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Fodor's Southern California 2014
Imperial Beach Review
In July or early August this classic Southern California beach is the site of the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition (www.usopensandcastle.com). The rest of the year, the laid-back beach is a great place for long walks and bird-watching—over 370 species can be spotted here. The beach break is often excellent, but sewage contamination can be a problem after heavy rains. There are year-round lifeguards, a park with picnic areas, a playground, and volleyball and basketball courts. Among the many restaurants nearby are the one at Pier South, a new luxury hotel by Marriott. The fishing pier, popular for surf fishing, has views of Mexico to the south and Point Loma to the north. A walk on the beach south toward Border Field State Park or north toward Coronado is a great way to experience a quiet, uncrowded shore. Amenities: lifeguards, food and drink, parking (fee), showers, toilets. Best for: surfing, swimming, walking, solitude.
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