We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Things Do Come in Small Packages”

Living Coast Discovery Center
Book In Advance
More Info
USD 89.00*
and up
Go San Diego Card
Ranked #1 of 33 things to do in Chula Vista
More attraction details
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: Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 4 January 2018

Living Coast Discovery Center is truly a tiny treasure. The ray/shark tank is amazing. Besides the birds eye view you get when you come inside there are large portals all around giving any visitor "the best seat in the house". The staff were knowledgeable and friendly and seemed to really like their jobs. I did pay extra for the turtle feeding and the behind the scenes look. I thought it was well worth the extra money. I walked the trails for 45 minutes and enjoyed a picnic lunch while watching the activity on the bay. Well worth the price of admission!

Thank traveler13390
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (172)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"sea turtles"
in 14 reviews
"shuttle bus"
in 10 reviews
"parking lot"
in 20 reviews
"golden eagle"
in 7 reviews
"small kids"
in 4 reviews
"turtle feeding"
in 4 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 4 reviews
"national wildlife refuge"
in 3 reviews
"school groups"
in 3 reviews
"admission fee"
in 3 reviews
"great family outing"
in 3 reviews
"san diego"
in 10 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 4 reviews
"few hours"
in 5 reviews
"picnic lunch"
in 4 reviews
"great place to take kids"
in 2 reviews
"feeding schedules"
in 2 reviews

22 - 26 of 172 reviews

Reviewed 10 November 2017 via mobile

My husband and I have been taking our boys there since they were less than 1 yr old. They're now almost 3 and they still love it! Some of the highlights for them are touching the stingrays, the everchanging outdoor deck area that usually has some sort of interactive play activity and (of all things) the bus ride to and from the center. It's well kept and has a great display of local animals as well as feedings to view and talks about the different species. Highly recommend.

Thank Suzanna32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2017 via mobile

The living coast was so nice, we went back! It's pretty small do we saw everything in about an hour and a half. Seeing the sharks and the stingrays were the best part. The petting area is fun for all kids. It's not been busy at all on the days that we have gone. Parking in the lot and waiting for a ride to and from was a bit of a hassle but it adds to the exclusivity of the adventure. Especially for little ones. The outside bird area was pretty interesting but more for older kids. Don't forget to take a pic with the sea turtle out front! Beautiful!

Thank Samantha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2017

Small but lovely place - and one of the few wetland habitats left in San Diego. Take the kiddos and see lots of beautiful critters, both in captive displays and then free-ranging as you walk the paths around the center (my favorite). It's usually quiet - check the tide tables and go bird-watching when the tide is low. Rapture!

Thank Valerie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 7 September 2017

This off the beaten path museum and wildlife center gives an uncrowded glimpse into the wildlife of San Diego wetlands.
They have eagles, a great up close turtle display and you can touch rays!
It's small and is good for a shorter visit.
You are at the mercy of their shuttle service since it's located in the middle of a reserve that you can't drive onto.
There are also some nice short trails to take a walk on.

Thank Shaun B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Living Coast Discovery Center also viewed


Been to Living Coast Discovery Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing