Beach Trail, are resort hotels and beachfront scenery and shops.


In 1776, Father Junipero Serra founded the Mission San Juan Capistrano. The mission attracted both Spanish and Indian settlers that started villages in the area served by the mission. The first real development did not come to the area until the 1920s, when Ole Hanson arrived. San Clemente entered the national scene in 1969, thanks to President Richard Nixon. He bought part of the H. H. Cotton estate, one of the original homes built by Ole Hanson's partners. Nixon called it "La Casa Pacifica," but it was quickly nicknamed the "Western White House." It sits above one of the West Coast's premier surfing spots, Trestles, and just north of historic surfing beach San Onofre. During Nixon's tenure it was visited by many world leaders, including Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev and Henry Kissinger.

Parks and Recreation

San Clemente State Beach is the perfect escape for area residents, whether they wish to go swimming, camping, or to merely relax. Campsites are close in proximity to the beach; fire pits make possible evening bonfires and cordial gatherings. Many families enjoy bringing their kids to the white sand beaches, and they appreciate the fact that the water remains shallow out some distance from shore. Surfing is popular in San Clemente, to say the least. World-renown waves at Trestles and San Onofre draw scores of professional surfers to San Clemente, some of who choose to make it their home. It is also home to a prominent surf media industry and the headquarters of a number of surfboard manufacturers.

Attractions and Events

The Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is actually the former residence of Ole Hanson. Hanson's former home today offers fabulous ocean views and a host of educational exhibits. San Clemente's Vista Hermosa Sports Park hosts a major carnival and festival every October. Special kids activities, carnival rides, live entertainment and varied, tasty cuisine fill the four days of the event.

Del Mar Street is home to a lot of seasonal community activities, with Fiestas in the summer, homecoming parades in the fall, and "Puttin' on the Glitz" during the holidays. As the holiday season gets underway, the community center hosts the day-long event, "Santa’s Village by the Sea Presents: Holly Jolly Hoopla". 

The Outlets at San Clemente is a new retail project featuring dozens of well-known brands for shopping and dining on an ocean-front bluff.

San Clemente - Find Your Western White House

If you would like to buy a home in picturesque and historic San Clemente, now is the time to take action! Call the Coldwell Banker team led by broker Dan Raphael, 949-370-9930. They are OC coastal pros who can help you sort through the many desirable properties and find your dream home on the southern Orange County coast.

Based on information from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. as of Aug 8, 2022 7:13:pm. This information is for your personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties you may be interested in purchasing. Display of MLS data is usually deemed reliable but is NOT guaranteed accurate by the MLS. Buyers are responsible for verifying the accuracy of all information and should investigate the data themselves or retain appropriate professionals. Information from sources other than the Listing Agent may have been included in the MLS data. Unless otherwise specified in writing, Broker/Agent has not and will not verify any information obtained from other sources. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.