Water attracts people. Since Salton Sea was formed, people have been drawn to it despite the quality of its water. The state set up a recreational area at the east shore of the sea, including RV parks and beach tables as seen in photo. To use the park requires entrance fee. Along the west shore, a few small "beach cities" were developed. Beach properties can be aquired for relatively low price.
I-10 to Indio, take 86 or 111 south to sea.
I-8 to El Centro take either 86 or 111 through Brawley and north to the sea.
86 takes one along west side of sea, 111 along east side.
Salton Sea Beach is on the west side of the sea.
There are several towns and beaches on the east side of the sea also, consult below for an idea.
There are not many services in that area. Be sure you have plenty of gas and take water in summer months, it is HOT around there. I would not advise visiting this area between May and October during midday hours (9 am -dark) unless you are acclimated to desert conditions! You may suffer from heat caused syndromes!
The water quality of Salton Sea is too bad for recreational use. First, the salt content of the Salton Sea has been risen since the sea was formed. There are 2 reasons -- the basin's original salt bed (it was under the ocean at one time) and the continuous inflow of waste water from the surrounding areas. Today it's saltier than the ocean.
Second, the bacteria level at the Sea is very high. You'll notice the weird color and sulphur odor when you get close to the beach. Some of the waste water inflow mentioned above is untreated, such as the one from Mexicali, Mexico. Also, Salton Sea is below sea level, so all the waste water comes in and never leaves. It evaporates and deposits the rest here.
Favorite thing: Salton Sea has been shrinking since it was formed 100 years ago. This is the result of a natural process -- evaporation faster than inflow. Geologists said the whole Imperial Valley was under the ocean at one time. Then the Colorado River delta closed its connection to the ocean and it became a huge inland lake. Then the lake gradually evaporated due to the hot desert weather. Today we are going through the evaporation process again.