Chula Vista is a unique neighborhood, as it’s only 7 miles from nearby San Diego and 7 miles from the Mexican border. This vibrant area offers an array of great activities and entertainment, from dining al fresco to water sports and shopping. Those who like cultural activities will especially enjoy exploring the area’s sights and attractions.
Here are 10 fun things to do in Chula Vista, CA.
1. Aquatica Waterpark
Aquatica is part of SeaWorld, and it’s the perfect place to cool off and have a good time with family and friends. Aquatica has one of SoCal’s largest wave pools, an array of exciting rides, and there’s also wildlife to see. Some of the animals at Aquatica include flamingos and turtles. You can make it a full day here, as the park has restaurants, cabana rentals, several pools, attractions, and a number of water slides.
2. Chula Vista Marina
If you enjoy spending time on the water, fishing, or dining near the waterfront, head to Chula Vista Marina. This harbor actually has two marinas, restaurants, and it’s next to several parks and amenities. Have a barbecue in the picnic area or relax at the spa or pool. There’s also a Jacuzzi, fitness center, and a yacht club. One of the unique experiences available at Chula Vista Marina is whale watching. You can take a look from the docks, or go on a boat tour to get a closer look at these majestic animals.
3. Providence Amphitheater
Providence Amphitheater, formerly known as Sleep Train Amphitheater, is a prime place to catch an outdoor show in Chula Vista. This incredible performing arts center regularly hosts great music acts and seats 18,000 people. All seats give a great view of the stage, and the entire venue was built to have exceptional sound quality. The outdoor setting provides an ideal backdrop and gives a lively festival-like atmosphere to each show. In addition, there are food vendors and plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle before and after performances.
4. Living Coast Discovery Center
Chula Vista and the San Diego Bay have a very interesting natural and geological history. The biodiversity of the area itself is astounding, and one of the best places to get a first hand look is Living Coast Discovery Center. This nonprofit aquarium and zoo is fun for children and adults and as a nice variety of interactive and hands-on exhibits. In addition to workshops and guided tours, Living Coast Discovery Center has bird watching platforms and a shark tank.
5. U.S. Olympic Training Center Tour
Fans of the Olympic Games will definitely want to tour the U.S. Olympic Training Center. It’s an official U.S. Olympic Committee training complex that boats 155 acres filled with world class equipment. You can drop by to take a self guided tour during the week, and there are free maps available to help you along the way. On Saturday mornings, the U.S. Olympic Training Center provides one hour guided tours full of insightful information. The complex also has an on-site store where you can pick up memorabilia and souvenirs.
6. Third Avenue Village
This quaint promenade is a historic part of Chula Vista’s downtown area, and it has a warm and welcoming vibe. There are a range of artisan shops and independent boutiques, cafes and eateries, and a lovely bed and breakfast here. The area was recently revitalized, and it’s now just as wonderful as it ever was. Third Avenue Village hosts several of Chula Vista’s festivals and parades, as well as a farmers market. You’ll be hard pressed to find such excellent organic produce anywhere else.
7. Marina View Park
To get away from it all and enjoy Chula Vista’s gorgeous sunny weather, take a trip to Marina View Park. The air here is fresh and breezy, and there’s plenty of space to take a nice walk or have a picnic. It’s a very family friendly spot where you can let the kids run around, enjoy a fresh and delicious meal by the bay, or go fishing. Marina View Park is also popular with dog owners, and it has area where you can take your pooch to play.
8. Bay Bridge Brewing
Skillfully crafted beer can rival some of the world’s finest wines. For a taste of local brew, go to the tasting room at Bay Bridge Brewing. Some of their award winning beers include Palomar Pale Ale, Bonita Blonde, and Wolf Canyon Wheat. These unique handcrafted micro brews have exquisite smoothness and taste, and the atmosphere inside Bay Bridge Brewing is laid back — this is a great spot to meet up with friends. On Saturday nights, Bay Bridge Brewing hosts live bands and food truck vendors.
9. Rice Canyon Trail
For a fun hiking adventure, plan a day at Rice Canyon Trail. This area has dessert gardens, a small waterfall, and gorgeous canyon views. You’ll want to take plenty of photos while hiking here, and the best thing about Rice Canyon Trail is how suitable it is for hikers of all experience levels. Even children can manage this hike and have fun while seeing the landscape and taking in some sun. The trail is 3.6 miles, includes just one small hill, and has a ton of nice scenery surrounding it. Rice Canyon Trail is a top pick for individuals, couples, and families who like to stay active outside. It’s also a good running, biking, and jogging trail because it’s mostly flat.
10. Gunpowder Point
History buffs and sightseers will enjoy a stop at Gunpowder Point. This site has a wealth of natural and geopolitical history. It’s most known for its role in World War I and the industrial era, but there’s so much more to learn about Gunpowder Point. There are several walking trails here, and access is free during hours that the Living Coast Discovery Center is open. Part of the Hercules Plant and Cottonseed Oil Company still stand, but the most prominent feature of Gunpowder Point is the land, flora, and fauna. Walking through Gunpowder Point is a real stroll through history.