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“Good for adults too, particularly if they like birds...”

Living Coast Discovery Center
Ranked #1 of 32 things to do in Chula Vista
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Living Coast Discovery Center is a nonprofit zoo and aquarium located on San Diego Bay. Greet a sea turtle as she swims up to say hello! Get eye-to-eye with a bald eagle! Touch a bat ray in our interactive touch pool! Peruse Raptor Row and see the Living Coast's rescued birds of prey, all of which are non-releasable from injury or imprinting. Discover the native species you don't see in the city--or on land! Visitors are also free to follow their own path along the Refuge's 1.5 miles of walking trails. The Living Coast Discovery Center is a chance to explore Southern California's plants and animals on the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. If you're looking for a wildlife adventure, this is the place!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Reviewed October 18, 2012

NOTE - the center has recently been renamed. Previous reviews are under the name "Chula Vista Nature Center".

While this centre is clearly aimed at children we went without any and still spent about 90 minutes looking at the exhibits and about four hours in total as we also spent time outside as paths lead down to the sea shore where a wide range of birds large and small live. You can get really close to the shore here, so it's one of the best places to see the local seabirds.

The main centre is compact but crams in a lot of interesting stuff. It has some nicely laid out small aquarium tanks, a shark and ray tank and a wide range of large birds which, for one reason or another, can't be returned to the wild. During the day they feed the turtles and the eagles and give related talks about them. Staff are knowledgable and enthusiastic.

If you want to see more birds being fed, just wander along half an hour or so before the eagles are fed, as when we were there all of the other birds were fed with mice before the eagles got their whole rats for lunch.

2  Thank Arderyth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 - 120 of 147 reviews

Reviewed October 18, 2012

While this centre is clearly aimed at children we went without any and still spent about 90 minutes looking at the exhibits and about four hours in total as we also spent time outside as paths lead down to the sea shore where a wide range of birds large and small live. You can get really close to the shore here, so it's one of the best places to see the local seabirds.

The main centre is compact but crams in a lot of interesting stuff. It has some nicely laid out small aquarium tanks, a shark and ray tank and a wide range of large birds which, for one reason or another, can't be returned to the wild. During the day they feed the turtles and the eagles and give related talks about them. Staff are knowledgable and enthusiastic.

If you want to see more birds being fed, just wander along half an hour or so before the eagles are fed, as when we were there all of the other birds were fed with mice before the eagles got their whole rats for lunch.

The center has recently been renamed The Living Coast Discovery Centre.

2  Thank Arderyth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

It’s a good place for children to interact with wild life. The only place you can see a bald eagle outside of the wild. The only other time I saw one was in Alaska, so it’s rare sight to see.

1  Thank Darthraider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2012

Being a CV native, this place will always have a place in my heart! Used to be called the Nature Interpretive Center; now given a streamlined name of CV Nature Center, it's a great way to spend an afternoon. Lots of local wildlife that's been rescued. Guests get some history about the region. Did you know Coronado, one of the most expensive regions in the country, home to the number one beach in the country, is actually sitting on dredgings from the ocean? Fun factoids and sights of beautiful birds, fish and turtles are what you will find here. Watch sea turtle, eagle, and shark feedings daily. They even have a bald eagle and a golden eagle in neighboring enclosures; symbolism anyone? They take in injured wildlife help protect the region's biodiversity. They also have a stingray petting pond, starfish, and lots of owls! Guests can also enjoy walking the nearby trails. The center offers an outdoor food cart serving homestyle burgers and dogs on most afternoons, but there's also ample picnic areas for brown baggin' it. A nice place for families as well as couples. Lots of photo ops!

1  Thank LovesOfJuneBug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Great place to take kids who love nature! Small but nice and informative. Great place to get close to interesting sea creatures. Very affordable! Quick visit in and out in 1-2 hrs.

Thank degabriela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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