Living Coast Discovery Center

Living Coast Discovery Center

Living Coast Discovery Center
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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!
Duration: 2-3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles208 reviews
Excellent
125
Very good
54
Average
17
Poor
7
Terrible
5

grannypanties
San Diego, CA14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
ATTENTION: Park at their free public parking lot and take the free shuttle to the Living Coast Discovery Center!

You cannot walk, hike or bike onto the the San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge which the Living Coast Discovery Center sits within.

Their free shuttle also transports those that just want to access the San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge paths that are free of charge to explore.

If you follow apps such as Google Maps they will direct you to the Center but you can't access the Refuge/Discovery Center via a private vehicle.

Animal lovers, especially those into raptors, will love this place.

They house injured and rehabilitated creatures.

They have in-depth presentations of the eagle, sea turtle and sharks/rays at certain times of the day Wed-Sun.

Every Saturday there is a great walking tour outdoors giving you insight to the surrounding marsh ecosystem.

If you're a bicyclist, the Center is right off of the Bayshore Bikeway though the new parking lot has no bike rack so you're best bet is the shuttle shelter poles.

The San Diego MTS Blue Line E Street Trolley Station is nearby, about a 10 minute walk.
Written 30 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rebecca Z
Mukwonago, WI143 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023
Had a wonderful morning at this small aquarium. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. I appreciate the fact that many of the animals here were rescues.
Written 27 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tencatdaddy
Athens, GA404 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
nature center. As much as I enjoyed the larger zoos, aquariums, &c this was a bit more intimate and an opportunity to get "up close and personal" w/ the animals. The octopus apparently knew folks were watching as it put on a show working its way back and forth and up and down in the aquarium. The turtles and rays were extremely entertaining as they surfaced and would splash as many as they could who were close to the tank. Lots of other fish and exhibits as well as a nice raptor center (unfortunately I missed the raptor show) w/ about a dozen different majestic birds.
The docents w/ whom I spoke were very friendly and informative and enjoyed sharing what they knew and seemed to "know" their animals.
Written 21 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike_in_CO
Lakewood, CO213 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Family
First visit to this place and it was wonderful. Our group, which included a 3 year old, loved it. The animals and displays were great, the hands-on things were fun and informative. We listened to the eagle demonstration, definitely worth it. As much as we liked the display, the best part was the knowledgeable and engaging staff and volunteers. We learned so much about raptors, roadrunners, sharks and sea stars from them that it made our visit special.
Written 7 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dick T
Tucson, AZ618 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
An excellent place to visit and learn about the wildlife & creatures that reside in and about San Diego Bay and the nearby Pacific Ocean. The exhibits were all open (except a couple that were undergoing rehab. There are an abundance of walking trails that are well marked and easy to walk on. Everything is sea level. This is an especially nice place to take small (elementary age) children; there are several aquariums inside the center housing a wide variety of fish and other underwater creatures. The eagle exhibit outside is very interesting, especially if you can arrange to be there at feeding time.
Written 13 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rosie V
Washington6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Fun for all ages.There is a shuttle from the Wildlife Refuge to the Discovery Center.small place but great place to be outside. Great walking path.
Written 13 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa S
28 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Couples
It was so small, it was barely worth the cost of gas. The bird exhibit was closed so that cut the visit even shorter, which was less than a half hour. Young kids would enjoy it.
Written 18 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tikaneve2016
Goleta, CA51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
We did not go in the Discovery Center due to time constraints. The walking/biking paths at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge are fabulous. New plantings with natives, both paved and unpaved paths with plenty of space to walk and watch birds or just be outdoors. Will go back and see the Discovery Center as it looked completely uncrowded. There is a shuttle from the Wildlife Refuge to the Discovery Center, that is the only way to enter but you can park and walk the trails for free. Great place to be outside.
Written 2 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mohammad Qutishat
Amman, Jordan2,216 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
For me it was a huge disappointment, the place has potential to become a top attraction, but there is a clear lack of attention, it is huge but most of it is empty, the service is bad, I recommend you to skip it and enjoy your time in other more fun locations.
Written 13 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

travelmakesUrich
Winter Garden, FL3,744 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Because this is situated on protected land, you have to park in a parking lot and wait for a bus to take you back to the center, but it's less than a ten minute wait, so we didn't even register it. The facility is not that big, but they pack it full not only with displays, but with employees who clearly enjoy the work they do and want to share their enthusiasm with guests.

We did a behind-the-scenes tour that took us into the food prep area where we got to touch different things in a tank (a snail versus a limpet, for example) and also allowed us to feed the 2 unnamed sea turtles they have in the outside tank. I highly recommend this. The tour was already full the day we got there, but they were kind enough to allow us to join, then split the tour into 2 groups so that more people could participate. Kudos to the staff for making that happen.

We felt that our money was well spent here - they're doing their part to educate and protect.
Written 22 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Living Coast Discovery Center - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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