Living Coast Discovery Center

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1000 Gunpowder Point Dr., Chula Vista, CA 91910
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Open:
Daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A place for fun and learning, the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista has so much to offer kids and adults.
Living Coast Discovery Center
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Discover the Living Coast Discovery Center

When in search of a fun, educational way for kids and adults to spend quality time, you simply can't beat the Living Coast Discovery Center. Located in Chula Vista in scenic South Bay San Diego, Living Coast allows visitors to walk among many nature exhibits to see how local wild and aquatic life actually lives.

There is a wide selection of animals housed here, including birds, reptiles, and aquatic creatures, and the staff goes the extra mile to recreate a safe, healthy environment for each and every one.

Beginning as the Chula Vista Nature Center in the summer of 1986, Living Coast is dedicated to safeguarding native species and educating the public on the importance of environmental preservation for all of the earth's inhabitants.

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Hilton San Diego Bayfront
$206
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Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
$134
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Pier South Resort, Autograph Collection
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Sand Castle Inn
$215
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What to Expect During Your Visit

Living Coast is located right on the beautiful San Diego Bay and is easily accessible via car or public transportation, including the trolley. Free parking is available in the complimentary parking lot, along with a free shuttle that takes you from the lot to the Center itself.

When spending time here, it's recommended that you schedule at least two to three hours to cover your entire visit. If you plan on doing an animal interaction or other scheduled activities, you may want to plan on being in the park for a little longer.

While you're free to bring your own food and enjoy a picnic within Living Coast, there are also light snacks and refreshments available for sale throughout the park.

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Adults and children (ages 3 to 12) can use the Go San Diego Pass – All-Inclusive, Explorer or Build Your Own - to visit the area’s top attractions and activities.

Exhibits & Attractions

The Main Gallery

The Main Gallery features a gorgeous array of wildlife native to the San Diego area. This section is made up of more than 20 exhibits, which include aquatic animals like seahorses and eels, as well as reptiles like lizards and snakes. It's a great introduction to the park as a whole, and also aptly shows the staff's dedication to the many animal residents.

Turtle Lagoon

Green sea turtles are endangered, which is why places like Turtle Lagoon are so crucial to their survival. Turtles swim happily in their glass enclosures while guests observe their behaviors and interactions with great interest. If you choose to participate in an animal encounter in Turtle Lagoon, you'll also get to observe a feeding.

Local Tips
Seasonal Exhibits
The Living Coast runs a new seasonal exhibit each year, featuring animals from around the world, from late March/April through Labor Day.

Shark & Ray Experience

Not only will you get to see amazing aquatic animals at the Shark & Ray Experience, you'll also get to interact with them directly. Visitors to the touch pools can actually gently place their hands on swimming rays, who typically enjoy a light pat. You'll also get to visit with treasured park resident Sapphire, which is Living Coast's resident loggerhead sea turtle.

Shorebird Aviary

The walkthrough Shorebird Aviary provides an uncluttered view of local birds like snowy egrets, red-breasted mergansers, and black-crowned night herons. Living Coast takes great pains to recreate these birds' natural habitats, which allows them to thrive within the facility.

Eagle Mesa

Marvel at the proud, distinguished bald and golden eagles of the Eagle Mesa during your visit. Stop by during feeding time you'll be privy to how these birds hunt their prey.

Raptor Row

Fascinating birds of prey are the stars of Living Coast's Raptor Row, so-named for these birds' prehistoric ancestors. The Center has rehabilitated numerous birds and now provides them a safe, stimulating place to call home. Get up close and personal with ospreys, barn owls, red-tailed hawk, and many other impressive creatures.

Walking Trails & Native Plant Gardens

Before your visit ends, be sure to check out the 1.5 miles of scenic walking trails, as well as plant gardens featuring many native species. Additionally, be sure to check out the native pollinator gardens, where bees, birds, butterflies, and even bats can be found flying high. You'll also learn why creating a pollinator garden at your home is also very important to wildlife.

Educational Programs

Living Coast also values educating young people on the many wonders of the natural world, which is why they've provided a variety of programs for the past three decades. Through various educational pursuits, they inform and educate children of all ages about the animals in their care. Living Coast is currently offering:

Virtual Field Trips

Even if school students can't visit the Center in person, they can still take a tour of the many amazing exhibits and animals that are found within. Virtual tours introduce students to wildlife and provide essential information on these animals and how they live. Virtual tours are designed to accommodate children of all ages, from kids in kindergarten to teens in high school.

Library Outreach

A library is a wonderful place for kids to learn and play, which makes it an ideal environment for Living Coast's outreach programs. During the library outreach session, up to 50 guests can take part in the interactive video, which can cover local animals, owls, and tidepools. The video is accompanied by many interesting hands-on activities, which use fun methods and materials to teach kids about science and animals.

Overnight Adventures

What could be more fun for a child than spending the night in the Living Coast Discovery Center with a group of friends? Overnight adventures offer a tour of the museum for the entire group, as well as a delicious continental breakfast the following morning. During the tour, kids will be privy to a close-up view of the exhibits and their inhabitants, as well as animal encounters and other fun activities.

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Pier South Resort, Autograph Collection
Exterior view, Pier South Resort, Autograph Collection
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What to Know Before you Go

Discount to the Living Coast Discovery Center & More

Discounts and special offers are available with the Go San Diego Pass. The Go San Diego Pass offers entrance not only to the Living Coast Discovery Center but to over 55 different attractions and activities all around San Diego for one low discounted price. If you purchase the pass via our website you can get an additional discount.

Time your Visit around the Feeding Presentations

When planning your visit, try to catch a daily feeding presentation; bald and golden eagles are fed at 1 p.m., sharks and rays at 1:30 p.m., and green sea turtles at 2 p.m. These guest adventures, which take place on Saturdays and Sundays, are included with your admission.

Private Animal Encounters

You can also book a private animal encounter for your group, which includes turtles, owls, rays, sharks, parrots, and reptiles, on the day of your visit.

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Stay Nearby

Hilton San Diego Bayfront
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from $206 / night
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Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
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Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
from $134 / night
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Pier South Resort, Autograph Collection
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Pier South Resort, Autograph Collection
from $188 / night
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