Things to do in Imperial Beach California

Imperial Beach is an oceanside city in San Diego County, California, with a population of over 27,000 people. The city is California’s southernmost beach town, just five miles from the Mexican border. The proximity to the Mexican border and the beautiful beaches make it a popular tourist destination for a lot of visitors. To maximize your visit to Imperial Beach, make sure you incorporate at least one or two of the activities on our list!

Imperial Beach Pier Entrance at Sunset
Imperial Beach Pier Entrance at Sunset

Top Things To Do

Imperial Beach Pier Plaza

The Imperial Beach Pier Plaza is a hot-spot for both locals and tourists. The plaza is full of shops, an outdoor eating and sitting area, and playgrounds for kids. We recommend enjoying some fresh seafood while you watch the beautiful oceanside views.


Imperial Beach is known as a surf town, so if you’re feeling adventurous, try surfing! Experienced surfers can pack a surfboard or rent one while they’re there. Or, there are plenty of businesses or independent teachers offering surfing lessons nearby.

SeaCoast Drive Imperial Beach
SeaCoast Drive Imperial Beach

Beach Day

Imperial Beach is, as the name implies, a beach town. It would be a mistake to come to this city and not spend a day on the beach enjoying the heat, relaxing, and working on a tan.

Horseback Riding Along the Beach

Whether you want to do this as a romantic date with a loved one or an exciting adventure with the kids, horseback riding along the beach is always fun. The tour guides will lead you along trails that have beautiful oceanside views. And, if you time it right, you may catch the sunset!

Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve is a national reserve on the edge of the Mexican-United States border. With over 370 species of birds at the park, it’s a popular destination for bird-watchers. Guests can go to the Visitor Center to view an informative video narrated by Bill Nye the Science Guy, or ride a bike through the park. This is a perfect activity for families or nature-lovers.

Imperial Beach Pier
Imperial Beach Pier

Imperial Beach Farmer’s Market

Open all year long, the Imperial Beach Farmer’s Market is hosted for a few hours every Friday. A variety of vendors come together to offer freshly prepared meals, drinks, fresh produce, flowers, local products, and retail goods. Make a stop here for a nice lunch or to pick up some gifts to bring back home with you.

Just over the border is Tijuana – if you have your passport handy why not take a drive south and explore the Mexican culture? Before you drive down to Mexico, use your phone or any mobile device or computer to log in to mexinsurance.com and get Mexican car insurance. It fast and easy. Click here for a quick quote.

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