SoCal Beach Hopping: Laguna Beach and San Clemente – California
A popular trip is to start in Los Angeles and work your way down the beautiful beach coastline to San Diego. There are so many beaches to choose from – Huntington, Newport, Laguna, Dana Point, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, and more. Picking the ones you want to visit is the tricky part – narrowing this list down when there is a limited amount of time to see everything. Each location has their own personality, but there are only so many beaches you can fit into a day. Kevin was really interested in going to Laguna so we planned for that to be the northern most beach then work our way down the coast back to San Diego.
While it was a long drive to Laguna Beach, it was a very scenic drive passing all the different beach front areas. Since it was a Tuesday, we had an easy time parking in downtown Laguna. Parts of the roads were closed for outdoor dining and relaxation seating, even decorated for the fall.
We did a lap and popped into Tippy’s Coffee Shop for some morning beverages. This is a fun shop that showcases animals for adoption and very fun decor, and plus, everyone really loved their drinks (the banana peanut butter smoothie was a treat).
We made our way to the beach, kicked off our shoes, and enjoyed walking the pristine sand and clear water. We could see surfers in the distance so we walked to a rock format to view them. The waves seemed decent enough – in fact in one version of the itinerary I had us taking a surfing lesson (LOL) – glad we went with the more laid back approach.
I was surprised how clear the water is here – I guess being on the east coast, I just assume that everywhere looks like mud water but so far in our travels, NJ is the only place with it. Before long, the sun was getting quite hot so we headed up back to the downtown area.
We stopped inside Wahoo’s for taco snacks before heading back to the car to continue our day. After investigating several beaches, we decided to head further south and head to the pier at San Clemente. We wanted to make sure we were well positioned for sunset by Torrey Pines so getting more of the driving out of the way earlier in the day to beat traffic seemed to be the better option. San Clemente the “Spanish Village by the Sea” was up next.
Parking was easy – even grabbed a spot with time on the meter. We walked down to the pier and noticed train tracks running right through. Such a neat picture having the train steam on by with the backdrop.
Walking out to the end of the pier, it was surprisingly empty with a group of eager fishers at the edge. After trying our hand at fishing this year, we were interested to see what kind of fish were catching but unfortunately nothing was on the hook for the time we watched.
We loved our time at these two beaches! I do not think you can go wrong picking any of these and I am certainly looking forward to exploring more of them on a return trip, maybe even sneak in that surf lesson.