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

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Surf lovers, but they don’t stop there—San Clemente also maintains a host of art galleries. And this is California, so good, healthful food is always being cooked and shared in someone’s home.

Visiting San Clemente: Stay a week: Casa Tropicana Boutique Inn has eight romantic rooms in a five-story Spanish-style building overlooking a palm tree-lined beach and the 1926 San Clemente Pier; 800/492-1245 or Stay a month: A three-bedroom, two-bath cottage that sleeps eight in a quiet neighborhood, from $4,000/month; (Listing ID 41075).

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