10 Things to Do in Imperial Beach That You Shouldn't Miss

October 10, 2017 Vivienne Hutton

Imperial Beach is a residential beach city in San Diego County, California, with a population of 26,324 at the 2010 census. The city is the southernmost city in California and the West Coast of the United States. It is in the South Bay area of San Diego County, 14.1 miles (22.7 km) south of downtown San Diego and 5 miles (8.0 km) northwest of downtown Tijuana, Mexico.
Restaurants in Imperial Beach

1. Imperial Beach Pier

2 Elder Avenue, Imperial Beach, CA 91932
Excellent
52%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 333 reviews

Imperial Beach Pier

Reviewed By divingpcola - Trenton, New Jersey

The water is freezing but then this is the west coast, the water is freezing everywhere, not the fault of the pier. The pier is dirty and despite the efforts made by the city, a very questionable crowed hangs out here. It is also packed with homeless people, which is a turn off when you want to enjoy the beach with your children and the buildings and pier stink like urine. If you make it to the beach, it is nice, but stay away from the pier and the surrounding areas mourned the beach and pier.

2. Steal and Escape

2602 Transportation Ave, Suite B, National City, CA 91950-6600 +1 619-259-4096
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 65 reviews

Steal and Escape

Our rooms allow you to escape reality and interact with a scenario from a different time and place. STEAL and ESCAPE offers live, interactive, adventurous games, designed for groups of 2-6 people. The room is full of puzzles, riddles, keys and locks. The goal is simple yet challenging: complete the game in 60 minutes.

Reviewed By ccabrales - Bonita, California

We threw a birthday party for our kids at Steal and Escape, and they're still talking about it months later! The kids had a blast. Steal and Escape provided us with a room to have cake and pizza, while one group did the game, then the next group went. The 1st group was able to watch the 2nd group on the monitor, which was really fun. I really liked that they were able to get a little help (the age group was 11) so both groups were able to "escape". It made for a funner experience. The staff were SUPER helpful. They accommodated us, to give us exactly what we wanted. I did an escape room with friends at a different place, and Steal and Escape was WAAAAYYY better.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who wants to have a good time!

3. San Diego Factory Outlet Center

Camino de la Plaza at Highway I-5, San Ysidro, San Diego, CA +1 619-690-2999
Excellent
43%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 100 reviews

San Diego Factory Outlet Center

Bargains can be found north of the border at the 30 shops of this outlet mall.

Reviewed By Teenzone - Essex, Connecticut

Worth a visit for the choice of stores. Prices are quite similar to the usual American outlets, but wide variety makes it worth a visit.

4. USS Midway Museum

910 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101-5811 +1 619-544-9600
Excellent
76%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 20 reviews

USS Midway Museum

Located in downtown San Diego, the USS Midway (Museum) was America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Today, the interactive museum is an unforgettable adventure for the entire family as guests walk in the footsteps of the 225,000 young men who served on Midway. Visitors explore a floating city at sea, the amazing flight deck and its 29 restored aircraft, flight simulators, and are inspired in the Battle of Midway Theater, included with admission. Admission also includes a self-guided audio tour narrated by Midway sailors in English, Mandarin, Spanish, Japanese, French and German. Visiting Midway is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in San Diego, known around the world as "Navy Town, USA."

Reviewed By Peter T

If you like history, and particularly military history, then this is a must see attraction. Be sure to grab a headset for the self-guided audio tour, it's a great supplement to simply walking around and reading. When you get aboard, do the "Island Tour" first, as it is popular and they can only get a given number of folks through in a day. The "Island" is another name for the bridge and control rooms. There is no extra charge.

Volunteers are great - most are veterans, and some even served on the Midway when it was in service. Their knowledge and experience is also a great supplement to the posted information, and they are more than willing to talk.

The website says it takes 2-4 hours to see. We spent over 6, and we didn't even do/read everything that we could have.

You can buy your tickets online and get $2 off the ticket price, and skip the ticket line. Though don't worry if you choose to purchase your tickets on site, the line moves fast.

5. Coronado Island

1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118-3407
Excellent
75%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Coronado Island

A mere two-mile drive from cosmopolitan, downtown San Diego, across one of the world's most distinctive bridges, is Coronado Island - a world away. Developed in 1888 as a beach resort town, and home to the famous Hotel del Coronado, the island is blessed with one of the finest beaches in the world and bathed in endless sunshine. Coronado today is a vibrant beach community loaded with charm.

Reviewed By Kevin V - Estero, Florida

Recently stayed on Coronado for a brief vacation (Loews Coronado resort). The entire peninsula is lovely, lots of green space, a nice compact downtown area, awesome views of San Diego (especially at night). The area around the majestic Hotel Coronado is very scenic. The nice thing is that it is only a short Uber or taxi ride over to most hot spots in San Diego. Very peaceful at our resort also.

6. Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

301 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach, CA 91932-3149 +1 619-575-3613
Excellent
57%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 41 reviews

Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Reviewed By Realtyhank - Borrego Springs, California

The Visitor Center is wonderful, the information is helpful. The day we were there, however, was the day after over 300,000 gallons of raw sewage from Tijuana went into the river. We didn't feel like doing any hiking that day.

7. Coronado Beach

Coronado, CA 92118
Excellent
73%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 951 reviews

Coronado Beach

Popular surfing beach.

Reviewed By wilkintj - Richland, Michigan

We brought the cloudy weather, but our girls still enjoyed playing on the beach - in their fleeces. We're from Michigan, so even at 60 degrees, and cloudy, it was beautiful weather for early April.

The girls especially loved the 'gold glitter' in the sand here and looking for sand dollars. Of the five we found, two of them made it all the way home.

I enjoyed watching the military aircraft fly overhead and watching the navy ships.

8. Living Coast Discovery Center

1000 Gunpowder Point Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91910-8222 +1 619-409-5900
Excellent
58%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 153 reviews

Living Coast Discovery Center

Living Coast Discovery Center is a nonprofit zoo and aquarium located on San Diego Bay. Greet a sea turtle as she swims up to say hello! Get eye-to-eye with a bald eagle! Touch a bat ray in our interactive touch pool! Peruse Raptor Row and see the Living Coast's rescued birds of prey, all of which are non-releasable from injury or imprinting. Discover the native species you don't see in the city--or on land! Visitors are also free to follow their own path along the Refuge's 1.5 miles of walking trails. The Living Coast Discovery Center is a chance to explore Southern California's plants and animals on the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. If you're looking for a wildlife adventure, this is the place!

Reviewed By Valerie P - San Diego CA

Small but lovely place - and one of the few wetland habitats left in San Diego. Take the kiddos and see lots of beautiful critters, both in captive displays and then free-ranging as you walk the paths around the center (my favorite). It's usually quiet - check the tide tables and go bird-watching when the tide is low. Rapture!

9. Kristy Murphy's Siren Surf Adventures

Imperial Beach, CA 91933-1971
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 25 reviews

Kristy Murphy's Siren Surf Adventures

Kristy Murphy's Siren Surf Adventures is a unique V.I.P. surf travel experience in which surfers of all ages and levels can enhance one's surf skills as well as enjoy different cultures and foods while at the same time surfing some of the best waves the globe has to offer. Surf with a World Champion and learn how to surf or stand up paddle in Costa Rica/ Mexico/Oahu/Bahamas.

Reviewed By Amber282 - Australia

I recently joined a Hawaii trip with Siren Surf Adventures. Everything in the reviews is spot on! Kristy and Cat are fantastic surf instructors, but beyond that they are great people, who are passionate about creating an authentic surf experience. The trip was heaps of fun both in and out of the water!

10. Lamb's Players Theatre

1142 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118-3428 +1 619-437-0600
Excellent
83%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 158 reviews

Lamb's Players Theatre

A beautiful, intimate theatre in Coronado's historic Spreckels Building, with a year 'round production schedule.

Reviewed By BobandJosie - Reading, United Kingdom

We came across Lamb's Theatre quite by chance - as we were walking from the car park to the beach late in the afternoon. Yes, it was open, yes there was a performance that evening, and there were seats available. Bingo! We bought two of...MoreWe're glad you found us! Thank you for your good words. We hope you'll visit us again if you get back to San Diego!

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