The City of San Clemente, located in South Orange County along the coast, is 19.5 square miles of land and was one of the first masterplanned communities to be built from open land in the United States. The City was founded by Ole Hanson, the former Mayor of Seattle, in the late 1920s as he envisioned a coastal resort town. He created a plan based on the Spanish Colonial architecture which included residence, restaurants, public parks, a public pool, a fishing pier, a clubhouse and equestrian trails.
Newer communities in San Clemente include:
San Clemente’s slogan is “Spanish Village by the Sea” and it is known for its pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, mountain, hill and ocean views. In 1969, former President Richard Nixon bought part of the H.H. Cotton estate which is one of the original homes built by one of Hanson’s partners. It sits above Trestles, which is one of the West Coast’s premier surfing spots and just north of San Onofre, the historic surfing beach. President Nixon name the home “La Casa Pacifica,” and it has been nicknamed “The Western White House” and was Nixon’s commonly used vacation home. During the time the home was owned by President Nixon, it was occupied by many world leaders and the growth of San Clemente accelereated. However, he sold the home in 1980, following his resignation, and moved to New York City.