Swim, surf, sunbathe, jog, fish, or spend
the day building a sandcastle at Imperial Beach, the most southwesterly
community in the U.S. This beautiful, sandy beach is a great place
to visit for some much-needed relaxation away from the crowds. Quiet,
solitary, and still a bit of a hippie community, Imperial Beach
is 20 miles south of downtown San Diego and a few miles short of
the Mexican border.
Imperial Beach features some of the best
sand in the nation, which explains why it is home to the yearly
U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition. It also has a park with picnic,
volleyball, and basketball areas and a playground for kids, as well
as restrooms and showers. The Imperial Beach Fishing Pier is popular
for surf fishing.
Nature lovers will be amazed to find two
wildlife sanctuaries and a state park just south of Imperial Beach.
Slough National Wildlife Refuge, the Tijuana River National
Estuarine Sanctuary, and Border Field State Park all offer great
opportunities for hiking and birdwatching. A walk to the beach from Border
Field State Park is a truly unique experience; it's one
of the few untouched beaches in southern California.
Enjoy the great shopping opportunities south
of the border in Tijuana, stop by Grandma's Pantry Restaurant
and Bakery (875 Seacoast Drive) for eggs and waffles, or check out
the taco and pizza joints along Palm Avenue and Seacoast Drive.
Imperial Beach Parking
There is mostly free public parking at Imperial
Beach. One lot, however, on Daisy Avenue, charges a fee.
Directions to Imperial Beach
Take I-5 south from San Diego and exit west
on Palm Avenue. Imperial Beach follows Seacoast Drive, starting
a couple blocks north of Palm Avenue and continuing south.
Soak City water park is a short drive away in Chula Vista. The
Imperial Beach Pier is great for fishing. It has plenty of space
and a tackle and bait shop is located at the end of the pier.