In the month of April we visited the nature center in Chula Vista also known as the living coast discovery center. The living coast discovery center is a small nonprofit zoo and aquarium. I first heard of it a couple of years ago at the annual Chicano park day celebration and forgot about it until I heard the name come up recently and immediately googled it since Maxi loves animals and had been asking lots about sea turtles.
I was surprised I hadn't ever heard much about this little place but when we arrived at the location it kind of made sense because of the fact that it's so hidden and in a not so frequented area. You even have to take a little bus into the place, after parking your car, which kind of adds to the experience if you ask me haha,
As soon as we arrived we saw the sea turtles swimming in their area and we loved watching them chill (ever since watching nemo, I just always think of them as hippies and picture them talking in that cool Australian surfer slang). We then moved indoors where we were able to see eels (maxi thought they were scary), sea horses and stars, beautiful jelly fish dancing elegantly, a variety of reptiles including a chameleon which was on Maximiliano's top list of animals he wanted to see.
As we headed outside they had a cool crafting table where they charged like 50 cents a project, everything looked so cool that I almost sat down and crafted myself but of course my active toddler would never sit for more than a minute, especially when he knows he's surrounded by animals he could be admiring. We headed past the table into the outside aquarium where they had sharks and sting rays you could pet and a larger tank with a variety of sharks and other creatures. Maximiliano is really afraid of sharks and he wasn't really into it, it's funny because he will say "I'm a big boy, big boys are afraid of sharks". They also had a bird watching area which we enjoyed.
On top of all the animals that they have, what I absolutely love about the living coast discovery center are the walking trails. They lead you to the shore of San Diego Bay where you can actually see the railroad tracks that where used to bring kelp to the gunpowder factory that used to exist there. They also encourage you to make a day of it by packing your lunch and enjoying it there, which we will definitely be doing next time we visit!
The admission tickets are $14 per adult, $9 per childern (4-17) & students (with ID).
They also have a great family membership (2 adults and up to 5 children) for $75.