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  • Kari Shea


Imperial Beach is a quiet residential neighborhood that is also known as the “Most Southwesterly City in the US”. Founded in 1887, the area of Imperial Beach gained its first residents when workers who were commissioned to build the Hotel del Coronado decided to take up permanent homes here. Since then, it has grown into a flourishing beach community, where both residents and visitors can enjoy the area’s perfect Mediterranean climate. In fact, because of its comfortable temperatures all year round, most homes on Imperial Beach are built without air conditioning.

The beach itself is a four-mile stretch of fine sand, and is a popular spot for activities such as beach volleyball, surfing, and body boarding. It has been nominated as one of San Diego’s best surf spots, and home of the annual sand castle competition, Sun & Sea Festival which has drawn in crowds of more than 300,000. The beaches in this neighborhood include dog-friendly areas, and lifeguard staff is available throughout the year.

During the summer, Imperial Beach remains a popular tourist destination, and its beaches also serve as ideal spots for bird watching, bicycling and camping. Other popular destinations include the Pier Plaza where the weekly Friday Farmer’s Market is also held, as well as the South Bay Drive-In which is the country’s only ocean view drive-in theater.

Despite its popularity among tourists, though, Imperial Beach still remains a highly residential neighborhood. View the City of Imperial Beach for more information.

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