Campground Review: San Clemente State Beach, California
Why we chose here: Even though we had lived in Southern California for several years and our business lives led us to Orange County often, we had never really spent much time exploring the beaches in the area. We decided to spend a few weeks hanging out on the OC coast at Dana Point and San Clemente area.
Location: This campground is in a great location on a bluff a short (steep) walk above the wonderful and expansive San Clemente State Beach. It's walking distance to the pier in downtown San Clemente, and you can also walk in the other direction to Trestles and view Nixon's old home. The train track is well below the campground and we didn't hear it while we were there.
Sites: There are dry and hookup sites here. The hookups are a little close to each other, but the sites in the low 60's do have an ocean view. We opted for a dry site on the other side of the campground. The dry sites are much more spacious and well separated. Our site (81) was huge. The ocean front sites are excellent. Site #88 is amazing, but 82, 83 and 85 are pretty incredible too. We were here during one of the wettest seasons California has experienced in a while and many of the sites are prone to flooding.
Facilities: This has to be my only ding! The showers were just not warm enough. I can put up with lower pressure, but lukewarm water is inexcusable. A dollar for 4 minutes of tepid water. Boooo! There is a dump station on site. The day use area of the beach has a cafe. There is a visitor center which was not open very much while we were there in January.
Groceries: Trader Joes and Sprouts are nearby.
Cell coverage / WiFi: We had good coverage with Verizon and Project Fi (T-Mobile & Sprint).
Price paid: $35 nightly rate for a dry site
Date of visit: Jan 2017
Would we visit again? Yes, I really like this campground. The bluff top sites are huge and the views are excellent.