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

Hanson’s Mediterranean architecture still rules in the quaint stucco-and-red-tile-roofed homes and popular civic buildings such as the Ole Hanson Beach Club, the Community Center, and the harborside pier. And, though it took a few years of growing pains to accommodate the recent influx of L.A.-style development in the hills behind town, the newcomers have adopted the untucked-shirt-and-flip-flops attitude. Now, their taste (and money) helps support a new breed of boutique shops and gourmet restaurants.

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