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Living Coast Discovery Center  

The Living Coast Discovery Center is a nonprofit zoo and aquarium located on Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge on San Diego Bay. Founded in 1987 as the Chula Vista Nature Interpretive Center, they have served the San Diego community for over 30 years. They are open to the public Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.  They are a community of staff, volunteers, wildlife ambassadors, and a nationwide base of partners. Its mission is to inspire the community to connect with and care for our coastal environment and visualize a thriving natural coast through engaged conservation. For more than 30 years, they have reached thousands of children through field trips, outreaches, scout programs, and other community education programs. They see 80,000 visitors each year, including families, school groups, and special events.

Animal Experiences

Book an experience you and your family will never forget. While the Living Coast is closed to the public, you will be escorted on a private tour around the Discovery Center, visiting native wildlife such as sea turtles, sharks & rays, and eagles. Then complete your time with an up-close encounter with one of our many animal ambassadors.

Private Wildlife Tour includes:

  • 2-hour private tour by a highly trained educator
  • Admission for up to 10 people EZ Chula Vista Junk Removal
  • Encounter with one of our animal ambassadors
  • Options include:
  • Feed a Sea Turtle* or Bat Ray
  • Parrots or a Raptor (owl, hawk, or kestrel)
  • Reptiles (snake, tortoise, or iguana)


Turtle Lagoon

Get face-to-face with an endangered Eastern Pacific green sea turtle only in Chula Vista, California. Acting as an ambassador for the wild sea turtles that inhabit San Diego Bay, our “unofficial greeter” is guaranteed to make you smile before you even enter the front doors. Don’t forget to snap a sea turtle selfie! Book a Private Turtle Encounter before your visit to feed the sea turtle with one of our Keeper staff.


Discover the animals that makeup San Diego’s watersheds. From the trout and amphibians in mountain streams to the lobsters and seahorses in San Diego Bay and the octopuses and jellies off the coast. Then explore drier habitats with native reptiles like iguanas and snakes and invertebrates like tarantulas and scorpions.

Shark & Ray Experience

Enter into the fascinating world of sharks and rays!  Touch the velvety backs of friendly rays as they glide through the interactive touch pool. Then view leopard, horn, and swell sharks in a 21,000-gallon exhibit with multiple underwater viewing areas. Don’t forget to say “Hi” to Sapphire, our only loggerhead sea turtle and gem of the Shark & Ray Experience.


Address: 1000 Gunpowder Point Dr. Chula Vista, CA


Check out other attractions like Rice Canyon Demonstration Gardens