California Attractions: Unveiling the Best Things to Do in Chula Vista

Discover Coastal Gems with the Must-Try Things to Do in Chula Vista

Chula Vista, California, is rich in culture, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities. As one of the biggest cities in San Diego County, it gives a diverse range of activities for both residents and visitors. Here are the top 5 best things to do in Chula Vista, each providing a unique experience of this vibrant city.


Featured image for the Things to do in Chula Vista, CA Blog Article
Credit: Image by Edward Rivera | Edward Rivera

Explore the Living Coast Discovery Center

The Living Coast Discovery Center is a nonprofit zoo and aquarium on the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Chula Vista. This center is dedicated to inspiring care and exploration of the living earth by connecting people with coastal animals, plants, and habitats.

The center features a variety of exhibits that showcase the rich biodiversity of the coastal region. Notable exhibits include:

Shark and Ray Experience: Get close to these fascinating creatures in a touch-pool environment.

Raptor Row: Meet various birds of prey, including hawks, eagles, and owls, and learn about their role in the ecosystem.

Turtle Lagoon: Discover the lives of different turtle species and their habitats.

Native Plant Gardens: Explore the beautiful native plant gardens and learn about the local flora.

Educational Programs

The Living Coast Discovery Center offers numerous educational programs for all ages. These include guided tours, school field trips, summer camps, and special events like bird watching and tide pool explorations.

Visitor Information

  • Location: 1000 Gunpowder Point Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91910

  • Hours: Open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

  • Admission: General admission ranges from $16 for adults to $11 for children (ages 3-12), with discounts available for seniors, military, and students.

Why Visit?

The Living Coast Discovery Center provides an immersive, fun, and informative educational experience. It’s an ideal destination for families, school groups, and anyone intrigued by marine biology and conservation.

Spend a Day at Chula Vista Bayside Park

Chula Vista Bayside Park is a scenic waterfront park offering stunning views of San Diego Bay. This park is perfect for picnics, walking, jogging, and enjoying the natural charm of the Bay Area.

Park Amenities

Bayside Park is equipped with a variety of amenities to enhance your visit:

Walking Paths: Enjoy leisurely walks along the well-maintained pathways with beautiful bay views.

Picnic Areas: Numerous picnic tables and grassy areas make it ideal for family gatherings and outdoor meals.

Playgrounds: Children can have fun in the play areas designed for different age groups.

Public Art: The park features several pieces of public art that add to its charm and provide great photo opportunities.

Fishing Pier: Anglers can try their luck at the fishing pier, a popular spot for catching various fish species.


The park is a center of activity and offers something for everyone:

Water Sports: Rent kayaks, paddleboards, or jet skis to explore the bay.

Biking: Bring your bike and ride across the scenic bike paths that connect to other parts of the city.

Visitor Information

  • Location: 999 Bayside Parkway, Chula Vista, CA 91910
  • Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit?

Chula Vista Bayside Park is a perfect spot for relaxation and recreation. Its picturesque setting and expansive ranch of activities make it a favorite destination for locals and tourists.

Enjoy Thrills at Aquatica San Diego

Aquatica San Diego is a popular water park in Chula Vista that is operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. This family-friendly attraction offers thrilling water slides, relaxing pools, and engaging animal experiences.


Aquatica San Diego boasts a variety of attractions suitable for all ages:

Water Slides: Experience the adrenaline rush on high-speed water slides like Taumata Racer, HooRoo Run, and Tassie’s Twister.

Wave Pools: Enjoy the waves at Big Surf Shores, a giant wave pool that mimics the ocean surf.

Lazy Rivers: Drift along the Loggerhead Lane, a relaxing lazy river that winds through the park.

Kids’ Areas: Younger visitors can have fun in areas like Walkabout Waters and Slippity Dippity, which are designed specifically for children.

Animal Experiences

Aquatica San Diego also offers unique opportunities to interact with animals:

Flamingo Encounter: Get up close with a flamboyance of flamingos and learn about their behavior and habitats.

Tortoise Exhibit: Visit the giant tortoises and discover exciting facts about these ancient reptiles.

Dining and Shopping

The park features several dining options, from quick snacks to full meals and souvenir shops where you can purchase mementos for your visit.

Visitor Information

  • Location: 2052 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista, CA 91911
  • Hours: Seasonal hours; typically open from late May to early September
  • Admission: Ticket prices vary; check the official website for current rates and discounts

Why Visit?

Aquatica San Diego offers a perfect blend of excitement and relaxation. It’s an excellent destination for families looking to cool off and have fun throughout the hot summer months.

Discover Nature at Otay Valley Regional Park

Otay Valley Regional Park is a sprawling parkland of over 200 acres in Chula Vista. The park offers a variety of recreational chances and is a great place to connect with nature.

Trails and Hiking

The park features a comprehensive network of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. These trails provide scenic panoramas of the valley, wetlands, and local wildlife.

Picnic and Play Areas

Otay Valley Regional Park has several picnic zones and playgrounds, making it ideal for family outings and assemblies. The open spaces and shady groves provide a relaxing environment for visitors.

Fishing and Boating

The park includes several ponds and reservoirs where fishing is permitted. Anglers can catch fish, including bass, catfish, and trout. Non-motorized boating is also allowed, providing a serene way to explore the waterways.

Wildlife Viewing

The park has distinct wildlife, including birds, mammals, and reptiles. Bird watchers can spot species such as hawks, egrets, and ducks, while hikers might encounter rabbits, coyotes, and lizards along the trails.

Visitor Information

  • Location: 2155 Beyer Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92154 (primary entrance)
  • Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit?

Otay Valley Regional Park offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Its natural elegance and variety of outdoor activities make it a favorite destination for nature enthusiasts and enthusiasts.

Experience Local Culture at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center

The Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center (C.V.E.A.T.C.) is a state-of-the-art training facility that serves as a hub for Olympic and Paralympic athletes. This facility is open to the public for tours and events, providing a unique opportunity to witness world-class training.

Facility Highlights

The C.V.E.A.T.C. features world-class facilities for a variety of sports, including:

Track and Field: A top-notch track and field complex used by elite athletes for training and competitions.

Archery Range: A premier archery range where some of the world’s best archers hone their skills.

Aquatics Center: An Olympic swimming pool for swimming and water polo training.

Strength and Conditioning: State-of-the-art gym and weight training facilities.

Tours and Events

The C.V.E.A.T.C. offers guided tours that provide insight into elite athletes’ daily routines and training regimens. Guests can explore the facilities, learn about the center’s history, and even meet some athletes.

Special Programs

The training center hosts various events and programs throughout the year, including youth sports camps, community fitness programs, and competitive sports events.

Visitor Information

  • Location: 2800 Olympic Parkway, Chula Vista, CA 91915
  • Hours: Tour schedules vary; check the official website for details
  • Admission: Tour prices vary; group rates and discounts are available

Why Visit?

The Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center offers a unique and inspiring experience. It’s an excellent opportunity to see where future Olympians and Paralympians train and to gain a deeper appreciation for elite athletes’ dedication and hard work.

Chula Vista is a city that offers everyone a wealth of activities and attractions. From exploring the natural wonders at the Living Coast Discovery Center and Otay Valley Regional Park to enjoying the thrills at Aquatica San Diego, there is no shortage of things to do.

Explore more about this topic by browsing through our website at