Everything You Need to Know about the San Clemente Pier

san clemente pier

San Clemente Pier is home to just one of 45 piers you can expect to find in California. Florida another famous tourist beach destination has about 35.

And the nice thing about most of these California piers is you don’t have to pay an entrance fee while visiting, unlike Florida piers.

These are just a few differences between California beaches and Florida beaches. Although, I could go on with listing the best beach piers to visit in the U.S. we’ll save that story for another time.

Today I want to make your life a bit easier with preparing you on everything you have to know before visiting.

So here goes.

Where is San Clemente Pier located?

San Clemente is one of many cities that make up Orange County in California. These are a few beaches that you will find here:

  • T-Street Beach
  • San Clemente State Beach
  • North Beach
  • Mariposa Beach

On the San Clemente Pier City Beach is where you will find the San Clemente Pier. 

What is there to know about San Clemente Pier?

This pier is a well-known popular destination amongst locals and tourists. According to the Orange County Register, an estimated 2 million people visit San Clemente Pier each year.

While there may be different reasons people come to visit this place there is one thing most people can agree on when visiting: nature is truly a remarkably beautiful thing.

You can spot many people observing the sunsets here. And you can only wonder if they felt the same feelings my sister and I experienced that day.

The sense of serenity and awareness of how beautiful nature truly is.

As we witnessed the bright, fiery red sun slowly descend into the vast ocean. Leaving behind the silent black moonlit sky.

This is definitely a recommended place to see it from here.

What are the Pier Hours?

If you are planning on visiting the pier be aware of the hours of operation. The pier is open Monday-Sunday from four in the morning until midnight.

This also applies to the beaches in San Clemente. You don’t have to worry about paying an entrance fee to walk on the pier, however, you may have to pay on parking depending on where you park.

san clemente pier parking
Photo by James Coleman 

What about Parking?

There are several places you can park while visiting the San Clemente Pier. The closest parking lot to park is San Clemente Pier Bowl Parking. It is located at: Avenida Victoria, San Clemente, CA 92672.

It is less than a mile walking distance from the pier. I want to point out that this a popular parking place amongst tourist and locals.

So, just to give you a heads up make sure you arrive early if possible to get a spot, especially during the weekends when most families are here visiting.

The cost to park here is $1.50 per hour. If you don’t get lucky in finding a spot here then don’t worry there are other nearby places to park near the pier.

You can also park on the street near the residential areas. My sister and I usually would park off the street when visiting and you don’t have to worry about paying for parking.

Just be aware on some residential streets that they have sweeping times so you don’t want your car to be towed. Pay attention to the signs.

What are some San Clemente Pier restaurants?

If you end up getting hungry after walking the pier there are plenty of nearby food options here. The Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar is one place found right on the pier.

They offer a variety of seafood cuisine dishes. Some of there featured items are:

  • Fish and Chips
  • Alaskan Halibut and Chips
  • Salmon Tacos
  • Salmon Fettuccine
  • Hamburgers

And for the bar? You can expect Happy Hour from Monday Friday’s between 4pm-7pm. Some of their drinks include:

  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Tequila
  • Brandy

You can expect to see prices around $15 to $30 a plate, but for an update on pricing do visit their website.

Another restaurant is The Pier Grill & Tackle. Unlike, the Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar you can’t sit here. It’s more like a stand in which you order your food and pick it up.

You can expect the food here to be cheaper than the Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar. They offer casual food such as: burritos, burgers, and hot dogs.

It’s perfect for those visitors who are on a budget. You can find several souvenirs as well here. It’s also like a gift shop in which you can purchase postcards along with magnets to take as a gift.

La Galette Creperie is another place. It’s a French inspired place that carries many different crepe dishes. In addition, to salads.

Pierside Kitchen & Bar is another popular place. The one thing that my sister and I enjoy about this place was that they have Taco Tuesdays.

From 3:30pm up to 9pm you can order tacos such as Shrimp, Grilled Chicken, Calamari, Al Pastor for $4 each.

They also have a Oyster Hour which from 3:30pm-6pm everyday except on Tuesdays. Where the oyster dishes are on special. You can find more about the menu at their site.

There prices range from $15 to $30 a plate.

san clemente pier view
Photo by Oscar Bonilla 

Things to do at the San Clemente Pier ?

If you are wondering what is there to do at the San Clemente Pier we got several suggestions. Walking around the pier or jogging here is a obvious suggestion you should try.

You will see many people participating in these activities already.

You can fish here as well. When, my sister and I visited we saw many birds flocking the pier along with people fishing.

You will need a license here only if you plan on taking the fish home. You can learn more by visiting the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

You can also eat on the pier and bring your camera or use your phone and take some photography. The landscape is perfect for taking shots of sunsets, sunrises, surfers, and even wildlife.

What attractions are nearby San Clemente Pier?

If you are wondering what nearby attractions to do near the pier they rest assured you got plenty of options. Besides exploring the pier you can find most people swimming in the water.

With over 4 beaches located here why not check them out? Some of these beaches offer fire pits. When we explored the North Beach we saw fire pits and many families have barbeques.

However, when we visited Mariposa Beach a lesser crowded beach we noticed no fire pits here. We also did the San Clemente Beach trail that was located in the middle of this beach.

garden of flowers
Photo by Yen Vu 

There is also the Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens worth seeing. It is a historical landmark that entails the home of Ole Hanson.

He was a key figure in the development of the San Clemente city) along with 2.5 acres of beautiful gardens.

They also offer wedding venues here for those planning a wedding. The entrance fee for visiting is $5 per adult and children under ages of 12 get in free.

They offer free entrance first Sunday of the month.

If you have kids take them to the Linda Lane Park. This park is great for the children. For it offers a playground that is fish-themed and several benches.

It’s not a big playground, but kids can sure enjoy sliding down the slides here.

There is also a beach trail you can take here. There are many people cycling here along with joggers. Just a heads up that if you plan on visiting here you will be expected to pay.

San Clemente Pier Pin 1


The San Clemente Pier is worth visiting if you ever get a chance. You don’t have to worry about paying an entrance fee and you can get some ocean air while walking on the pier.

There are also restaurants and a souvenir shop worth checking out in case you get hungry or want to bring home gifts.

There is over 4 beaches located here as well that leave lot of room to check them out. Surfing enthusiasts can definitely explore T Street Beach which is a popular surfing destination.

We saw many surfers swimming here out of the other beaches. There is also the Linda Lane Park that is perfect for those with little ones since there is a playground they can take.

Let us know in the comments below that you thought about the pier or any activities you recommend doing nearby here. Remember, pick up after yourself when visiting for we only got one planet.

Jess and Jeanette
About Jess and Jeanette

Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating.

unseenbeaches about us pic

Hi! This is Jess and Jeanette. Two sisters & beach travelers. We built this blog to share our travels in hopes of helping you plan your next beach vacation. Cheers! ❤️



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