10 Evergreen Ave.
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
Region: South Bay
The site of the annual U.S. Open Sand Castle Building Contest, Imperial Beach draws hundreds of thousands of spectators and competitors from around the world each July. The creations range from fairytale castles to science-fiction landscapes to fantasy mermaids and other inspired forms. The party lasts all weekend, with a street fair on Saturday and main event on Sunday, but its fruits do not. Inevitably, the tide comes in and washes the beach clean again.
Along the residential strip lining the long beaches of Imperial Beach, surfing, body boarding and swimming are good and popular activities throughout the summer. Tijuana Sloughs and Border Park are the large and largely impassible marsh areas south of Imperial Beach Blvd. The estuarine lagoons and river mouths here comprise a National Wildlife Refuge of special interest to bird-watching enthusiasts, and the parks service offers guided nature hikes and visitor information. Aside from their environmental appeal, the beaches here offer little and swimming is not recommended.
Where to Go
- The Pier in Imperial Beach, a few blocks south of Evergreen Avenue is a popular spot for beach-goers, with grassy parks, recreational facilities, shopping and eateries in the area.
- A mixed bag of street parking in residential neighborhoods and some public lots are also available.
Bathrooms & Showers
- Amenities are available at the beaches around the pier.
- The area around the Pier has year-around lifeguard service.
- From the 5 FWY exit Palm Avenue west, left on Seacoast Drive. The Imperial Beach Pier is a few blocks south at the foot of Evergreen Avenue.
What to Love
- Imperial Beach is home to 370 species of birds and considered one of the best birding areas in Southern California.
- Visit the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center for maps of public trail systems and guided tours of the area.
- Nearby Chula Vista Nature Center is a low cost aquarium experience for families.
- The bike path that runs from Imperial Beach to Coronado provides beautiful views of southern San Diego bay, the salt flats and Silver Strand State Beach.
What to Know
- Steer clear of the beaches close to the border as they can be unsuitable for swimming due to large, hazardous surf, lack of permanent lifeguards and contamination from the Tijuana River.
- Beaches around the pier are clean and safe for swimming year-round.