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Beach Spot: Find Your Dream Vacation

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Home Pacific Ocean Beaches California Beaches California Vacation Spot: Calafia State Beach in San Clemente

California Vacation Spot: Calafia State Beach in San Clemente

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Where is Calafia Beach, San Clemente, California?

California Beach Vacation Spot

Calafia State Beach is part of the bigger San Clemente State Beach. If you are taking a beach vacation to Calafia beach, its helpful to consult the tide charts before coming to this beach, because it’s only a skinny strand of beach. It might be skinny, but that doesn’t mean it is not spectacular. A couple things to know immediately about this little beach vacation spot.

  • As expected, the water is spectacular. The colors are amazing even if you aren’t wearing polarized sunglasses.
  • This is where the San Clemente beach trails either ends or starts, as it is the southern most point .

Unlike some other beaches in San Clemente, like Trestles, it is simple to get here. Its only a couple minutes off the 5 and there is parking. It is a city operated park and park beach on California state property. On nice days, the parking lot fills up, because this is one of the more popular beaches in the area.

Where is Calafia State Beach?  33°41′N 117°61′W

San Clemente beach Calafia

Set in Orange County, California, the city of San Clemente is at the halfway point between Los Angeles and San Diego. San Clemente has some of the best beaches in California and a swelling population of over 60,000 and growing. The city is renowned for its pleasant Mediterranean climate, Spanish Colonial architecture, and views of great beach spots for vacation or everyday use. “Spanish Village by the Sea” is the slogan of San Clemente and the city flower is the beautiful Bougainvillea.

[pullquote]The San Clemente Coastal Trail starts here and heads north for 2.3 miles to North Beach[/pullquote]

Under the Spanish settled in the area, the Juaneño people inhabited this pleasing beach region. In 1776, Father Junipero Serra founded the San Juan Capistrano Mission. Even though for a long period, the area was coveted by explorers and others, no development happened. With the mission in place, villages were soon established by both Spaniards and the indigenous populace. Unfortunately for the Juaneño natives, they were soon put to work by the mission.

California Beaches: Calafia State Park Beach

Calafia Beach, San Clemente Vacations

If you are looking to settle in for the day here, there is a cafe right on the beach. While this isn’t gourmet, it’s quite easy and means less fun beach stuff to worry about or pack. Cross the railroad tracks in one of the designated places and then you are on the sand. There are showers and other amenities as well as a campground at this beautiful beach on the Pacific Ocean.

[pullquote]home to Surfing Magazine, The Surfer’s Journal, and Longboard Magazine, with Surfer Magazine in the adjacent city of San Juan Capistrano[/pullquote]

Calafia Beach is not your world class surf break. Unfortunate for surfers, but great for families with children.  The waves are friendly here, but at high tide can take up a large part of the small beach. It is a wonderful location for a bonfire. While Calafia may not be for surfing, San Clemente certainly is. Known as the surfing media capital of the world in addition to being a major surfing destination in itself.

California Beach Vacation Spot in Calafia

The city of San Clemente has extremely moderate weather. This Mediterranean climate is warmest in August and coldest in December. Each year, the sun shines on this lovely beach for an average of 310 days making it a safe destination for a beach vacation.



This project, Beach Spot, has been a lingering thought for nearly 20 years. It started on a crazy offshore Venezuelan island, Isla Margarita, during the first dot com craze. The idea evolved while life continually got in the way. A decade was spent on a Mediterranean island as well as a number of years chasing the sun in the USVI. Back living stateside in San Diego, this project will hopefully be an enjoyable look at a number of beach towns.


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