Pacific Passages in T-Street Beach, San Clemente
T-Street is a classic beach surf town. It’s the place where the locals gather during all seasons, especially if there is a big south swell coming in. It’s easy to access and the beach is perfect for swimming and surfing. I have been going to this beach since I was very young and now my children are growing up at the same surf spot. Both of my young children have learned their way in the surf here. Learning to surf and swim in the break at T-Street is a rite of passage for all ocean-goers in San Clemente, CA.
Surfing and sailing.
San Clemente is a small beach town in southern California that’s known as the passing through point for some of the most famous waves on the west coast. It’s been sleepy and tucked away from the madding crowds until recently. It is still trying to find its way toward being a hip place visited by a younger crowd, but it doesn’t seem ready to grow up and lose its hickish charm. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and Camp Pendleton Marine Base to the south, there is plenty of open space surrounding this hilly village by the sea.
A perfect day in San Clemente is when the air and water are in the 70s, a big south swell is in, and there are no crowds. A walk along the Ridgeline Trail will show you amazing views to the south, with undeveloped hills as far as the eye can see. If you walk along the beach trail you will see sandstone cliffs on one side, and glassy barrels at empty surf breaks along the other.
The best thing about T-Street is the fall and winter months. This is when the crowds have gone, the kids are back in school, and there is no one at the beach. We often get warm water and even warmer air temperatures during the months of October through February.
The worst thing is that people have started to “discover” it. More and more people come to play and live nearby every year now. It’s starting to get a little too crowded for my taste. I love how young, new people have contributed to bringing better restaurants to our town, but the crowds make it difficult for us to continue to live here.
This place has a very small town charm, but it’s extremely accessible and is situated near the hustle and bustle of Orange County. It is still nothing like the rest of Orange County even though it is changing every day.
I have always admired the video artist Bill Viola for as long as I can remember. I also really love the adventurer and writer Bernard Moitessier, and the photographer and artist Heidi Kirkpatrick.