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I'm on a mission this summer to visit San Diego beaches, especially the ones I've never been to. Here is the first one: Imperial Beach. When we visited, the beach was dotted with sunbathers, umbrellas, and kids playing. The vibe is very calm and family-oriented. Out in the water, few surfers and many boogie boarders awaited waves. But the busiest part of the beach--with only a couple feet to space out all the fishermen and women-- was the pier where fishing is allowed (up to 10 pieces, a local told me). Some of the fisherman had scraped mussels from the pier bottom to use as bait. The largest fish I witnessed was a foot in length; two men beside me caught tiny fish no more than three inches in length.

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At lunch, we ate large fish tacos stuffed with fried white fish, slaw, and grated cheese at Tin Fish (910 Seacoast Dr) located at the end of the pier. Then we bought rocky road and mint chocolate chip ice cream cones at Cowabunga (10 Evergreen Ave).

Situated nearby, the Tijuana River National Esturarine Research Reserve offers a couple miles of trails. The vegetation is all flat, which offers a panoramic ocean view while hiking.

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