Imperial Beach boasts that it is the most southwesterly community in the U.S. Located 20 miles south of San Diego, just north of Tijuana, the community was started originally as a beach retreat for residents of Imperial Valley in 1887, hence the name.
The area has had a long pier for fishing since 1909 when the original pier was built to house machiner that generated electricity from wave action. The "Edwards Wave Motor" was not very successful and was dismantled shortly after it was installed. The pier has been destroyed several times by wave action. The last time it was replaced was 1988.
Imperial Beach sits between the Silver Strand and the Mexican Border and boasts a small but neighborly business center. The area is a bedroom community for many of the Navy personnel stationed at North Island who enjoy its proximity to the commissary at Ream Field, a helicopter training base located near the border.
The area is linked to the rest of San Diego by excellent bus service which connects to both the trolley and Coronado, making it one of the few cities in San Diego County with strong public transit. The city's bus line has the most passengers of any in the county.