Take a train!
There are two trains each morning and two trains back each afternoon (the last one leaves at 4:47 p.m.) so make a day of it and avoid the hassle of traffic and parking.
But San Clemente isn’t the only fun stop for weekend adventurers. You can take the train south to Oceanside, or north to downtown Los Angeles. At L.A.’s Union Station, intrepid travelers can connect to subway and light rail lines to explore the city. That includes the just completed new leg of the Expo Line, which now runs from downtown LA to Santa Monica.
Three children (ages five and under) ride free with each adult using a valid ticket, and the $10 Saturday or Sunday ticket is good all day as far as the trains travel. So this is an ultimate family bargain. Plus, the weekend ticket includes free transfers onto the LA Metro subway and light rail system.
If staying closer to home is more your style, no problem. Top stops with plenty of activities within walking distance of the train station include San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Orange and Fullerton. The station in San Juan Capistrano is across the tracks from the historic Los Rios District and a short walk to the Mission, and the entire area is rich with restaurants, bars and cafés.
The Orange Depot has a restaurant within the station itself: a Ruby’s, with the Streamliner Lounge attached. Chapman’s new Hilbert Museum is across the street (open Saturday but closed Sunday), and it’s an easy two-block or so walk to the restaurant zone near the downtown Orange roundabout.
And if you’re a baseball fan, don’t forget the Angels Express Metrolink trains for all weeknight home games that start at 7:05 p.m. There are three trains in the evening that will take you directly to Angels Stadium. To get back home, the train leaves 30 minutes after the game.
15215 Barranca Pkwy.