There are many breaks within minutes of Nomads Hotel. San Clemente Pier and T-Street are just a short walk from Nomads but the main attraction for surfers in San Clemente is TRESTLES!! Trestles is 5 short minutes away from Nomads Hotel and our “Travel All Trestles Shuttle” is available for surf groups of 4 or more.
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At the most southern end of Orange County lies the Trestles experience — one-and-a-half miles of God’s country. No metered parking. No Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier. No blackballs, closeouts, volleyball nets or “Baywatch” sets — simply put, Trestles is one of those destinations that just about any devoted surfer finds hard to resist.
The apex of everything surf in Southern California – peak action, A-framing rights and lefts and even a peek-a-boo view from the freeway. Lowers IS Ground Zero for high-octane surfing. Offering forgivably rippable walls going either way, Lower Trestles only closes out on the rarest of swells.
While the surf media limelight tends to focus itself a quarter-mile south, Upper Trestles steadily grinds out quality cobblestone righthanders that are often equally as impressive as Lowers. And if the river is flowing, Uppers can even offer a short, punchy left into the mouth. But the focus is always on the rights, especially since Uppers draws in a bit more west and northwest energy than its sister to the south.
The long, yet often-fat left breaks further off the beach than any of the other nearby spots. And, depending on sand buildup and the tide, the wave offers a rather flat face – perfect for working on your cutbacks. However, if there’s a large, long-period southerly swell and a minus low tide, Cottons turns into a quality high-performance wave, complete with a crackable lip-line and multiple barrel sections before unloading into the menacing shorebreak.
Church is the farthest spot south in the Trestles arena. Also a rivermouth, Church is pretty much good year-round but prefers a west swell with medium high tides to produce long, down-the-line rights with some hollow sections. South swells have multiple takeoff zones but a big southwest can get all time.
San Onofre State Beach is the Waikiki of the California Coastline — a beginner’s paradise of gentle breaking waves, long sandy beaches and an absence of ego. It was at this break, more than 50 years ago, that legendary surfers such as Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison, Don Okey and Bob Simmons planed forward using balsa/redwood surfboards. Today, it is one of the last few beaches that epitomizes the California surfing lifestyle. On any given summer weekend, you can find a whole tribe of surfers playing volleyball, talking story and swilling beer under grassy huts or sitting hunched over their longboards, waiting for the next lazy peak to float their way.
T Street is known primarily for one thing — consistency. The entire West Coast from Jordan River to Cabo could be flat, and T Street, the central hub for San Clemente’s finest, would manage to cough up a wave or two that would make some surfer happy. There are a lot of things that help T Street break: sandbars, reefs, rocks and odd seaweed gardens all contribute to the wave’s quirky behavior, which can only be described as schizophrenic. It’ll transform from San O’ to mini-Backdoor in the time it takes to do a bottom turn. Although the T Street fanatics have a million different names for every hole in the reef, the break can best be divided into three spots: the Reef, Cropley’s and Beach House..
SURF BREAK MAP