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San Onofre State Beach, San Clemente

(3.7/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web)
San Onofre State Beach is a 3000acre state park located in San Diego County, California, USA. The beach is 3mi south of the city of San Clemente on Interstate 5 at Basilone Road. The state park is leased to the state of California by the United States Marine Corps. Governor Ronald Reagan established San Onofre State Beach in 1971. With over 2.5 million visitors per year, it is one of the five most-visited state parks in California, hosting swimmers, campers, kayakers, birders, fishermen, off-duty Marines, bicyclists, sunbathers, surfers, and the sacred Native American site of Panhe. It is named after the fourth-century saint Onuphrius.Located between San Onofre Bluffs and San Onofre Surf Beach is the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), which was officially shut down in June 2013.Park attractionsThe San Onofre Bluffs portion of San Onofre State Beach features 3.5mi of sandy beaches with six access trails cut into the bluff above. The campground is along the old U.S. Route 101 adjacent to the sandstone bluffs. The beach is popular with swimmers and surfers. San Onofre includes San Onofre Bluffs and Beach areas; San Onofre Surf Beach, a day use facility; San Mateo campgrounds and day use facility; and Trestles, accessible via a nature trail from San Mateo Campgrounds. Alcohol is banned from all beaches within the State Park.
Take a look at our San Clemente tour planner to schedule your visit to San Onofre State Beach and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We have visited this campsite 2x's in the last month.... and I love it considering it's been freezing. Both times that we have stayed the campground is very peaceful and quite. Walk to the beach is a ...  more »
  • Windy coast just steps from san Clemente, with vast Ocean Beach; ideal for people like me who don't surf, for wonderful walks.
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  • I grew up at this beach...Every weekend throughout every summer, we camped here, fished here, body surfed. It was always clean, great place for families to visit and go camping for a summer holiday. 
Google
  • The campsite is small and there is no shade. The ground is hard packed dirt - bent some tent stakes trying to hammer them in. You're right next to your cars, which is convenient I guess. Definitely bring some large shade cover to hang out under or I don't even know how you'd survive the day. It's very hot there. Directly over the hill (campsite 36) is amazing views of the beach and coastline. We took chairs up there and watched the sunset. That was pretty great. The surfing is okay here, but the swell was lacking. We still went once or twice a day and had a good time. You have to carry your board and other beach gear up and down a long path that requires big steps and even a little rope maneuvering. We had a 4 year old with us though and he handled it just fine. Overall, this is a fun weekend getaway for some surfing, or for a pit stop as you keep traveling. I couldn't see spending more than 2 nights here.
  • As nice a beach as any south of Laguna. Good spot for long boarding and short boarding as well as learning to surf. Actually in SD county so you can bring dogs toward the south end and can drink alcohol last time I checked.
  • Nice beach with good surf points but pricey ($15). The beach is sandy but the ocean floor is full of stones so it's not really fun to just hang in the water if you're not surfing. The restrooms are OK, not super clean and not super dirty. There were no showers available because of the draught
  • Long, friendly waves, almost zero local complex, a steady crowd of dawn patrollers that everyone knows, plenty of surfers enjoying their longboards. You park right next to the water (come early to get a spot) and there is a $15 charge unless you have a state parks pass.
  • Nice beach, nice views, lot of surfers. $15 fee Four stars for the rest rooms being locked.