Chula Vista Travel Guide

  • Galley at the Marina
    by lmkluque
  • Via Lago Trattoria
    by lmkluque
  • Filippi's Pizza Grotto
    by lmkluque

Chula Vista Things to Do

  • Themed Parks

    Huge waterslides for all ages and nerve levels! A great way to cool off on a hot summer day. Discount coupons can be found at grocery stores and in the pamplet sections of your hotel/motel lobby. Though this is a wonderful idea, the park has undergone name changes and owner changes since it's first opening. At present Knotts, of Knotts Berry...

  • Living Coast Discovery Center

    The Chula Vista Living Coast Discovery Center is a great place for anyone that wants to learn about the wild life in Southern California. It's especially good to introduce children to birds and sea life up close. While it's MUCH smaller than the more commercial enterprises that exist in CA (IE Sea World, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, etc), the...

  • Concert Venues

    Coors Amphitheatre (aka House of NOW known as, "Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre" is an outdoor performing arts theatre located in Chula Vista and serves the Greater San Diego area. Update: Again the name has changed. This venue is now called, Sleep Train Amphitheatre. Nothing else has changed, except the web address. Half of the...

  • City Views

    Hmm... I didn't visit Chula Vista as a traveler. I was just driving around there as a passenger in Linda's car and first I observed traffic and other drivers + how Linda drives a car with automatic transmission (quite new thing for me that time). No wonder, I was going to rent a car 2 or 3 days later and drive myself there and who knows where......

  • Heritage Museum

    Though Chula Vista is the second largest city in San Diego County, it still has that small community feel, even in the downtown section. Most buildings are one or two stories tall and very few buildings have more than five floors--in fact there is only one building in Chula Vista that I can think of that has more than five floors. The Chula Vista...

  • Living Coast Discovery Center

    The Chula Vista Living Coast Discovery Center is a great place for anyone that wants to learn about the wild life in Southern California. It's especially good to introduce children to birds and sea life up close. While it's MUCH smaller than the more commercial enterprises that exist in CA (IE Sea World, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, etc), the...


Chula Vista Hotels

Chula Vista Restaurants

  • Galley at the Marina

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    When the building was constructed and a restaurant opened up at the J Street Marina, it was a big disappointment to me. It seemed that the menu offered breakfast in the morning and unremarkable sandwhiches for the early afternoon. Such a waste for the spectacular location and of course the business didn't succeed. Several years later some...

  • Filippi's Pizza Grotto

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Filippis and I have a history. I managed this restaurant and worked there for twenty-three years. My son's grew up thinking of Filippis as their second home, had their first jobs at Filippis and almost all our family birthdays were celebrated there. All that, just to say that Filippis Pizza Grotto Chula Vista is a large, yet cozy, neighborhood,...

  • Dolphins Restaurant & Bar - CLOSED

    The nautical theme of this restaurant is both casual and elegant. Something like the Captian's dining room on a ship. There are several dining areas including patio dining and the full service bar, which is large and airy. Even in the main dining area the tables are raised to offer views on the bay. The name has recently changed with new...


Chula Vista Nightlife

  • More My Style

    This is a good, casual and comfortable restaurant during the day and at the end of the week, by night it becomes a music and dance club. The music played here ranges from Country to Rock & Roll. Most of the time the bands are local and pretty good. I'm not sure how late it goes on because I've never stayed till closing time. The restaurant usually...

  • Original Greek Cuisine!

    Honestly I usually come her for an early dinner, but my son's and their families treated me to the Dinner Show and I had a blast!They have a menu to order from but the Buffet is the best thing. It's all you can eat and has a large selection to choose from. The regular price ($14.99 for adults.) is a bit lower than the, "Dinner Show" price but still...

  • More than Slasa

    This is a place you'll either love or hate. That's how it seems from the comments I've gotten. This is a Rock en Espanol Rock Club/Dance Club. The music is mixed-up, though some nights there is some sort of theme. They hold concerts, have contests sometimes live music, sometimes a DJ, and who knows what all. They have a strict dress code so...


Chula Vista Transportation

  • Public Transportation

    Chula Vista's bus system supplements the San Diego County system and information about the routes can be found on the Metropolitan Transit System website. If you are not familiar with using public transportation, the easiest thing to do is to look at the Trip Planner on the MTS website and fill in the blanks. This will help you plot out your way...

  • Boating - Sailing

    One way of getting to Chula Vista is by sail boat, or speed boat. I know this is not the typical form of transportation for most of us, but in the coastal areas of San Diego County this is a quite popular way to arrive. Testament to this statement is the fact that all of the Marinas in SD County are almost always filled to capacity. However, there...

  • Automobile

    Never, never park your car on places for handicapped unless you are entitled. This is: 1. forbidden by law. 2. ticketed (is it correct in English?) of as I remember $381. Why not, say, $400? Never mind, it hurts. 3. socially unacceptable. Hmmm... what a nice difference with my own homecountry. Shame on Poland, hmmm... I do hope it will improve in...


Chula Vista Shopping

  • Chula Vista Wal-Mart

    This place has everything you need: Food - fresh fruit, snacks, beverages, etc Photo Dept - great prices on printing Vision Center - Eye exams at a great prices, offering discount contact lenses and glasses Supplies - Camping, kitchen, and beauty supplies, all at the cheapest prices in town Everything is here - even flu shots ! Budget shopping

  • Chula Vista Center

    This is the largest shopping center in Chula Vista and the biggest stores are Sears, J.C. Penny's and Macy's. There are lots of specialty shops for men, women and children, the home, shoe stores, book stores, a food court as well as several restaurants even a Carousel priced at a dollar a ride. The Ultra Star Cinema is quite popular and offers...

  • Otay Ranch Town Center

    This shopping center is new to Chula Vista and I think it is cleverly done. While walking down the main street, it does seem like a real main street in a small town. The blocks are not long and there are about three or four blocks which include side streets that also offer shops and restaurants to explore. The best way explain the layout is to...


Chula Vista Local Customs

  • Cars, Parking and Driving

    It seems that they sign routes for trucks quite different than in most European countries. Enlarge my picture: they just put a sign with TRUCK ROUTE written. In most of Europe (I think) we write: TRANSIT + eventually put a small truck picture by it (depends on a country). Generally they often write warnings surely in English on their traffic...

  • Seasonal Events

    Every year on the 15th of December the residents of Whitney and Mankato Streets cover their houses with the most spectacular display of Christmas lights, scenes and music for all who drive or walk past, to see. A simple message of Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Man. If ever in Chula Vista at Christmas time, take a tour and...

  • Personal Experiences

    "Supermarket security guards (is it correct name?) - hmm... are cameras enough? or they are secret = no marked uniforms? or... there are no thefts there? hmm... as I watched a lot of Hollywood movies they must be, am I wrong?" FROM my friend CHRIS (balfor) from Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Yes, we call them security guards. There are also cameras all...


Chula Vista Warnings and Dangers

  • Not Much to Warn You About

    For it's size, (Population 230,000) Chula Vista is a low crime rate area. Most people drive rationally, and the police are pretty nice. In the second photo you'll see a few of my students in conversation with a couple of police officers--friends of mine-- who came to speak to their class. I arranged for one of the boys to be 'arrested,' as a...

  • A Few Dangerous Areas, but They are Rare

    This is my hometown. I'am very fortunate to have grown up here and I can attest to the fact that this is a low-crime area, but as much as this place beams with sunshine, it too has its bad areas.One place you'll want to avoid is the area downtown at the H Street transit station. It gets very dark here at night and not too many police patrol here...

  • Chula Vista Hotels

    18 Hotels in Chula Vista

    1 Reviews

Chula Vista Tourist Traps

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    C.V. Won't Trap Any Tourists!

    by lmkluque Updated Sep 18, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are no tourist traps in Chula Vista, which is not really a tourist town.

    Downtown on Third Avenue you'll see theVogue Theater, an old fashion community movie house complete with ushers--Rachel Welch's mother used to usher here some thirty five years ago! On Saturday's the Vogue offers Kiddy Matinees, just like the old days.

    Another unique quality is that the night time price is $3.75 for regular seats and $ 4.25 for the high back seats! Of course, the movies offered have been out for a while. Still, it's a good deal for those on a budget.


    Unfortuanately, The Vogue closed it's doors (2006) and though there have been rumors of someone purchashing it and re-opening it as a theater, to this day, (2012) it still sits vacant. I guess that is sort of a tourist trap.

    However, let this not deter you.

    Unique Suggestions: There is another movie theater in Chula Vista, the Regal. It is located out towards East Lake off "H" Street. It is the "multi-plex" type and shows all the newest films out and the seats are luxurious, only problem is the price for everything is really high.

    Fun Alternatives: Update:

    It is now 2013 and thought there was talk of the Vogue building reopening as a movie theater, it hasn't happened. The building still stands at 226 3rd Avenue in downtown Chula Vista, but there is nothing in the building.

    In the meantime, another movie theater offers a great deal for a movie. $3.50 day time and $4.00 after 5 pm. It is called the Ultra Star Plus and I guess I'd say the Plus is the Trap. The movies are not first runs. They have been out for a while and are no longer shown in the main stream movie houses. At Ultra Star they call it "The Second Chance" to see a film as it is meant to be seen, on the big screen. The seats are high back and comfortable, unless you get a broken one, then just change seats. So, for about $10.00 you can have a movie, all you can eat & drink popcorn and soda and a hotdog!

    The Ultra Star Plus is located at the I Street side of the Chula Vista Center off Broadway.

    At the north end of  Third Avenue.
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Theater Travel

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Chula Vista Off The Beaten Path

  • Chula Vista Nature Center

    This is how the building looks at the nature center. There is an educational museum inside. Hiking tours for bird watching are held on Wednesdays and weekends at 2:00 pm. Behind the center is an aviary where you can walk inside an enclosure with a variety of local birds.

  • Nearest Beach to Chula Vista

    While staying in Chula Vista the nearest beach is located in Imperial Beach which is a little over four miles southwest. I.B. is a surfing and swimming beach with a small beachside collection of restaurants and motels. Actually, I'd say it's a bare and basic beach. Not really a stunning place but offers a great history of California surfing and it...

  • Snow in Chula Vista? Impossible!

    This may look like two snow peaks, and on occasion commercial crews, requiring a snowy atmosphere, will film here, but actually it is salt! The "Western Salt"' mines of Chula Vista. At the south end of the bay there are huge tanks containing sea water which evaporates, leaving the salt. It is mined once or twice a year, December and June. Though...


Chula Vista Sports & Outdoors

  • Upper and Lower Otay Lakes

    There are two lakes located at the far east end of Chula Vista, the upper Otay Lakes Reservoir and the lower Otay Lakes Reservoir. Though the Otay Lakes are located in the City of Chula Vista, they are also under the authority of the City of Chula Vista, The City of San Diego and the County of San Diego all as part of the Otay Valley Regional Park....

  • USA Olympic Training Center

    Tour the USA Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista for an interesting view of this global event.The Facility was opened in 1985 and is ever evolving. There are two types of tours. A guided tour, which the guide may be one of the Athletes living on campus or a Self-Guided tour which you can follow at your own pace.The tour takes you through the...

  • Paddle Boarding!

    Paddle Boarding is a fun way of exploring parts of the Bay around the J Street Marina. This is for those not yet ready to surf, just rent the board, like a surf board with a tacky center section so the person is less likely to slip or fall and a paddle for moving forward and controlling direction.This is relatively new to the Marina and I haven't...


Chula Vista Favorites

  • Eastlake Barber Shop

    With all the Salons and Spas, etc, in the Eastlake area of Chula Vista, a surprising new venue has opened in the Rolling Hills section near San Miguel Ranch. This venue is a real "old fashion" Barber Shop. This 7 chair shop has just opened in 2014 and is doing what looks like an excellent business. The barbers are articulate and the prices are very...

  • Bonita Point 76

    A surprise from the DMV on my "new" car required me to find a place that did smog inspections. The closest I found was a 76 station about 5 miles from my home. Upon presenting my paperwork which I questioned, the person at the desk questioned it too.Then to my surprise he said, I could do the smog but I don't think you need it. There is something...

  • My Local Favorite in Chula Vista

    Chula Vista is not a place most people think of when planning a vacation, unless they have family or friends living here, but people who live here can have a "vacation" everyday without leaving their own town. Which also implies that a tourist can have a relaxing holiday in Chula Vista if they are not craving crowds. One of my favorite places in...


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