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“Little Gem in Chula”

Living Coast Discovery Center
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USD 94.00*
and up
Go San Diego Card
Ranked #1 of 21 things to do in Chula Vista
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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: Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 13 July 2017 via mobile

Visited the LCNC with my 10 and 13 yr old and thought we would be in and out since it's a rather small place... I was wrong! Although, the main lobby exhibit is small, there's so much to see and enjoy here. We we're able to watched mini owls so close, and photograph them eating frozen mouse.

Sharks and Turtles and all sorts of birds... but what we enjoyed most was the hiking trails. Got to observe more birds on the trail and kids ran freely. We whind up spending an entire day here, had a small picnic, and relaxed while listening to the birds above.

Great little Gem here in Chula and all proceeds help maintain and care of the animals. I stopped to talk to some of the workers/staff and they are so knowledgeable and will tell you great stories of their own experience with these animals.

Facility and ground is so well maintained, mostly from volunteers who love this place. After leaving, my family and I are looking forward to returning to volunteer and will try the overnight sleepover too.

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank Jessica C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (179)
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"sea turtles"
in 14 reviews
"shuttle bus"
in 12 reviews
"local wildlife"
in 8 reviews
"parking lot"
in 20 reviews
"golden eagle"
in 7 reviews
"small aquarium"
in 5 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 5 reviews
"feeding times"
in 5 reviews
"small kids"
in 4 reviews
"turtle feeding"
in 4 reviews
"educational experience"
in 5 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 3 reviews
"the san diego zoo"
in 3 reviews
"national wildlife refuge"
in 3 reviews
"school groups"
in 3 reviews
"small place"
in 3 reviews
"summer camps"
in 3 reviews

36 - 40 of 179 reviews

Reviewed 4 July 2017

My husband and I went to the Discovery Center and had a educational and fun time. We made sure we saw them feeding the turtles, stingrays and eagles. The educational presentations were excellent. I took the suggestion of bringing my own lunch and enjoyed eating on nice shaded picnic tables. It is a smaller venue which made it nice to be able to get close the wildlife. The shuttle driver is very nice. We took a walk to see the San Diego Harbor. Lots of history. Great place to visit.

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank ClareScottsdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2017

For sweeping views of the bay, downtown San Diego, and the Coronado bridge, take one of the trails that fan out from the new Butterfly Garden that is adjacent to the free shuttle bus drop off area. If indoors, you see sea creatures and birds in cages, outdoors you can experience raw nature -- shore birds, such as Great Blue Herons, doves, and many rabbits were spotted on Memorial Day (2017). Due to the rains this season, some wildflowers are still blooming. Adjacent to the ticket desk is a well-stocked gift shop. Also, included in the admission fee are several feedings and talks on the sea creatures. There are picnic tables, if you have brought food. So for an upclose taste of bay culture, go to the Living Coast Discovery Center.

Date of experience: May 2017
Thank GlobalGypsy_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2017

The Living Coast Discovery Center is a great place to go spend some time in the South Bay area. This place is great for kids and everyone else who enjoys getting a close look at our local natural habitat. From sea turtles to birds and fish, this place will let you experience the nature that surrounds us in our local community of South Bay. You need to go visit the Living Coast Discovery Center and I recommend that you buy the yearly membership if you can!

Date of experience: November 2016
Thank Diego S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 21 February 2017

Discover the coast and salt marshes of the bay at this low slung center that includes animals indoors (e.g., snakes) and birds outdoors in cages (e.g., roadrunner and raptors) and in the air. Although a bit pricey ($16.00 for adults and $8.00 for kids), a free shuttle bus from the parking lot at the entrance to the center is included and required. There is easy entrance from I-5 (exit 8B) and a small gift shop adjacent to the payment counter. I highly recommend the trails for sweeping views of the San Diego bay as well as birds and squirrels.

Date of experience: February 2017
1  Thank GlobalGypsy_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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