The Best Beach Hotels to Book in San Clemente, California

Oceanfront Hacienda in San Clemente comes with unforgettable ocean views
Oceanfront Hacienda in San Clemente comes with unforgettable ocean views | Courtesy of Oceanfront Hacienda / Expedia
Nick Dauk

Wave riders should already be familiar with the famed breaks of San Clemente. This laid-back beach town is a great introduction to the Californian surf culture, but, if sunsets on the sand and photos on the pier are more your speed, you won’t be disappointed either. Hiking trails, fresh seafood, and boutique shopping are all within a few feet of these breezy beach hotels in San Clemente.

1. San Clemente Cove

Suite Hotel

Simple cream-toned room with a double bed, a picture with three palm trees above the bed, two bedside tables and a window at San Clemente Cove
Courtesy of San Clemente Cove / Expedia

When you escape to San Clemente Cove for a weekend away, just know that around 20,000 gray whales have the same idea. Check in to your breezy, partial-ocean-view condo (with a full kitchen, by the way), and head straight to the San Clemente Pier to see the whales migrate for their mating season. Swipe through your photos slack-jawed at Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar, home to some of the freshest seafood in town.

2. Casa Tropicana Boutique Beachfront Hotel

Boutique Hotel

A white double bed in an en-suite room with navy decorative accents at Casa Tropicana Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Casa Tropicana Boutique Hotel / Expedia

Enjoy the calm Californian coastal lifestyle from your private beach casita at Casa Tropicana, one of the best beach hotels in San Clemente. A luxury getaway awaits in the penthouse Casita Del Rey suite. Sip your morning cup on a private oceanview deck, or trade coffee for a cocktail in the jacuzzi tub under the moonlight. Just know that you’re always only 2 minutes away from the shoreline if your oceanview soaking tub for two starts to feel a little cramped.

3. Sea Horse Resort

Resort

Blue and turquoise sun loungers with orange and turquoise pillows in a line on the grass at Sea Horse Resort facing the ocean
Courtesy of Sea Horse Resort / Expedia

While you may not spot the eponymous creature at the Sea Horse Resort, you will see plenty of pups practicing their doggie paddle in the ocean. Pets are welcome to accompany you during your stress-free stay, though the sun-soaked Garden Terrace is reserved for humans only. The sound of waves crashing will lull you both to sleep in your oceanfront deluxe suite. When you need to stretch all six of your legs, walking along the San Clemente Beach Trail is a great way to sniff out beachside bars.

5. Oceanfront Hacienda

Villa

Opulent bed with an intricate carved wood and leather frame in a small cottage at Oceanfront Hacienda, with a wooden ceiling, hardwood floors, a separate living area and ocean views
Courtesy of Oceanfront Hacienda / Expedia

Oceanfront Hacienda, a historic Spanish villa by the sea dating back to 1928, will feel like your own personal beach house. All four richly appointed suites have ocean views and either an indoor or outdoor fireplace. Full kitchens and laundry facilities will make you feel right at home, while nightly strolls across the street on the San Clemente Pier are as dreamy as they sound.

6. House of Trestles

Hostel

A surf mural on the side of House of Trestles, with bikes lined up on the ramp out front leading to the entrance of the modern building
Courtesy of House of Trestles / Expedia

Finally going to give surfing a try? House of Trestles has a wetsuit and board for you to rent, but, if you’d rather explore on dry land, an e-bike is also available. Stay in the hostel, and you’re sure to make new friends during a street art tour. Roll with your new crew down to the San Clemente Skatepark to shred the day away and up to the Triangle to party all night.

7. The Patriots' Boutique Motel

Motel

A double bed in a simple, tiled room at the Patriots Boutique Motel with a small wooden table and a flat screen TV
Courtesy of The Patriots Boutique Motel / Expedia

Who said a San Clemente vacation had to be in the sand? The Patriots’ Boutique Motel may be within walking distance of the beach, but it’s also just as close to the best shopping and entertainment downtown. Sip some of Cali’s freshest fruit smoothies at Juice My Heart, and window shop to your heart’s content. If you booked the King Ocean View Suite, make sure you bring groceries back, so you can grill out on your private patio and grub on some barbecue in front of your firepit.

8. Casablanca Inn

Hotel

A double bed with a wooden headboard in a large cream-toned room at the Best Western Plus Casablanca Inn, with a gray armchair, a wooden table and two green upholstered chairs, a writing desk and a flat screen TV
Courtesy of Best Western Plus Casablanca Inn / Expedia

A half-mile (0.8km) walk is all that stands between Casablanca Inn and North Beach, but we won’t be surprised if you get “lost” on the way and stumble into the outdoor heated pool. Whenever you do find your way back onto El Camino Real, the Colombian cafe at High Tide Coffee will definitely extend your detour. By the time you make it down to North Beach, you’ll be ready to lay out in the sun and eavesdrop on the seagulls.

9. The Surfbreak Hotel

Hotel

The Surfbreak Hotel is in a white building with three floors and a red-tile roof, and it faces an outdoor parking lot and numerous palm trees
Courtesy of The Surfbreak Hotel / Expedia

The Surfbreak Hotel knows you’re only here for one thing: Trestles. That’s why the guest rooms are designed to get up and out to arguably the best break in Cali. A mini-fridge and coffee maker in each room will fuel you up for an early morning surf sesh. On your way down to Trestles, stock up on some wax at Stewart Surfboards, and order up a box of donuts at Surfin Donuts Coffee House.

10. Nomads Hotel

Hotel

Two twin beds with Mexican-themed decorative pillows in a a colorful private room with lime-green walls, a red door and red ceiling details at Nomads Hotel
Courtesy of Nomads Hotel / Expedia

How do you one-up the ultimate surf vacation? By adding a little snow into the mix! Nomads Hotel has an awesome Surf & Snow Package. Shred waves after sunrise, and hit the slopes until sunset. You’ll get hardcore island vibes from the food at Nomads Canteen. Tear into a plate of loaded fish tacos, and down beers while watching the sunset. When it’s time to let the moon have its fun with the waves, your colorful California patio suite is only a shuffle away.

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