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My previous familiarity with San Clemente was its being known as “The Western White House” during the Nixon Administration. So imagine my surprise and delight to discover a thriving beach town of charm, historic Spanish architecture and elegance, as well as magnificent Pacific sunsets that wash away for me its former association with cynicism and paranoia. Plus, it’s only about a twenty-minute drive from our house in Lake Forest. Also, Amtrak stops right at the entrance to the town’s wonderful pier! (Yes, an arrival by rail is in our future plans.)