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Photo: File
Photo: File

By Jake Howard

Every year the planet’s best surfers are drawn to San Clemente because of the world-class waves at Trestles, but there’s a lot more to do around town than just post up on the cobblestones. Here are some of the local favorites:

  1. Go Surfing

There’s more to surfing in San Clemente than Lowers. Spots like T Street and the pier can offer up plenty of fun surf if you don’t feel like marching down the trail to Trestles. It’s still summertime, the water’s warm and the living’s easy.

  1. Hang at San Onofre

There are few things better in this world than a cruisy afternoon barbecue at San Onofre State Park. With its aloha vibes, idyllic longboard setups and timeless feel, anyone can soak it all in at the birthplace of California surf culture.

  1. Visit the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center

As it’s been said, you can’t know the future if you don’t know the past. A stop into the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center is a lesson in surf history. With its collection of historic surfboards, equipment and memorabilia, it’s the ideal spot to get reacquainted with your roots.

  1. Go Shopping

San Clemente and Dana Point are home to some all-time surf shops. Stewart Surfboards, Dewey Weber Surfboards, Timmy Patterson Surfboards, Killer Dana, Catalyst, Jack’s Surf Shop, Hobie Surf Shop, the Rip Curl super center, Icons of Surf and the San Clemente “surf ghetto” are just a few. If you can’t find a board or pair of trunks in South Orange County you probably can’t find it anywhere.

  1. Eat Local

After a long day at the beach a good meal and cold drink is a wonderful thing. Luckily, there are a number of surf-themed eateries in the area that are worth a visit. Nomad’s Cantina and Hapa J’s both have great food and surf videos on constant rotation. Pipe’s and Surfin’ Donuts are great places to pop in for breakfast and power up for the day too.

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