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Linda Lane Beach in San Clemente: A Little Slice of Swim Between Surfers

Linda Lane Beach in San Clemente: A Little Slice of Swim Between Surfers

Linda Lane Beach in San Clemente is basically a little haven for swimmers and boogie boarders between surf flags. It’s north of the San Clemente Pier at the end of Linda Lane.

Directions to Linda Lane Beach: To reach it from I-5, exit at Avenida Palizada and follow it towards the beach until you reach Encino Lane. Turn right on Encino which turns into Linda Lane. Park your car towards the bottom of the hill. Walk to the end of the cul-de-sac – and go to the RIGHT – where you’ll see a yellow gate with a red reflector sign. Walk down that road (steep and sandy, but paved!) – or take the winding ramp down to the tunnel UNDER the railroad tracks to the beach.  The tunnel looks “gooey” from street level, but when we walked down to it — it was passable to the beach. Go through a tunnel under the railroad to get to the beach. Head left out of the tunnel for seating areas with more sand – near the summer lifeguard. (I placed the map marker right where we sat – so you can see a nice overhead view of the area.) CLICK FOR MAP TO LINDA LANE BEACH

You can walk to it off the San Clemente Beach Trail at an access point north of the pier on Linda Lane.

Linda Lane beach access

Highlights:

  • In the summer when we visited, the lifeguard cleared the surfers at 10am and the area between the 2 orange flags switched to swimmers and boogie boards only
  • Sandy bottom
  • Waves break very far out – but the white water is strong enough to give young boogie boarders a long ride in
  • Sitting close to the lifeguard tower and having a clear view of the kids
  • Easy parking
  • Relatively short walk to the beach
  • Restrooms relatively nearby
  • Close to downtown San Clemente with its restaurants and shops
  • Right along the San Clemente Beach Trail
  • Fun to watch the trains go by! You can actually feel the thumping in the ground as the train goes by.

Be Aware:

  • Seriously aggressive squirrels – they climb into your food bag and scrape away at the cooler to get to your food. VERY bold and they are not easily shooed away. 
  • Sand/kelp flies – more annoying for us during the morning hours while it was still overcast. They scattered after the sun came out
  • During periods of high tides – there can be a very small sliver of dry sand, so know your tides when you go.
  • Gets busy during summer so come early – or after the crowds leave
  • Steep, but short hill to return to the parking lot after the beach
  • Be aware of the train proximity. Kids will want to climb the rocks – but there is direct access to the train tracks. So keep a close eye on them. If it’s a contest between you and the train – the train is gonna win!
  • On the day we visited, the lifeguard warned to watch for a stronger rip current as the tide was going out

Train at Linda Lane

Checklist:

  • Parking cost me $4+ dollars and I stayed from about 10am to 1pm.  Payment required between 10am and 6pm. City of San Clemente parking meters can be paid with credit card.  You just remember your spot number and then follow the directions on the automatic kiosk.
  • Closest restrooms are a short hike down the beach to north of the pier.
  • Check Heal the Bay Beach Report Card for latest water quality.
  • Official City of San Clemente beach info

San Clemente beaches

Nearby Parks:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Beaches and oceans are unpredictable and can change from season to season — or even day-to-day depending on the weather and tides. We visited on a sunny summer day with a lifeguard on duty.  This would be a very different beach with no lifeguard during stormy weather. So – stay safe and use your common sense!  I recommend obeying all posted signs and talking to the lifeguard when you get there. I always say: “I’ve never been to this beach before – anything I should know about since I’m here with kids?”  Also, please be especially sensible and cross UNDER the railroad tracks.

Originally posted in July 2013.

UPDATED 2016

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