One of our favorite areas in southern California are the cities between Los Angeles and San Diego. San Clemente, San Juan Capistano and Dana Beach are relaxing areas to spend some time in because there are not as many crowds.
San Clemente is about 60 miles to Los Angeles and to San Diego. Last time we visited we stayed in downtown San Clemente, so we could walk to the downtown for shopping, restaurants and to the beach.
Things to do in San Clemente
Casa Romantica in San Clemente
If you like historical homes you’ll enjoy a visit to Casa Romantica in San Clemente. The grounds have a breathtaking view of San Clemente State Beach. and historic pier. Inside you can view exhibits on the history of San Clemente and the beautiful gardens surrounding the home.
San Clemente State Beach
From our hotel we had a short walk to the San Clemente State Beach. In the summer the bougainvillea frame the pier.
In the spring, the beach is lovely because you can have it almost to yourself.
Things to do in San Juan Capistano
Los Rios District
The movie theatre in San Juan Capistrano is cool because it is new, but it looks like an old theatre. A short walk from the theatre and you can visit the shops in the Los Rios Historic District. It is the oldest neighborhood in California and the street has some beautiful gardens. The Montanez was built in 1794.
Things to do in Dana Point
Dana Strands Beach
Parking for the beach is a couple of blocks away. Once you park you’ll walk through a residential area. Brick crosswalks and brown directional signs will help guide you to the beach. There are stairs to the beach where Ocean Front Lane converges with Strand Beach Drive.
Doheny State Beach
Dana Point Whale & Dolphin Watching
We have gone in March and July. In March we saw a couple whales, however we never got a good photo of them. In July we saw a lot of dolphins.
During a visit in July we had a pod of dolphins that followed our boat. It was beautiful.
Dana Point Hilltop Park
If you’re in Dana Point take a drive to the Hilltop Park. They have pretty walking trails and a gorgeous view.