Surfing a Nuclear Power Plant in San Clemente, California
Those who deem themselves "professional surfers," will tell you that there is nothing more spiritual or physically satisfying than conquering an intense, wild, unpredictable wave. So imagine my surprise when I arrived at San Onofre Beach, one of those surf spots Californians brag about with a deep sense of West Coast pride, only to find a massive (read: eyesore) Nuclear Generating Station. Yes, that's right—situated right next to this surfing haven is a nuclear power plant that provides nearly 20 percent of power to more than 15-million people in Southern California. To further the experience of environmental contradictions, the park's campground runs parallel to the eight-lane stretch of concrete known as Highway 5. The surfing, however, lives up to all the hype and my husband caught more than one of the beach's legendary waves. So, nuclear plant and highway included, this beach is worth the trip.