Rosarito Beach, Baja California, is a treasure to be discovered – and only 30 minutes south of the California border. If you want to spend a quality vacation in the area, there is a large selection of hotels and other accommodations to enjoy and much to see and do. Many get “hooked” on this interesting city, including some 12,000 expatriates, mostly from the United States and Canada, who have permanently moved to Rosarito Beach.
At the same time, a very big and yet a small town, Rosarito’s tourist area gives a flavor of Mexico with street vendors; bodegas offering clothing, jewelry, and most anything else you might want to purchase; sidewalk cafes purveying a variety of different foods, and a mixture of other businesses. Do not be surprised to see a beautiful horse being ridden down the main street as a group of surfers pops up from the beach.
Rosarito Beach is a new city, established only in 1995. It is presently home to approximately 70,000 people who enjoy its proximity to Tijuana and the border, as well as its services, including a variety of shopping centers, some small and quaint and some modern. The largest and newest of these is the Rosarito Pabellon in the northern part of town, which is a sprawling diversity of stores including the Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Koppel’s (a department store) and many smaller businesses.
One of the most famous landmarks in the city is the Rosarito Beach Hotel. This beautiful facility gained a reputation during the Prohibition era. When people could not drink alcoholic beverages in the U.S., they started crossing the border and visiting Rosarito. Many celebrities stayed at the famous hotel including Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Prince Aly Khan, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and dozens of others. Presently a new crop of celebrities visit the area, including singer Britney Spears. Culinary expert Anthony Bourdain recently filmed here for his television program No Reservations. The former FOX Studios, where a number of movies were filmed — including Titanic — is located in Rosarito. The movie, Little Boy, recently finished filming using dozens of local residents as ‘extras.’ All Is Lost, a Robert Redford film, is in production.
Rosarito Beach has something to offer every visitor. If you enjoy surfing then the Pacific Ocean awaits you. If you enjoy horseback riding you will find horse rentals throughout the area. Usually there is a wonderful carnival in town where you can be entertained for hours. Taking a leisurely stroll down the main street is fun…have a drink of your choice, and some of Rosarito’s famous tacos, and you will feel like you are finally in relaxing in real Mexico. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this beachfront city!