Imperial Beach California is a small coastal city that is found within the limits of San Diego County. It can easily be reached from Coronado Island, as it lies at the southerly base of the Silver Strand along Route 75. For those coming from downtown San Diego, a short drive on Interstate 5 will get you here, and you might be interested to know that Imperial Beach is the country’s most southwestern city. Tijuana, Mexico is just south of Imperial Beach California, so those enjoying a vacation to Imperial Beach can always cross the border if they want to see what Tijuana has to offer. While Imperial Beach developed quite a bad reputation for being seedy and dirty in recent decades, it is much cleaner these days, not to mention more family and tourist friendly.
Most people who plan a vacation to Imperial Beach come to enjoy the city’s 3.5 miles of beach, which is where the annual Sandcastles Event is held in the month of July. In 1989, the Imperial Beach Pier was added to the beach, and it stretches 1,853-feet into the Pacific Ocean. The Imperial Beach Pier is ideal for languid strolls and general sightseeing, and there is a restaurant at its far end for those who want to enjoy ocean views while dining. At the entrance of the Imperial Beach Pier is a Wyland sculpture, which helps to make the pier a featured Imperial Beach California attraction. Wyland, whose full name is Robert Wyland, is a famous marine life artist who began to gain notoriety in the 1970s. His works have inspired many to embrace conservation of the creatures that live in the world’s oceans, and today the Wyland company that bears his name creates works of art that are inspired by its founder. In addition to checking out the Wyland sculpture and grabbing a bite to eat at the restaurant, those heading to the Imperial Beach Pier can also try some pier fishing, which is free.
As for things to do on the beach during your vacation to Imperial Beach, you can go surfing, try some boogie boarding, or simply take a refreshing dip in the warm ocean waters. People have been surfing at Imperial Beach for decades, and it is just as popular as ever. So good is the surf here, that many California surfers who were preparing to head to Hawaii in the past would come here first to get some practice. If surfing isn’t your thing, then perhaps building sand castles or other sand sculptures might suit your fancy. The sand on the beach in Imperial Beach is considered by some to be the best sand in the country for sculpting, as is evidenced by the aforementioned sandcastle event. When you’re not spending time on the beach at Imperial Beach, you can hang out at the Imperial Beach Park, which features volleyball and basketball courts, a kid’s playground, and picnic areas. There are also public showers and restrooms at the park, which is found near the beach.
Since the Border Field State Park, the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Sanctuary are all found near Imperial Beach, visitors to the city can enjoy some birdwatching and hiking on the side. When visiting the Border Field State Park, you can check out the park’s undeveloped beach, which is both scenic and relaxing. Shopping in nearby Tijuana and in downtown San Diego is also something that might interest you during your Imperial Beach trip, and there are plenty of restaurants in the area where you can treat yourself to a pleasurable dining experience
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