This is one of the more popular activities in Imperial County. Migrating and wintering birds use the Salton Sea and Imperial Valley marshlands and waterways as either their rest stops or winter homes. Imperial Valley is said to play host to more different species of birds than any other single area in the United States. Some of the endangered species include the Brown Pelican, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and the Yuma Clapper Rail.
THE GLAMIS DUNES
These beautiful works of nature stretch over 40 miles. You may have heard them called the Algodones Dunes, Imperial Sand Dunes or even the Yuma Sand Dunes. The dunes were formed by wind blown beach sand from the ancient lake Cahuilla. Some sand crests reach heights of more than 300 feet. The dunes have been the location of many movies. Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Wayne’s World II, Patriot Games, Star Gate and many more. If you see a movie with desert and dunes, chances are it has been filmed here. The dunes are located to the north and east of Holtville, California. It takes approximately one half-hour traveling east on Highway 8 to reach them. This trip is worth taking.
The Imperial Valley with its warm climate is known for its golfing. Three professional golf courses are available for your enjoyment. Del Rio Country Club, 25 minutes to the north; Barbara Worth Country Club, 15 minutes to the east, and Lakeview Golf Course, 10 minutes to the west of the Vacation Inn & Suites.
PIONEERS COUNTY MUSEUM
Find out the earliest history of the Imperial Valley. Twelve permanent exhibits profile the ethnic groups that settled in and contributed to the development of the Imperial Valley. Items on display range from photos and clothing to toys, books, furniture and a selection of American Indian pottery. It is located 20 minutes north of the hotel on Highway 111 at the Aten intersection.
Sunbeam Lake is seven miles west of Vacation Inn & Suites on Interstate 8 and Drew Road; Weist Lake is 22 miles north off Highway 111 and Rutherford Road. These two small, brush lined lakes allow swimming (summer only), water-skiing, use of personal watercraft and fishing for bass, bluegill, catfish and trout.
MESQUITE MINE OVERLOOK TRAIL
Gold Fields Mining Corporation began mining gold on this site in 1986. A one-mile trail climbs nearly 100 feet in elevation, providing an overview of the second largest gold mine in California. It is located 2-3 miles north of SR 78 on G.F.O.C. Mine Road.
OLD PLANK ROAD
During the earliest days of the Imperial Valley, the old plank road, built in 1916, made it possible for motorists to cross shifting sand. A section of this road has been preserved and is located just 45 minutes from the hotel off Interstate 8 and Grays Wells Road.
THE DESERT TOWER
Travel west for 45 minutes on Interstate 8 to the In-Ko-Pah exit. This state and national historical monument affords spectacular views of the Yuma Desert and Imperial Valley. Construction began in the 1920s, and continued intermittently until 1950, when it was opened to the public. A four-level museum displays antiques; the top floor is an observation deck.
Located south on Highway 111, approximately 10 miles, you will find the international border between Mexico and California. A great variety of gifts may be found throughout the many quaint shops situated on both sides of the border.
Just 15 minutes to the south lies Mexicali, Mexico, where shopping bargains abound and traditional Mexican fare can be sampled. Also enjoy bullfighting and horse racing.