Casa Romantica, San Clemente

 We have really been enjoying regular visits to San Clemente.  It has wide beaches, a nice pier and some great shopping streets with many restaurants.  We visited Casa Romantica before lunch.  The setting is spectacular with views of the ocean and pier.  The home was built in 1927 by Ole Hanson, the founder of San Clemente.  The home encloses a beautiful courtyard.  The home is laid out so ocean breezes move through the two wings of the house.  There are gardens, exhibits on the history of the town and performance spaces.  I enjoyed the pictures of the Acjachemen, the original inhabitants of the area.  (The community is now based in nearby San Juan Capistrano).  The most amusing photos were of long board surfers from the 1930's.  The long boards were enormous and so looked that they were built with wood scraps.  There is also an art gallery, but it wasn't set up.

My favorite room was the Octagonal Room, which served as Hanson's office.  It is charming and light filled.  There are antiques throughout the home and art pieces like Rookwood pottery.

It costs $5 per person.  We spent a very pleasant hour.  The butterfly garden was full of monarchs.  The sea ocean views and breezes were a treat.  It is a 10 minute walk from the beach.  There is parking on-site.

After our visit, we drove about 5 minutes up to the start of Avenida Del Mar, which is a great street.  We had lunch at South of Nick's and picked up tea at Lavender Tea.

This is a monument to the first baptism in Alta California


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