San Clemente

Dick Nixon wept here


Fisherman's Restaurant Bar. Across the pier from the restaurant sits the Fisherman's Bar, home of great happy-hour eats ($3.95 for a steak or chicken taco platter on Thursdays) and arguably the best view in OC to drink to. Nice waitresses, friendly barmen, and the gentle sway of the surf to rock you while you sip gives you an excuse to stagger a bit when you rise to leave. 209 Palm St., (949) 675-5774.Goody's Tavern. Step through the door and leave the beach—perhaps even the century—behind. A friendly dive with an atmosphere literally reeking of a different time and place. One expects to bump elbows with John Candy or Belushi. It's difficult to recall if there are any elk heads are on the walls, but if there aren't, there should be. Not a family spot, unless Mom is still smoking unfiltered Camels and Sis carries a hip flask. 206 S. El Camino Real, (949) 492-3400.


Cabrillo Playhouse. Let's do a show! You can make the costumes, and I'll print the tickets. The Cabrillo Playhouse is an award-winning community theater and the coolest spot in OC to view thespians at work. Check the calendar for variety of drama, music and just plain fun. 202 Avenida Cabrillo, (949) 492-0465.


Nixon Library. Well, yeah, it's really in Yorba Linda. Rumor has it that Dick never really wanted his presidential library in this seaside town, but the populace moaned and groaned and blamed City Hall when it ended up in Yorba Linda. A faction of flat-worlders still think the library would have served as a destination for thousands of inquisitive tourists and made this little town into a sort of Paris by the sea. 18011 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, (714) 993-3393.San Clemente Historical Society Museum. There is more than 80 years of rich history in San Clemente, which would sound more impressive if its northern neighbor, San Juan Capistrano, didn't boast 200 years. Anyway, support the Historical Society by visiting Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 101 S. El Camino Real, (949) 492-9684.
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