I definitely found groceries more expensive at the beach. Why? The simple answer is it’s the beach right? In my opinion, I think there are just more options in Temecula. There was, or is more space to build grocery stores in Temecula which equals more competition. An example would be where I live in Harveston. There are literally 7 grocery stores within 5 minutes of my house, compared to 1 in San Clemente. I have a WinCo just down the street which has great prices and it’s huge! It feels bigger than the whole city of San Clemente. I have a Costco 5 minutes from me so we can buy in bulk and save money on things we use a lot of. In regards to shopping and groceries, I definitely give Temecula the edge
I haven’t found much difference in pricing in regards to restaurants. There are still good happy hours and brunch deals at the beach. In San Clemente, in particular, one great feature that many people don’t know about is the no corkage fee at many of the restaurants. You are able to bring your own bottle of wine which is obviously a huge saving. There are more choices in Temecula, but most restaurants at the beach are very good. If you’re not good at the beach, you don’t survive. You have to bring something unique to the table. Another thing I liked about San Clemente is that chain restaurants really don’t exist. All the restaurants we would visit frequently were boutique-style places with a unique menu, consistent goodness, and stellar service. We also love the vibe of going out to dinner at the beach. San Clemente was walkable so you could stop and have a drink at one restaurant, walk 20 steps and eat at another. I’m going to give the edge to San Clemente, when you compare everything.
So I want to be clear, I think both places are safe. Many times when things happen to people, it’s because people put themselves in bad situations. Like the old saying goes, nothing good happens after 12. Having said that, the homeless population is much bigger in San Clemente. With the homeless population comes petty theft and drugs. If I left my bike on the front porch of my home in Temecula it would probably still be there in the morning, San Clemente, not so much. You also have the drug issue which I felt was more prevalent at the beach. Of course, you’re going to get the people that say, “Temecula is a bunch of tweakers” (even though they have never been here) but I personally haven’t seen one in three months. You could easily walk down to the beach in San Clemente and find drug paraphernalia or people high on drugs daily.
If I had kids where would I want them to grow up In regards to safety? Probably Temecula, but I might be a little biased on this question. Personally, I have no interest in surfing and I love golf. Orange County= surfing and expensive to golf. Temecula = No surfing and tons of golf courses at reasonable prices. My kids would be golfers. This leads us into our next conversation which is what city has more things to do? Which city has better activities?
This really just depends on the person. Again, I personally do not surf or like swimming in the ocean. Even though I lived 2 minutes from the beach the only thing I would do is walk and watch sunsets. If you do surf, obviously the beach is where you want to be but from what I saw it was much more than that. Surfers had this brotherhood almost. They all knew each other and respected each other. In San Clemente specifically, you would constantly see people running down at 5:30 am in their bare feet just to catch waves. As much as I have no interest in that, I loved seeing it. In general, there always seemed to be something going on at the beach. Between live bands, Sunday Fundays, concerts, biking and Beach walks you never had to worry about what you were going to do on a weekend. The problem? Half the time the traffic or parking was so horrendous I didn’t even want to go LOL. But honestly, the parking and traffic get exhausting. It’s funny, before we moved to Temecula people would say how bad the traffic is. Live at the beach free year, Temecula seems like country haha.
Activities and things to do in Temecula are plentiful, to say the least. Again, it depends on what your idea of fun is and where your interests lie. For me? I love to golf, hiking, happy hours and wine. I’ve have also joined a few sports teams. The best part? I don’t dread getting in my car, going to the softball field only to realize I have to park 3 miles away from the actual field because everything is full. I also love the fact that I can go golfing any day of the week for under $50, try doing that in Orange County. On a side note, in my opinion, San Clemente has the best golf course for the price in all of Orange County. Last but not least, the wineries. I won’t spend too much time on this topic as we have many blog posts on specific wineries on the site. What I will say is how much I love going on the weekends. For me, it’s not even about the wine. I just love going to hang out and relax. Most wineries have live music, football games on TV and games to play like cornhole.
Summing the whole activity thing up? I personally prefer Temecula but both places are fine. I just so happen to be more inclined to do things here in Temecula.