Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

Imperial Beach Adventure!

I apologize for not posting in many months. My focus has been elsewhere and I just haven’t had any adventures in months. I’ve gone to Balboa Park, gone to the beach, walked through neighborhoods, but just didn’t see anything I hadn’t posted about already.

So after hearing about Imperial Beach on Monday, I decided to have an adventure yesterday. I drove down I-5 and then took the Palm Drive turn off, exit 5a and made my way to the pier and then down Seacoast Drive to find a place to park.

After parking, I walked a short while on the street side of a long row of condo’s and townhomes, until I found a path to the beach. Then I walked on the beach toward the pier. It’s been hotter in San Diego lately, so I enjoyed the cool breeze. The beach was so different than Pacific and Mission beach, which I’m used to walking, as although this beach was lined with places for people to stay, there was hardly anyone on the beach!

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This time of year, Mission and Pacific Beach, in San Diego, is filled with surfers, sunbathers, kids, adults, umbrellas, shade structures and tents. Plus, those beaches have a boardwalk and many restaurants lining the beach as well. Imperial Beach has the homes, a few hotels, etc. but there is no boardwalk next to the beach, nor any restaurants right on the beach. There a few restaurants on Seacoast Drive.

Here is the park that is next to the pier. There is an icecream shop, restrooms and a souvenir shop at this park.

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There are several benches scattered around the park and they all are made of surfboards.

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There were also a few painted electric boxes, and here is one that captured my attention.

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And here is the pier. I didn’t walk out on the pier so can’t tell you what is on it.

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After walking to the pier, I walked along Seacoast Drive, looking for a place to get a quick lunch. I finally found an open Taco shop and had 2 great fish tacos. (Sorry no picture…I just don’t stop to think of food pictures ). I met a great friendly couple who had grown up in Imperial Beach. I asked them what they loved about it. The woman, Linda, mentioned the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge south of town, right next to the beach, the Tijuana River National Estuarrine Research Reserve, same area, and the Border Field State Park, which is just south of the Reserve and Refuge. She mentioned that along the friendship fence in the Border Field Park, families will gather on both sides so they can hug each other. Oh….how I long for a world without borders keeping families apart, and nations at war.

North of town is the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. All of these areas have walking/hiking/biking trails through them.

Linda said she enjoyed that Imperial Beach is a small town, with friendly people, quiet at night, plenty of stores, etc. in the city area, yet all this natural beauty to enjoy. There are other parks along the beach and inland, too.

After lunch, I went back and laid on the beach for awhile and read. Note to self….buy some new sunscreen 🙂 I am fried today! I did get visited by this probably hoping for a snack sea gull, who sat about 6 feet from me for quite awhile.

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After going to the little icecream shop to get a Mexican coffee mocha icecream cone, I took Linda’s advice and did walk down the beach about 40 min. to where the Tijuana River flows into the ocean. The beach was mostly empty but occasionally I’d run across someone, and every few minutes there were Navy helicopters flying overhead. I can spot three of them in this picture.

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Here are two pictures of the Tijuana River and it flowing into the ocean. If you click on the pictures and enlarge them, you can see Tijuana’s buildings and bull ring on the hillside.

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On the other side of the river is the Reserve and beyond that, the Border Field State Park. I don’t know if there is a way to cross the river there as the ocean there is deeper with the river running into it. There are roads on the east side of the Park and Reserve and I think that is where people access the trails.

After walking back to my car, I decided to take another suggestion Linda made and I took Hwy. 75, the Strand, north, past the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, past Silver Strand State Beach to Coronado and then took the Coronado bridge back to San Diego.

What a fun adventure. I met two other friendly people when I walked down to the river, met that great couple at lunch, got lots of sunshine and hours of walking in, got to explore a new place and had a great road trip. I’m looking forward to going back again to explore the others great nature places in this city.

So if you’re local or visiting this way, come check it out!

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