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A day in Imperial Beach

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Other than a million of grains of sand, just what else do you find in Imperial Beach, the most southwesterly city in the United States and one that covers just a little more than four square miles?

Try this. Sit down at COW-A-BUNGA Ice Creamery and have a scoop or cone of homemade-spiced chai or pistachio (with real pistachio nuts) or, if you so desire, one of the universal favorites, vanilla or chocolate. If you want to sink your teeth into what some locals consider to be the best peanut butter cookie ever, head to International Blends on Palm Avenue. You have an urge to ride a wave but have no gear? The Surf Hut, a traditional surf shop located on Seacoast Drive, sells a wide selection of surfboards, wetsuits and clothing. At the other end of town, TNT Surfboards is a classic Southern California surfboard company where every board is made on the premises and available at factory-direct prices.

Ready for lunch? MZM Seacoast Bistro on Seacoast Drive is an absolute do not miss meal. Try the salad with crab, diced mango and fresh basil in an orange-grapefruit vinaigrette. It is, put simply, to die for!

Marisa's Mexican Seafood Restaurant, owned and operated by two brothers, is the newest addition to just plain good eating in an atmosphere of colorful, south of the border creative inventiveness. Of course, who can visit Imperial Beach without a stop to the incomparable Stardust Donut Shop? The cinnamon rolls, the buttermilk donut -- just try them, they're all good!

We have good beaches, we have good waves and we have great food.

But what we really have is a plethora of good birds, from the little Light Footed Clapper rail to the Blue Heron. TheTijuana Estuary is an essential breeding, feeding and nesting area for resident birds and thousands of migratory birds moving along the Pacific Flyway. The Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center is free, provides guided field trips and regularly scheduled programs.

You are all invited to run your fingers through our sand.

Submitted by the city of Imperial Beach

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