There were the family day trips—lunch at Calafia, curio shopping, maybe a stop in Tijuana for a photo with a zebra-striped donkey if we had an out-of-town visitor along. As teenagers, my friends and I took the trolley to San Ysidro and walked across the border, treating TJ like an exotic mall. San Diego kids went to Baja to surf and camp and eat fish tacos and drink Coronas. (Let’s not discuss the nightclub shenanigans we partook in once we could pass for 18.)
About 20 miles from the border, Rosarito has graduated from its “spring-break, party-hearty” atmosphere. Instead, the town has become more appealing to visiting families and couples on romantic getaways, who while away the days on the wide, sandy beaches, shop in the craft markets and stroll along the quarter-mile-long sportfishing pier in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel.
The Rotary Club of Cambria, California is co-sponsoring with its Rosarito counterpart this Saturday a beach maintenance day — but its main purpose is to show this area is safe for U.S. visitors.
The opening of an English-language mediation center in this city to hear disputes has been postponed until early 2010.
“You do not have to miss Mexico,” lectured Diane Kane of San Diego. “After years of living in and traveling to Baja, neither we nor any of our friends have any negative experiences to report. . . . In fact, we have had nothing but polite, friendly dealings with the locals.”
Known for decades as one of the hot surfing spots on the West Coast, Rosarito on Sept. 27 will add another popular beach activity to its attractions with a sand sculpture contest.