Imperial Beach, Things To Do

Imperial Beach is one of the last untouched beach towns in Southern California, and has been titledClassic Southern California®.  The town is best known for miles of uncrowded beaches, big surf, the IB Fishing Pier and unparalleled open space and wetlands teeming with wildlife. There is much to see and do in Imperial Beach, take advantage of the following ideas.

  • IB beaches are a great place to surf, boogie board, sunbath, swim and play volleyball.
  • The 1,500 square foot Imperial Beach Pier is a great place fish, stroll, see surfing from above or grab a meal at the popular Tin Fish restaurant and watch the sun set.
  • Enjoy Pier Plaza Park (a true outdoor surfing museum) boarding the Pacific Ocean at the base of the IB Pier.  At the center of the park stands IB’s signature art piece called “Surf Henge”, a 20’ tall translucent acrylic representation of surfboards stuck in the sand created by artist Malcolm Jones.  Check out the big wave surfing history that’s explained in some detail on plaques placed next to ten benches resembling surfboards that are spread throughout the Pier Plaza.  The concrete seawalls surrounding the park are adorned with exquisite glass and tile work called “illuminations” by artist Mary Lynn Dominguez.
  • The Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center is located at 301 Caspian Way is the place to learn about the areas unique and interesting wildlife, migratory birds, coastal dunes, and a world- renowned estuary, 2,531 acres of tidal wetlands.
  • Bird watching is a year-round activity in Imperial Beach.  Home to 310 species of birds, makes for the best birding area in coastal Southern California.  The National Wildlife Refuges on IB’s southern boarder is a key stopover for migratory birds along the Pacific Coast and is the last haven for more endangered species than anywhere of similar size in the continental United States.
  • Dine and shop on Palm Avenue, IB´s main street or at Seacoast Drive adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Imperial Beach offers cafes and restaurants with seafood, American fare and ethnic cuisine. Outdoor dining is available to enjoy IB´s weather. The local shops provide a wonderful atmosphere to pick up that unique gift and provide everyday staples.
  • Bike, skate, or jog  or walk along miles of dedicated paths that hug the coastline.  The dedicated paths provide a great way to exercise and see some of Imperial Beach’s spectacular scenery.
  • Imperial Beach is the site of the highly anticipated U.S. Open Sand Castle Building Contest, which draws competitors from around the world each July.  This three day event attracts around 300,000 spectators who come to enjoy the sandcastles, street fair, parade and a dozen bands.
  • Take a fun trip to near by downtown San Diego (15 minutes), Coronado (7 minutes), or Mexico (5 minutes).