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San Onofre State Beach, San Clemente

Categories: State Parks, Beaches, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
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.
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  • We came wanting to body board, but the beach is mostly large rocks and was not usable for us. Unfortunately, our $15 admission was wasted on a short visit and then on to Laguna Beach. This beach appea...  read more »
  • Long strands of beach that are located beyond the parking areas and sand dunes. Restroom facilities are scattered all along the parking areas 
  • We were working our way up the SoCal coast exploring beach towns and hanging out on the beaches. Coming up from San Elijo State Beach Campground, we were so disappointed by San Onofre. Not only is the...  read more »
  • Beach is well maintained, bathrooms are usable (nothing special though, I mean they are just beach bathrooms), no place to rinse off your equipment, though, but that's because of the drought, so just be prepared for that. Great place to surf or just chill. Highly recommend it.
  • This beach has some awesome smooth and rolling waves. Not being a pro surfer or beach-ologist I assume that it somethings to do with the slope of the ground and the fact that it has a rocky bottom rather than sand. I would guess that this prevents the bottom topography from changing so drastically. A couple things I don't like about this beach is that it's a darn-long walk to it and the amount of graffiti about "only locals allowed" is ridiculous. One more thing is that it's directly next to the power plant and I just don't feel that comfortable swimming in the water that has been used to cool down the nuclear plant. Perhaps that's unfounded, but I still don't like it.
  • The beach itself is fine, but the campground is not friendly to tent-campers. The small patches of dirt next to the parking lot are LOUD. Between the road, train tracks, freeway, and military base, this isn't the campground for a peaceful getaway.
  • Awesome view from above and of coarse on the beach. $15 for the day though, Im not sure if that is for over night and I think that is per person.
  • The beach is very nice. Thanks to the US Marines, we are all able to enjoy a beautiful, untouched place. The campsites are on the small side and we were sandwiched between two huge RVs. The only other complaint is the noise of the cars rushing by on the highway and the somewhat regular train. Don,t let this stop you from enjoying your trip though!
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