The California State flower is the poppy, the state animal is a bear, and if there was an official state shoe it would be the flip flop.
When you live in coastal southern California you wear a lot of sandals, flip flops, and shoes that are beach appropriate. When you have sunny beach weather nearly every day of the year you can get a lot of wear out of your flip flops. If you live here it is worth investing in a really good pair of flip flops that can last the 365-day-a-year outdoor weather.
The first time I moved to coastal southern California I learned about Rainbow sandals. They are a locally made brand of shoe. Their iconic product is a high quality leather flip flop that breaks-in to be one of the most comfortable things you will ever wear on your foot. They quickly became my favorite casual footwear.
Like all things well-made they are expensive. At least more expensive than your average cheap foam flip flop. Rainbow sandals will last so much longer than those anyway. Fortunately there is a Rainbow sandal factory outlet just north of Camp Pendleton. In San Clemente just a little ways west of the Avenida Pico exit from the 5 you will find a cute Tiki-chic store full of discount Rainbow sandals for women, men, and children. Flip flops retail there for around $30-60 depending on style.
The store is well-known to locals. It has a giant flip flop at the entrance which is a popular photo opportunity.
Inside they sometimes have fresh popcorn for shoppers, and the walls have framed pairs of worn flip flops and letters from customers thanking the brand for how long their flip flops lasted them. The atmosphere is fun and oh-so-Californian.
Know before you go
- Parking in front of the store is limited
- There is 30 minute and two hour street parking surrounding the store
- If you are already a Rainbow fan you can bring in a pair of your old flip flops to donate to those in need and get a 10% discount off you purchase.
If you are in need of a new pair of flip flops or an upgrade head over to the outlet! The prices are great and the store is an authentic local experience that can’t be recreated.