Imperial Beach Travel Guide

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Imperial Beach is an incorporated city stretching just over 5 square miles and is one of the five Port member cities making up the Port of San Diego. Imperial Beach is approximately a 6 mile stretch of beach, offering a lively dog park, and year round lifeguard staff. San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) provides public transit services to Imperial Beach from San Diego's city center, and MTS also provides service to/from the San Diego International Airport.

Imperial Beach in San Diego, California is the most southwesternly beach in the continental United States, and is flanked by the Pacific Ocean, and the South San Diego Bay. Located about 20 minutes south from downtown San Diego, the Mediterranean climate and long stretching white sand beach makes this small community ideal. Most tourists visiting San Diego tend to overlook Imperial Beach as a popular attraction, leaving IB as one of the most uncrowded, relaxing, hidden gems of the city.

The Revamped Tourist Destination

Recently dubbed "Classic Southern California", because it is one of the last untouched beach towns in the US, Imperial Beach is quickly turning heads as the "go to" classic beach getaway. Imperial Beach has seen many upgrades and improvements in recent years, now offering more of what traveler's are looking for in a top beach destination.

The revamped Imperial Beach Pier is ideal for fishing (the best fishing is behind the surf line, or in it), and offers a splendid view of the Los Coronados Islands to the southwest. The pier is open from 5am to 10pm daily, and curfew is strictly enforced. Restrooms, fish cleaning stations, benches, and lighting are offered along the pier, and there is a $2 all day admission fee. Some of the best fish caught here is California corbina and yellowfin, and the best bait to use is sand crabs or fresh mussels. There is a fun seafood restaurant on the end of the pier and other fun attractions at Portwood Plaza at the end of Evergreen Ave.

The beaches closest to the Mexican border can sometimes be unsuitable for swimming due to hazardous conditions, usually in the winter, due to water contamination from the Tijuana River, but the waters around the pier are clean and safe for swimming year round. Surfing in IB is becoming more and more popular due its consistent open water surf break. Each summer Imperial Beach hosts the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors and competitors from around the world.

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