Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens has been called the “Jewel of San Clemente” for good reason. Its beautiful 1920s Spanish revival architecture, 2.5 acres of gardens, and ocean view make it a rarity for many reasons in Orange County – a place where you don’t have to pay a premium for a beachfront property.
For those curious to explore this historic estate, Casa Romantica’s home and gardens are open to the public six days a week. During Casa Romantica’s daily public hours, you can take a self-guided audio tour, learn about local and regional history at exhibits throughout the home and gardens, and see rotating fine art exhibitions.
Visiting with kids? There’s no cost to rent use of an activity backpack (ages 5-12) or sensory bin (ages 2-5) to keep little ones happily engaged. Plenty of events catering to families take place for free during public hours, including monthly Coffee Concerts with High Tide Coffee and a Children’s Concert and Performance Series.
With a balmy Mediterranean climate, Casa Romantica’s seaside gardens bloom year-round. Themed areas such as a Monarch Butterfly garden, California coast native gardens, an Achajemen teaching garden, and succulent tapestries add interest to softly winding paths. Among the most beloved winter blooms is Red Aloe. Head down to the small amphitheater in Casa Romantica’s Story Circle (overlooking the pier) to see the showy crimson flowers from late December until early February.
There are also dozens of events, performances, and creative workshops each month at Casa Romantica that sustain cultural and artistic appreciation in the southland. This January and February, Chinese-American artists celebrate Lunar New Year with an event lineup featuring a free community celebration, a concert series, and a performance by Disney California Adventure Park’s favorite dance troupe.
“We are thrilled to share joyful cultural experiences from around the world with south Orange County residents and visitors. Casa Romantica is a place where history, heritage, and creative possibility are welcomed – it’s one of those magical destinations where people meet and make lifelong friends,” says Amy Behrens, Executive Director.
Chinese zither (guzheng) artist Bei Bei, whose music can be heard in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Mulan (2021) and the upcoming Pixar film Turning Red (2022) will star in a pair of performances, one highlighting time-honored musical traditions and one incorporating ancient instruments into pop and funk music.
“I am honored to perform two shows at Casa Romantica, this beautiful historic space, by myself and with my fusion band. I intend to take my audience on a journey from China’s ancient wisdom to its contemporary innovations,” says Bei Bei. “I am grateful to be able to represent Chinese culture, and I hope my performance will deepen your understanding of its richness and beauty. The music that I play will also bring a sense of optimism and renewal to celebrate the new year and the spring.”
Plan your visit this winter: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is open to the public Tuesday through Thursday from 10 AM – 4 PM and Friday through Sunday from 10 AM – 2 PM, closed on Monday.
General admission is $5, and is free for children ages 12 and under, active duty military (with ID), and members of Casa Romantica.