One perfect day in San Clemente, CA

Spend the day in an Orange County surf town with plenty to offer

  • Hop by VR Green Farms on Saturday to get fresh produce for your next dinner.

    VR Green Farms

    Gina Sabatella

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Burgers and brews: Locals line up at the Riders Club Cafe, a former gas station, for craft beer, build-your-own burgers,  and carnitas topped with carrot slaw. The rock tunes and beer-themed decor add honky-tonk swagger. $; 1701 N. El Camino Real; 949/388-3758

Veggies on the green: Sure, you can play nine holes at Bella Collina golf club, but Saturdays you can also buy produce from the 21/2-acre VR Green Farms, near the clubhouse. Look for tomatoes, zucchini, and fresh herbs at the farmstand, and say hello to farmer Nic Romano. 200 Avenida La Pata; 

Wine break: At the Cellar wine and cheese bar, food and drink share equal billing. Pull up a stool and order a glass of Rhône-style red and a wedge of triple-cream Red Hawk. Headed back to the beach? Grab a baguette sandwich and a bar of fair-trade chocolate. $; 156 Avenida Del Mar; 949/492-3663.

Shop like a surfer: 3 stores even nonsurfers will love

An artsy surf shop: Just south of downtown, Stewart Surfboards is owned by longboard-making legend and artist Bill Stewart. Stop by to pick up beach gear, or just admire the ocean-inspired air-brushed mural outside. 2102 S. El Camino Real; 949/492-1085.

Bargains, dude! Locals head to Trestles Surf Outlet, named after the famous surf spot nearby, for great deals on wetsuits, board shorts, and swimsuits. The 20 to 50 percent off saves more for that sweet board you’ve been eyeing. 3011 S. El Camino Real; 949/498-7474

Surf gear gone green: Big-time surf brand Hobie gets eco at their Green Room downtown, where everything is Earth-friendly—from organic cotton shirts to board shorts made from recycled water bottles. 151 Avenida Del Mar; 949/542-3400.






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