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The Mayor’s Corner

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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 12:24 pm

With summer almost over and kids in Imperial Beach back in school, many families have already taken their annual holiday. Whether you have stayed local for a San Diego staycation or traveled further away, there is nothing better than a summer getaway. Emily and I took a few short trips over the past few months including a visit to Carpinteria where I competed in the California Surf Lifesaving Championships. We have also enjoyed hiking the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area which also includes great mountain biking and camping opportunities.

At the beginning of the summer we enjoyed a wonderful visit to the San Luis Obispo area to celebrate my oldest son’s graduation from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. I love the Central Coast, with its gorgeous coastline, elephant seal rookery, beautiful state parks and beaches as well as charming beach towns such as Morro Bay, Cayucos and Cambria. Hearst’s Castle is definitely worth a visit. In the fall, the Central Coast is a haven for humpback whales that are easily spotted from the beach.

Imperial Beach residents recently let me know about their favorite spots at home and away. Miriam Iosupovici wrote, “ Certainly the TJ Estuary when it is full in the moonlight with ribbons of water, daily with the birds, views out my window during a spectacular sunset or full moon; Jerusalem at sunset with the walls glowing pink, the Anza Borrego or Negev Desert (Israel) in Spring, just discovered Bar Harbor, Maine, and Acadia National Park in Maine on a cruise.” A favorite destination for local State Farm agent and Gaelic athletics champion Tracey Rivera, is the “Cliffs of Moher, county Clare, Ireland. My favorite place in Ireland is walking along the cliffs at sunset.” Surfers also know the Cliffs of Moher for monster waves that break on a reef offshore known as Aileens.

Spending time in Baja is a longstanding Imperial Beach tradition with surfers, wine and food enthusiasts, divers, paddlers, fishers and offroaders who enjoy the gastronomic and natural wonders of the world’s longest peninsula. Emily and I enjoyed a weekend getaway to the Valle de Guadalupe in May where we combined hiking, surfing and eating extraordinarily delicious food at Deckman’s and Fauna. “I love spending the weekends and summers there (Baja),” wrote Esmeralda Robles, “I recently found a secret spot on the beach where there are thousands of mussels. I hand pick them, fill up my bucket, and bring them back to grill.” Abigail Lara enjoys, “The wine area of the Baja. Love Lake Tahoe and Yosemite.” I can attest to the beauty of Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. With plenty of camping options, a world-class vacation in Baja and or California is pretty affordable.

I’m a huge fan of the Eastern Sierras along classic Highway 395 that travels through and near the iconic towns of Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Lee Vining and Bridgeport. There is so much to do from hiking, camping, mountain biking, off roading, hunting, fishing, skiing and snowboarding (Mammoth closed at the end of July this year!) in the Sierra Nevada as well as the White Mountains. Over this year’s President’s Day weekend, Emily and I used Bishop as a basecamp for a trip to Death Valley as well as Mammoth. It was a great contrast to see Death Valley after it had just rained and Mammoth in full winter.

But as much as I like to travel far and wide, there is nothing better than staying local. Over the past two weekends we enjoyed long family days at the beach with perfect weather and fun conditions for surfing, paddling and bodysurfing. For longtime IB resident Kenny Maiorano, “I like all of IB, the pier, the beach the bike trails, Jersey Mike’s, and most importantly, the people of IB. Long story short, it’s a wonderful town.” I couldn’t agree more.

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