Chula Vista: Best Things to Do

Google Maps - Photo by Drake Garvin

Chula Vista is Spanish words for “beautiful view”; the city is referred that way because of the scenic location between the San Diego Bay and coastal mountain foothills.

You can shop at the historic downtown and try out good meals at the restaurants nearby while enjoying the bayfront views thanks to the close proximity of both areas to each other.

Take a public tour at the iconic Elite Athlete Training Center to get to know the magnificence of the campus area as well as the training of athletes.

Aquatica San Diego family waterpark offers you great amenities from exciting water slides to relaxing lazy river and pools.

If you are looking for small town feel in the middle of a big city, then Chula Vista is all yours!



Chula Vista is used to be the home of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center along with the ones in Colorado and New York. The campus was taken over by the City of Chula Vista and thus changed its name to Elite Athlete Training Center.
The 150-acre campus features sport venues and facilities for Olympic sports. Take the public tour which is available from Monday to Friday to get to know the magnificence of the campus area as well as the training of athletes. Depending on the package you take, you can even get the “Eat like an Athlete” experience in the Dining Hall.

Elite Athlete Training Center

Hidden gem in Chula Vista.

It has great infrastructure.

This place and it's facilities are amazing.

You will bicycross ramps and archery, rugby fields, lakes,etc.

Address : 2800 Olympic Pkwy, Chula Vista, CA 91915, United States


Located at the heart of Chula’s Vista historic downtown, the Third Avenue is filled with various kinds of shops, restaurants, services, and other business establishments.
Expect some events when coming to the downtown. Get the freshest local products at the weekly Farmers Market or savor the irresistible delicacies sold by the vendors at the annual Village Street Fair. Starlight Parade is held on Christmas so make sure to visit the downtown in the evening to see the spectacular views of the town adorned with dazzling Christmas lights.


Just south of San Diego, there’s an exceptional open-air shopping mall namely Otay Ranch Town Center. This is a perfect shopping center if you want a more hassle-free shopping experience compared to the one you get at the historic downtown.
Some stores you’ll find at the site include Macy’s (a department store), AMC Theatres (cinemas), Barnes & Noble (a bookstore), H&M, and even the Apple Inc. Another weekly Farmers Market is held by the mall every Tuesday afternoon. For you who can’t let go of your pets just for seconds, then this is a perfect place for you to shop since the mall is pet-friendly and even features a dog park.

Otay Ranch Town Center

Otay Ranch Town Center is an exceptionally attractive outdoor mall.

This location is huge.

It's spread out with trees and seating scattered throughout, giving it a park-like feeling.

The Tuesday farmers market is a nice change of pace.

It has a small area for children a decent indoor food court and it also has a playground.

Big theaters are a plus.

Address : 2015 Birch Rd, Chula Vista, CA 91915, United States


Chula Vista has numerous restaurants selling American classics such as burgers, steaks, sandwiches, and bagels. They also have the best international eateries, family dining, and top-notch craft breweries.
You can just go straight to downtown and find some Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, and French restaurants there. Barbecue restaurants are also all around the town. Chula vista and other regions in California once fell under the jurisdiction of the Mexican Empire, so it’s no wonder that you’ll especially find a lot of Mexican restaurants there.


Aside from hosting a number of cultural events like Starlight Parade, Lemon Festival, and Chula Vista Rose Festival, the city is home to On Stage Playhouse. It is the only live theatre in South Bay, San Diego. On Stage Playhouse produces six regular shows and some short run programs as well as free educational events.
Another performing arts theatre is the North Island Credit Union Amphitheater. The outdoor stage is adjacent to Aquatica San Diego, hosting major music concerts like Maroon 5.

On Stage Playhouse

Small community playhouse lifted on Third Ave in Chula VIsta.

It offers an excellent singers and performers.

The quality keeps improving.

They always have some different selections with very talented actors.

Address : 291 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910, United States

North Island Credit Union Amphitheater

Great outdoor concert venue.

Great venue with good seats all around.

You will get a pretty good view of the stage wherever you seat.

Parking is included and convenient.

Address : 2050 Entertainment Cir, Chula Vista, CA 91911, United States


Generally, Chula Vista’s temperatures feel nice throughout the year with the exception of some cold weeks in the winter. They also have a very low chance of raining and snowing. The hottest months in Chula Vista are July, August and September. This will be a perfect time for you who want to spend your summer holiday under the sun.


Have fun at the waterparks during your stay in Chula Vista Resort! The resort provides you with tons of entertainments, ranging from indoor and outdoor waterparks, golf courses, walks and tours to a 4D action cinema, an arcade, and some exciting attractions designed for kids. The dog friendly resort also offers spa and other wellness services for you after a long adventurous day onsite.
For a more moderate staying option with affordable fees, Motel 6 San Diego - Chula Vista is where you should go to stay during your visit in Chula Vista. There’s no waterpark here but an indoor pool, but worry not since you can always go exploring the city more! It’s in a close proximity to the Living Coast Discovery Center and just next to the downtown—everything is within your reach!

Chula Vista Resort

Really fun resort with lots to do.

A hidden gem off the main strip of water parks.

The food, service and accommodations are all top notch.

Their morning breakfast buffet is pretty great.

Address : 1000 Chula Vista Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965, United States

Motel 6 San Diego - Chula Vista

The motel is conveniently located right off the expressway.

Plenty of restaurants around and gas station.

The staff is actually nice and like to smile.

The room is a Motel 6 room but clean and comfy.

Address : 745 E St, Chula Vista, CA 91910, United States


Chula Vista is home to numerous Mexican restaurants. Karina's Mexican Seafood will be such a perfect dining option for you. There are two Karina's Mexican Seafood restaurants in town: one is at the downtown and another is at the Otay Ranch Town Center. All of them serving great menus, ranging from tacos and ceviches to seafood soups and salads. The restaurant radiates an authentic Mexican restaurant with good vibes.
Headquartered in Huntington Beach, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse is an American restaurant chain which becomes another dining option you can choose. They offer entrees, pizzas, soups and salads, pastas, sandwiches and tacos. This restaurant is perfect for you who are seeking various kinds of menus from different origins. The restaurant gives off a nice, peaceful atmosphere, too.

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

BJ’s is probably best known for their signature Deep Dish Pizzas, but their menu offers so much more for the next time you need a change of pace.

Address : 10750 Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93311, United States

Karina's Mexican Seafood

This Mexican restaurant is large but very cozy in the dining area and bar.

The food is always good, the drinks are tasty and the service is top notch.

A little pricey, but worth the price.

The staff was very friendly and attentive.

Address : 89 Bonita Rd, Chula Vista, CA 91910, United States


Agave Coffee & Café provides locally roasted organic food, coffee and tea worth to try, all served both in the dining room and covered patio. This boutique café offers over 22 beverage varieties and 35 fresh artisan food menu options. You’ve got loads to do and can’t stay too long at the café? Worry no more, the café sells coffee and tea in a can which you can carry anywhere.
Another place you can go for some quick, delicious bites is the Einstein Bros. Bagels. Einstein Bros. Bagels is an American bagel and coffee chain headquartered in Colorado. Indulge in the deliciousness of bagel variants. Some of the signature bagels are asiago cheese, blueberry, choco chip, cinnamon sugar, French toast, and pretzel. The bagels also come in a form of DIY kit, allowing you to discover new tastes.

Agave Coffee & Café

Amazing brunch options and great coffee's.

The decor and environment is welcoming and quaint.

The waiter always serve fresh and healthy foods.

Very nice surroundings and a very comfortable environment.

Address : 303 H St, Chula Vista, CA 91910, United States

Einstein Bros. Bagels

One of best bagels places in San Diego.

They always have the freshest and tastiest food.

it is a nice walk and the seating outside is nice.

It has a cozy feel the kind of place you can sit and chat with a friend or get some work done.

Address : 374 E H St #1701, Chula Vista, CA 91910, United States


Enjoy the night in Chula Vista at The Gentle Penguin, a trendy lounge with a beautifully adorned setting on the Third Ave. Get the signature cocktails, fine wine or craft beer available. The café offers live music, DJ nights and local artists’ exhibitions.
Just across Northgate Market, a Mexican grocery store, there’s a bar with a Spanish atmosphere namely Mi Barra. The place may not be that big, but the bar is packed with only the best features worthy of visit. This little gem comes with great live bands and excellent music/DJ system. They also offer great service with good drinks.

The Gentle Penguin

A must visit when barhopping in chula vista downtown.

Excellent drinks and superior service.

Live music and inviting atmosphere.

Cool atmosphere & great service.

Address : 289 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910, United States

Mi Barra

A great bar filled with rock music.

There are many variety of coktails.

The bartenders are very knowledgable and always offer great beers.

Fun atmosphere surrounded by nice people.

Address : 1073 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91911, United States


Visiting Chula Vista means that you have to visit its waterpark too. Aquatica San Diego family waterpark offers you great amenities from exciting water slides to relaxing lazy river and pools. Aside from the thrilling water rides and slides, the waterpark also provides private cabanas with exclusive resort pool ready to rent. There are also dining and shopping areas onsite.
Another interesting place you should visit is the Living Coast Discovery Center, an environmental education center located in the Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. The site features marine animal, animal and bird exhibits. Be ready to explore the site through educational field trips. This education center is especially good for kids.

Aquatica San Diego

This is a cool water park.

Great place for the family and friends.

Adult rides, kid rides and baby stuff, too.

The staff is excellent on keeping their eyes on everything.

Address : 2052 Entertainment Cir, Chula Vista, CA 91911, United States

Living Coast Discovery Center

A wonderful Aquarium/Wildlife Refuge.

A lot of exhibits to see and scheduled feedings to observe.

Very informative nature perseverance program and facility.

Such a great place to go and visit.

Address : 1000 Gunpowder Point Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91910, United States


There are a lot of Instagrammable spots all over Chula Vista. Visit Otay Valley Regional Park, a 200-acre park offering extensive hiking, biking and equestrian trails. Backdropped by breathtaking views of salt ponds and rolling hills, this quiet area is perfect for a photo hunting. Flowers blooming along the trails or fogs covering the woods will dramatize your photos even more.
Mountain Hawk Park is another great place with spectacular views of water and hills surrounding the picturesque fenced walk paths. The green space also comes with picnic gazebos, a basketball court, a playground and a splash pad. Pick good spots and get your best photoshoots there.

Otay Valley Regional Park

It is favorite place for trail running and dog walking.

The trails are decent and the landscape is somewhat maintained.

This is a pretty dry area but there is a really pretty wild flower field at one point

A must visit.

Address : 2369 Beyer Blvd, San Diego, CA 92173, United States

Mountain Hawk Park

Beautiful family park great views lake mountains.

A lots of space and a constant light wind granting fresh air to all.

It is a breathtaking view of the mountains & nature.

The water poppers are great for the kids on a hot day.

Address : 1475 Lake Crest Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91915, United States