Imperial Beach, the most southwesterly city in the continental U.S.
San Diego is the most southwesterly big city in the continental United States. However, it is not the most southwesterly city. That honor belongs to the city of Imperial Beach:
Since it is the most southwesterly city, and it has “beach” in its name, it only stands to reason that the most southwesterly beach is in the most southwesterly city. Reason would be right: the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge Shoreline:
That beach is the best I’ve found in San Diego County for collecting seashells, especially sand dollars.
The ocean canyons along San Diego County have kelp forests, and after high tides, kelp litters the beaches everywhere. It makes beautiful pictures:
There are surfers but they tend to stay well north of the mouth of the Tijuana River. Keep reading and you’ll understand why.
Using more reasoning here, we can presume that the most southwesterly city also has the most southwesterly river, and it does. The Tijuana River comes into the United States from Mexico, meanders here and there for a couple of miles, and finally decides to meet the Pacific Ocean in Imperial Beach:
Notice that the water coming from the Tijuana River (left) is somewhat brownish whereas the water of the Pacific Ocean (right) is somewhat blue. Mexico doesn’t have quite the environmental standards that we have in the United States, and since all but the last couple of miles of the Tijuana River is in Mexico, you could probably rightfully say that the most southwesterly river is also the most polluted river. It’s an ongoing fight between the United States, particularly San Diego County, and Mexico to try to clean up the Tijuana River. Now you know why surfers stay well north.
However, the birds love it. It’s their own private resort, with only yo-yos like me daring to venture in.
According to birding experts, San Diego County has the highest number of bird species of any county in the United States. During migratory seasons, you can see hundreds of them at the Tijuana Estuary National Wildlife Refuge, which happens, of course, to be the most southwesterly national wildlife refuge.
There is a Visitor Center for the National Wildlife Refuge, and there are paths throughout the refuge where you can meander, sit, relax. However, budget cuts mean that the Visitor Center is no longer open most of the time, so call before you go, 619-575-2704. If the Visitor Center is not open, you can still park your car and wander around the refuge. Please stay on the paths and do not take anything.
The most southwesterly city also has the most southwesterly military base, that being the Naval Outlying Landing Field:
Many years ago I did an inspection near the Naval Outlying Landing Field. The house was so close to the landing field that the real estate disclosure said, “Helicopters land in back yard.” They really did, too. The back yard fence separated the house from the landing field.
On weekdays you can find dozens of helicopters practicing takeoffs, landings, hovering, instant stops, instant drops……..It’s a lot of fun to watch for thirty minutes or so.
The most southwesterly city also has the most southwesterly equestrian center:
Horses seem to be big business in Imperial Beach because you can find equestrian centers, horse stables and boarding centers, horse riding lessons, and horse rides to the beach. If you love horses and you love beaches, there’s no place like Imperial Beach.
For 37 years Imperial Beach hosted the United States Open Sandcastle Championships. Sadly, the Great Recession put an end to them, with the last one being held in 2011.
You can eat at the most southwesterly restaurants:
You can visit the most southwesterly pier and do some most southwesterly fishing:
You can watch the most southwesterly sunset:
Although the population of Imperial Beach is only 26,438, there are a few famous people from Imperial Beach: Matthew Modine (actor), Robert Clark Young (author), and Charlie Jackson (early software entrepreneur).
There you have it. The most southesterly city in the continental United States….
Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572
If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!
Posted on October 5, 2012, in Birds, Fauna, Manmade, Mother & Father Nature, Out & About, Photos and tagged bird pictures, california, helicopter pictures, kelp pictures, pictures of imperial beach, pictures of piers, san diego beach pictures, sand dollar pictures, sandcastle pictures, sunset pictures, tijuana river pictures, u.s. open sandcastle championships in imperial beach. Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.