A day in San Clemente
San Clemente is unlike any “beach town” I have ever been to, and its beauty lies far beyond the city’s physicality. What truly makes San Clemente beautiful are the locals–many of whom have lived here for decades–and the special touch they leave behind on the area; the people are the foundation of San Clemente, and they have truly reshaped the city into something far more than what meets the eye.
As I walk through downtown San Clemente, I am hit with an array of family-owned businesses; eateries, boutiques, thrift stores, ice cream shops, quaint consignment stores, and small antique shops–every store different from the next, entirely unique to San Clemente’s family-friendly, care-free “vibe.”
La Casa Verde de Granada is the holy grail of vintage consignment–quaint, homey, and full of hidden treasures. Owned by a local San Clemente couple, La Casa Verde de Granada is a little Spanish-style home that has been reworked into an antique consignment shop; each original room is still entirely intact. It is easy to spend hours upon hours inside–scouring the rooms, looking at every article of authentically vintage clothing, exploring the fairyland-like backyard filled with extraordinary objects, and admiring the beautiful handmade artwork that lies throughout the house. As I walk into every room, I feel like I am entering a new world, one room covered in records and vintage Levi Jeans and another filled with retro handbags and funky hats. If you are in San Clemente, La Casa Verde de Granada is a must-visit on your bucket list; grab an iced coffee and a friend–preferably one who enjoys shopping too–and soak in La Casa’s whimsical charm and prepare to travel back in time.
The Wicker Bee, a buy-sell-consign store that sells local art, hype clothing, and the coolest kicks, is a place you cannot miss. The walls are splattered with eccentric colors and galaxy murals, hundreds of collectible shoes decorate their walls, and handmade streetwear hangs everywhere around their shop. If you’re looking to jazz up your wardrobe with a few iconic statement pieces, head over to The Wicker Bee because you will find the best pieces to spice up any outfit. Isabelle’s Cabinet is another San Clemente fan favorite–a girly boutique known for its colorful summer dresses, tops, and rompers–wildly loved by teenage girls in the area–how could you not love sparkles and ruffles? While both The Wicker Bee and Isabelle’s Cabinet appeal to entirely different audiences, both stores seem to fit perfectly into downtown San Clemente’s exotic scene.
What is a shopping trip without yummy food and treats? For an afternoon pick-me-up, head to High Tide Coffee, a little pink coffee shop–an Instagrammer’s dream– off El Camino Real for a lavender latte…or two! If you’re feeling a little hungrier but not up for a sit-down meal, The Cellar in Downtown San Clemente has hands-down the best charcuterie board I have ever had; each cheese is rich and creamy with a subtle touch of sweetness on the side. But, if you do have the time to sit down and indulge, H.H. Cotton’s will surely savor those cravings; their chicken and waffles dish is not only juicy and sweet but perfectly crispy! Finally, to end your full day of shopping, I suggest making a quick trip to South Swell Ice Cream, a hand-dipped ice cream bar shop in the downtown area. Rolled in any topping of your choice and drizzled with whatever sauce you desire, this place is the bomb.com, or in other words, the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Do not hesitate to visit San Clemente and all it has to offer; there is so much to do, so much to see, and so much to experience in just one place.
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