Discover Coastal Dream Towns

After canvassing all coasts for towns with seaside charm, a lively beach culture, and good housing, these are our top spots for planning quick trips or finding a new place to live.

San Clemente, California

Old style, New attitude

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Dream Towns: San Clemente, California
Photo: Michael Hanson

San Clemente, California

Built in the 1920s as a “Spanish Village by the Sea” by former Seattle mayor Ole Hanson, San Clemente has about 300 sunny days annually and some of the best surf on this coast. The town was largely home to hard-core surfers and military personnel from Camp Pendleton, but many of the military folks have moved out, replaced by a wave of young professionals (some 20,000 new residents in the past decade).

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100 Comfy Cottage Rooms 

Develop your coastal cottage’s style by following these simple tricks.

Lacy curtains, fresh florals, and plenty of monogrammed pillows are just a few of the feminine touches that give this room its calming and sweet mood. Pieces scored at thrift stores and flea markets were refreshed with paint, then artfully applied to achieve the shabby-chic distressed look.