Imperial is a city in Imperial County, California. Imperial is located 4 miles (6.4 km) north of El Centro. As of the 2006 census, the city had a population of 11,754. It is part of the El Centro metropolitan area. The City of Imperial is a bustling center in the Imperial Valley due to its central location in The Valley and proximity to Mexico. This makes Imperial an ideal location for industry, and business services. Nearby recreation facilities transform the desert into a popular Valley tourist destination due to availability of different things to do. Three year-round golf courses which are operational year round are within minutes of Imperial. The sand dunes provide a place for campers and dune buggy enthusiasts. This regions is well known for it's abundance of bird species such as dove, quail, ducks, pheasant and geese. Imperial is particularly noted for its friendly atmosphere and active community spirit. The city, is an excellent example of a well rounded cultural center.