Imperial Beach encompasses nearly 4 miles of beach including a dog friendly area and employs a year round lifeguard staff. Beach volleyball, surfing and body boarding are popular in Imperial Beach with activities concentrated north and south of the Imperial Beach Pier and the Boca Rio beach break, one of San Diego County’s best surf spots.
The San Diego County summer tourist season brings many visitors to the city’s beaches each year. For 31 years, Imperial Beach played home to the U.S. Open Sand Castle competition, the largest sand castle competition in the United States, drawing in approximately 325,000 people. The city also holds the beach front classic car show every summer and an annual dog-surfing contest.
Imperial Beach is home to The Tijuana Estuary, a National Estuarine Research Reserve and State Park. The estuary, located off Seacoast Drive and Imperial Beach Boulevard, is home to many endangered birds and wildlife.