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All Things Mission Beach: History, Places to Go, Things to Do, and Reader Stories from the Last 40 Years (Reader Local Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Various Contributors
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

An Insider's Travel and Visitor Guide to San Diego's Mission Beach Neighborhood

  • History
  • Places to go
  • Things to do
  • Original stories about the life, people and neighborhood of San Diego's Mission Beach

In 1954, long before movies like Gidget and Ride the Wild Surf turned California’s coastline into Hoedad Heaven, Mission Beach was about as definitive a beach community as they came. That year, 24 longtime friends formed the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, aka OMBAC, to this day one of the proudest five letters in San Diego.

They joined to sponsor volleyball tournaments. That same year they hosted the first ever OMBAC World Championship Over the Line Tournament. Sixteen teams competed in the sand west of Redondo Court, where the trolley made its final stop at Asher’s Bath House.
They played a version of softball. The batter stands on one side of the plate; the pitcher, a teammate, kneels on the other and lobs the ball up in the air. About 100 spectators watched the batter try to belt the ball as it fell toward the plate.

OTL has since evolved into an adult version of spring break. Lost amid the crack of pop-topped libations, topless women, and the beach equivalent of the annual bikers’ rally at Sturgis, South Dakota, are the better teams’ skills. Some are world class.
Having one of the widest beaches in the region helped make the raucous tournament possible. But sometimes overlooked: for those who prefer peace and quiet in a waterfront, just a few blocks to the east, the Bayside Walk along Bonita Cove and Mariners Basin can feel downright serene.

Mission Beach bloomed late. During the first decade of the 20th Century, San Diegans felt little urge to drive to a beach. Getting to one was a bumpy jaunt, and they could swim in the bay, or ferry across to Coronado, and enjoy the Silver Strand.

To increase visitors and land values, in 1923 John D. Spreckels began selling small lots. But Mission Beach was still too out of the way, and building a home on sand (most were tents), made it prohibitive. In 1925 Spreckels completed construction of his electric railway to Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla. On the fourth of July, 1925, the “sugar magnate” opened the Mission Beach Amusement Center. Now called Belmont Park, it included a fun house (with a creepy “sliding walk”) and the Natatorium (aka the Plunge). At 60’ by 175’, its 400,000 gallons made it the largest saltwater pool in the world at the time.

“To enter the pool,” recalls former resident Todd Blakesley, who lived above the Crystal Palace, “you had to walk through a trough with a chemical that killed foot diseases (I guess they weren’t concerned about other bodily diseases).”

The park’s centerpiece: the Giant Dipper, a wooden roller coaster offering a one-minute 45-second “ride through the clouds.”
Lack of fresh water still kept homebuyers away. When they solved that problem, Mission Beach became one of the most densely populated areas in the region.

Today Mission Beach boasts a restored Belmont Park and Sea World and tall hotels. But the shacks are gone. Gentrification has redeveloped the once funky playground for the free of spirit. Most of the houses along the concrete boardwalk have absentee owners who pay the mortgages off vacation rentals.

Read about the most important annual events, landmarks, and institutions that make Mission Beach what it is. Plus over 30 original nonfiction stories about Mission Beach from the last 40 years.

Ideal for visitors and locals alike! Get your copy today!

Product Details

  • File Size: 6529 KB
  • Print Length: 141 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: San Diego Reader (May 10, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K9RZ3QA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,336,022 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Tourists, Local History Buffs June 19, 2014
By D. Rice
This book makes for the perfect short read for someone planning to visit Mission Beach - it provides an up-to-date listing of local activities, attractions, and restaurants to help plan your trip and know what to expect.

As the chapters progress, the stories get older, some reaching back to the early 1970s. While not so relevant to today's Mission Beach, the tales are a great look back at beach life and writing styles of bygone years.
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I've spent a lot of time in Mission Beach. I wish they offered a hardcopy so I could curl up in bed an read it & not deplete a battery if I fell asleep. Looking at it on a tiny screen is ridiculous. There's a lot of people that still read the hard copy of the San Diego Reader.
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