Moving to & Living in San Clemente
Chip Martin
Chip Martin

Living in San Clemente 🏖️ | Is Moving to San Clemente Right for You?

Always dreamed of living in a coastal paradise with sandy beaches and great weather? You should consider moving to San Clemente. San Clemente is a city in Orange County, CA, offering all the best aspects of the Southern California lifestyle. Initially settled by the Spanish, the name San Clemente comes from Saint Clement, a bishop of Rome in the late first century. Americans first settled in the area in the 1920s, and the city was officially incorporated in 1928.

Today, San Clemente is known for its beautiful beaches and iconic Spanish Colonial architecture, often known as "the Spanish Village By the Sea." San Clemente is a good place to live for families, young professionals, and anyone looking for friendly neighbors and a cool ocean breeze.

Where Is San Clemente?



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San Clemente is in Orange County on the south coast of California, roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. The city is situated directly on the Pacific Coast, surrounded by wilderness and nature preserves on the opposite side. Nearby cities and towns include Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, and Camp Pendleton.

San Clemente is about 65 miles or a 90-minute drive to Los Angeles (with traffic) and 60 miles or a 60-minute drive to San Diego.

San Clemente Population & Demographics

The population of San Clemente is 64,293, according to the 2020 census, which is only about a 1.2% increase since 2010. The population density is 3,502 residents per square mile. San Clemente is the 17th largest city in Orange County and the 141st largest city in California by population. Many famous residents have lived in San Clemente, including professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler and MLB pitcher Kolby Allard.

Other San Clemente Demographics 

  • The San Clemente population is approximately 51% male and 49% female.
  • The median age is 43.8 years old.
  • The racial and ethnic breakdown is 79.5% White (72.9% non-Hispanic), 16.4% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 1.5% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, and 9.5% two or more races.
  • The median household income is $123,090, which is 50% higher than the statewide average.
  • It's a fairly well-educated community, 95.2% have a high school diploma, and 51.2% of residents hold a bachelor's degree.
  • The foreign-born population is 11.6%.

San Clemente is a very safe city with a lower crime rate than the rest of the US. The total crime rate is 1,481 per 100,000 residents, which is 36.9% lower than the rest of the country. Your chances of being the victim of a crime are only 1 in 68. The violent crime rate is 142 per 100,000 residents, which is 63.4% lower than the country overall. The property crime rate is 1,339 per 100,000 residents, which is 31.6% lower than the rest of the country.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office patrols the city of San Clemente. They employ 1460 sworn deputies and 1446 civilian personnel to stop crime in Orange County.

Cost of Living in San Clemente

Before moving to San Clemente, you'll likely want to get a handle on the cost of living. San Clemente is expensive compared to the national average. However, it's roughly on par with other parts of Southern California. The San Clemente cost of living index is around 149.3, which means it's approximately 50% more expensive than the national average. The COLI is a metric used to compare the cost of living to the rest of the country, which is represented by 100.

According to the Family Budget Calculator created by the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four with two adults and two children would need to earn $114,841 per year to afford to live in Orange County, CA.

The San Clemente real estate market is also relatively expensive compared to the rest of the United States. According to Redfin, the average list price of San Clemente CA homes for sale is $1.65 million, which has increased by 6.5% over the past year. The San Clemente average home price per square foot is $726, which has remained consistent.

Rent in San Clemente is also fairly high. RentCafe states that the average rent in San Clemente is $2,805 per month, starting at around $2339 for a one-bedroom and up to $9,000 for a two-bedroom.


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San Clemente Neighborhoods | Where to Live in San Clemente

One of the best things about living in San Clemente is the wide variety of amazing neighborhoods. Although you'll find plenty of safe areas with great real estate no matter where you go, the most desired areas tend to be in the south, while the most affordable are in the southwest. Here are a few of the best San Clemente neighborhoods to check out.

Rancho San Clemente - A Peaceful Beach Community

Rancho San Clemente is a gorgeous community in the heart of the city, offering luxury amenities, large, single-family homes, and easy access to the beach.

Marblehead - An Master Planned Community with Spanish and Italian Influence

Marblehead is a gated master-planned community along I-5, with custom-built homes with Spanish and Italian architectural styles and plenty of parks, boutiques, and restaurants nearby.

Central San Clemente - San Clemente's Social and Cultural Hub

Central San Clemente is the epicenter of the coastal city, with notable attractions like the San Clemente Pier and a mix of housing choices, including condos, single-family homes, and luxury estates.

San Clemente Weather & Climate

One of the major draws of living in Southern California is the fantastic climate. According to the Koppen classification system, the San Clemente climate is mild Mediterranean, characterized by short, warm summers and cool, mild winters. Temperatures vary from about 49°F to 77°F, although it rarely goes below 44°F or above 83°F. The best time to visit San Clemente for warm-weather activities is usually early June through mid-October.

Snow is non-existent. However, the city does experience a bit of rainfall. San Clemente averages about 14 inches of rainfall annually but also experiences about 281 days of sunshine. So pack rain boots and sunscreen if you plan on moving to San Clemente.

Things to Do in San Clemente

There's never a dull moment in San Clemente, and residents will find plenty of ways to stay occupied, from sandy beaches to cultural centers. Residents can head down to the Outlets at San Clemente for a wide selection of brand-name retailers at discount prices or check out Old Town San Clemente or the Plaza By the Sea. Beyond shopping, here are the best things to do in San Clemente.


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San Clemente Pier

The Pier is one of the most notable San Clemente attractions offering panoramic views of the shoreline and some of the best beaches and shops in the city close by.

San Clemente, CA 92672 (949) 361-8237

Surfing Heritage and Culture Center 

The Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center is a museum dedicated to the art of riding the perfect wave and features the world's largest collection of surfing artifacts, archives, and exhibits.

110 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente, CA 92672 (949) 388-0313

San Clemente State Beach

The San Clemente State Beach is a public park featuring a mile-long stretch of beach, along with picnics, campsites, and trails.

225 Avenida Calafia, San Clemente, CA 92672 (949) 492-3156

More things to do in San Clemente

The 20+ parks in San Clemente are maintained by the city's Recreation & Community Department, which hosts frequent events you can learn about on their website.

San Clemente Restaurants

You'll also find various top-notch restaurants in San Clemente, from casual American eateries to upscale Italian bistros.

Nick's San Clemente 

Nick's is one of the best restaurants in San Clemente for comfort food with an upscale twist, serving delicious plates like baby back pork ribs and prime rib dip, along with craft cocktails.

213 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672 (949) 481-2200


Vine's Restaurant and Bar 

Vines Restaurant and Bar is a laid back wine bar serving a carefully curated selection of Mediterranean-inspired bites like aged bone-in ribeye steak and wild-caught Alaskan Halibut.

211 N El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672 (949) 361-2079

Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar San Clemente 

Fisherman's Restaurant is one of the best places to eat in San Clemente for seafood with classic entre items like fish and chips and oysters on the half shell.

611 Avenida Victoria, San Clemente, CA 92672 (949) 498-6390

Jobs in San Clemente

San Clemente has a robust economy supported by industries like tourism and hospitality, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and scientific services. The economy of San Clemente employs about 31,700 people, and most residents work in management, sales, or office and administration occupations. 

Many San Clemente residents work at the USMC Base in Camp Pendleton, which is nearby in San Diego. Other major companies with headquarters in the city include Cameron Health, ICU Medical, Rainbow Sandals, and Pick Up Stix.

According to the city's 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employers are:

According to Payscale, the average salary of a San Clemente resident is $78,000 per year. Residents will find various great San Clemente jobs available, ranging from project manager to software engineer.

San Clemente Schools

The Capistrano Unified School District serves the city of San Clemente, which ranks among the top districts in the state. There are six elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school in San Clemente.

According to US News and World Report, San Clemente High School is ranked within the top 150 high schools in the Los Angeles area and 2137 in the nation overall. The school has a well-respected IB program with various AP courses available. They also have world-renowned arts programs, including award-winning orchestras, bands, and voice groups.

San Clemente also has many private schools, including Laguna Niguel Montessori Center, St. Michael's Christian Academy, and Our Savior Lutheran School.

Plus, residents can also stop by the San Clemente branch of the OC Public Library System for books, media community events, and more.

San Clemente Statistics & Information

  • San Clemente County: Orange County, CA
  • San Clemente Area: 19.11 sq mi
  • San Clemente Zip Codes: 92672–92674
  • San Clemente Area Codes: 949
  • San Clemente Elevation: 233 ft
  • San Clemente Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time (PST)
  • San Clemente's Closest Airport: The closest airport to San Clemente is John Wayne Airport (JWA), which is about 27 miles away

San Clemente, CA Map

Explore more attractions, restaurants, and fun things to do in San Clemente with this map!

Ready to make the move to this picturesque city on the sea? Trust our reliable team of San Clemente movers to help make the transition easy and painless. Call 800-395-6683 or fill out the form on our website to request a free estimate.

Chip Martin
Chip Martin
BA in philosophy, Long Beach State 1974, various trades after college including cabinet maker and boat refinisher, then became a local moving driver in 1976, bought Daly Movers in 1979, managed company, and drove local and long distance until 1995 when I transitioned into sales/office full time. Almost fifty years later Daly Movers and I have sold, worked, and familiarized ourselves with virtually every type of household and O&I relocation.

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