As a haven for beach goers, hikers and California dreamers alike, San Clemente offers 20 acres of year-round beaches, tourist spots and carefully preserved land for outdoor enthusiasts. Looking for shopping spots, locally owned restaurants and sunshine that doesn't seem to end? San Clemente is a great place to live, work and, of course, surf.
People looking for apartments for rent in San Clemente will join a laid-back community of more than 65,000 in Orange County, one of the most desirable areas in California. In what is known as the "Spanish village by the sea," the median San Clemente home value in 2009 was $648,000, giving renters an affordable option in getting into an affluent area midway between Los Angeles and San Diego.
The city of San Clemente remained uninhabited until 1776, which sounds surprising now since the area boasts ideal temperatures and sunshine for more than 340 days every year. Father Junipero Serra established the Mission San Juan Capistrano in the area, which led Indian and Spanish settlers to what is now known as San Clemente.
In 1925, Ole Hanson, the former mayor of Seattle, ventured to build a community on the property, and San Clemente was born. Named after San Clemente Island, it was believed that the beaches, desirable climates and distance from California's more metropolitan areas would bring new residents in droves. Hanson succeeded in successfully marketing the community in the spirit of its Spanish and Mediterranean influences, complete with tile roofs and cultural design influences.
In 1969, however, the city of San Clemente got a bit of high-profile marketing of its own when former President Richard Nixon bought a property in town that became known as the "Western White House." Hopeful renters looking for apartments in San Clemente can get easy access to the historical area that served as a meeting spot for political leaders and a haven for Nixon to write his post-resignation memoirs.
The city of San Clemente has a history of rapid growth, and it isn't expected to slow anytime soon. The city's Chamber of Commerce expects back area development projects to play a part in doubling the area population within the next 20 years, which include residential, commercial and retail projects that will strengthen the local economy.
With its proximity to metropolitan California cities, San Clemente is known for more than its beachfront activities. The area is accessible to more than 20 colleges and universities within 50 miles, including Azusa Pacific University, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Los Angeles, Caltech, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, San Diego State, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside and USC College. Nearby universities offer options for residents of San Clemente for continuing education at campuses of many sizes and styles.
A vast majority of San Clemente residents have advanced degrees, and just 5.5 percent of the community is below poverty status. This may be attributed to the fact that San Clemente and neighboring Orange County towns provide many employment opportunities to residents, and the city's unemployment rate is 6.5 percent - more than 2 percent lower than the unemployment rate in Orange County.
The largest employer in San Clemente is Capistrano Unified School District, followed closely by ICU Medical, the city of San Clemente, Cross Section Ventures, Ethical Nutrients and various retail locations. The top 10 employers in the city give jobs to more than 15 percent of San Clemente residents, and the median household income is more than $82,000.
When San Clemente city data claims that the area has grown exponentially within the last 10 years, it's not an understatement. Median home prices have more than doubled, and as of 2009, they exceeded $731,472.
Although it may seem like an out-of-reach area for only affluent Californians, renting properties is a far more affordable option. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the median gross rent in 2009 was $1,460, though most apartment and rental units include outdoor pools and amenities that allow residents to make the most of the gorgeous San Clemente weather.
Even if surfing the swells is not your forte, San Clemente is not short on things for residents to do. The small-town feel of the city has plenty of outdoor markets, festivals, antique shops and dining spots in downtown Avenida Del Mar that offer residents and visitors many opportunities to enjoy the ocean views and beachfront landscape.
Campers, hikers and golfers can also find happiness in San Clemente, whether that is within the three public golf courses or somewhere along the miles of hiking trails and natural foothills. Sportsfishing and whale watching - a memorable experience residents and families aren't soon to forget - give people a front-row seat to the oceanic ecosystem just off the city's coast.
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