San Clemente vs Long Beach

Old May 3rd, 2006, 10:53 AM
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San Clemente vs Long Beach

If you had a choice to live in San Clemente or Long Beach, which would you choose? My boyfriend and I are looking to move to either place. Any feedback would be appreciated.
LolaMd is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2006, 11:28 AM
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Cost no object and work no concern: San Clemente, no question. Pretty south OC coastal town. Long Beach is a fairly large and bustling city, quite industrially-oriented (biggest city employer: Boeing), very middle-class, not nearly as pretty as San Clemente. And I live in Long Beach, so I know what I'm talking about. The comparison is a bit like apples and celery in my mind. The beaches in San Clemente are much better than those in Long Beach, for one thing.

The question really is: What will you be doing here in southern CA, and where will you be working? San Clemente is south Orange County, Long Beach is south LA County. If you will be working outside your home, you will want to live relatively close to that workplace. If your jobs will be in Irvine, for example, San Clemente's the place to be IMHO.

I live in Long Beach because my company is located in LA County, I could afford property in Long Beach, and I like the city. It's a great place to live if you know where to look, and the people are for the most part refreshingly grounded and real. And if I need a change, LA's an hour away, San Clemente's 45 minutes away (it's truly a lovely little town), San Diego's 2 hours away, Palm Spring's 2 hours away, and San Francisco and Las Vegas are an hour's flight away (from an airport five minutes from my house).
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 11:29 AM
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wow -- they are very different. One's a small south Orange County town, one is a big city. If I had kids, I'd choose San Clemente for better neighborhoods and schools, if I were single I might go for the city life of Long Beach, although in many respects, it's more a working class town than anything else...
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 02:09 PM
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Well, I am single though in my mid-40s, and I used to live in San Clemente. rjw sums it very well, actually. (great job, rjw!)

A lot does depend on where you work and what you like to do for fun/entertainment. I work in Orange County and my entertainment needs are rather quiet, so I would move back to San Clemente in a heartbeat. I love it there! Beautiful coastline, beaches, small town atmosphere, and there are good people living there. LA and San Diego are equi-distances apart, but still a drive - as are most everything. However, if one is into sailing, ocean kayaking, or beaches it is all right there.

Just a note, though. Even if one works in Orange County, driving to and from San Clemente is no piece of cake. The freeway or PCH can be a nightmare, especially in the hot summer months. This is true even if one works in the southern Orange County industrial area of Irvine. (as I did) But it's a trade off. I was willing to fight that traffic every day because that oceanview that last couple of miles home - and just being at home - was fully worth it.'s not for everyone.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 02:37 PM
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Thanks, Chele, but I think you have described San Clemente much better than I. Lola, it is indeed a very laid-back beach town, with a small number of art galleries, coffeehouses, etc. compared to busier places like Laguna Beach or Huntington Beach or Corona del Mar or Long Beach. And like all of our beach towns in California, it can be difficult to commute into and out of. The calmer pace and exclusivity appeals to many, and if I were less of a City Boy, I'd live in San Clemente in a heartbeat (and look for work down there).

In LA County, I'd think of Hermosa Beach or even Malibu as comparable to San Clemente. Long Beach is too working-class and urban to compete.

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