Aerial view of Eastlake Chula Vista in San Diego County
Local Spotlight

Top Things for New Residents to Do in Chula Vista, CA

If you’ve just moved to Chula Vista, getting your bearings might be overwhelming. We offer several activities to help you feel like a local.

As the second-largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, Chula Vista, CA, offers ideal weather year-round and near-endless options of things to do. Select from an array of choices spanning from the coast to the canyons and mountains. Between the scenery, diverse culture, outdoor activities, and arts community, you can’t go wrong with moving here.

Though the options may be overwhelming at first, fear not. If you’re a new Chula Vista resident and just getting your bearings, we can help. Go all out so you can fit in like a local by visiting these top attractions “The Lemon Capital” has to offer.

Support the National Teams

Of all the things to do in Chula Vista, CA, the Chula Vista Athlete Training Center is highly recommended. A location dedicated to the US Summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the training center opened in 1995 and was the first of its kind. Here, you can tour the 155-acre grounds, learn about present and past athletes, and purchase Team USA memorabilia and merchandise at the Visitor Center.

The venue houses various support facilities for over a dozen summer sports and cross-training for several winter sports. This includes a 3,000-meter rowing and kayak course, a track and field complex, a throwing field, a beach volleyball complex, a tennis complex, and more. In addition, hockey, pole vaulting, soccer, cycling, archery, and bobsledding are just some activities athletes from all over the country come to train for.

Picnic area with a waterfront view in Chula Vista Bayside Park
Photo from

Take a Hike

We mean the good kind! Living in Chula Vista means plenty of parks of all sorts in this outdoors-loving city, especially walkable ones. One popular choice is Marina View Park. This location boasts the perfect picnic spot, with views of both the bay and the city. Here you can take a scenic walk, toss a frisbee in the grassy area, or admire the public art displays. Similarly, there’s also Bayside Park. This small waterfront location has walking trails, a marina, and a fishing pier. Mountain Hawk Park isn’t on the water but offers a 12-acre outdoor space with basketball courts, a playground, an amphitheater, hiking paths, and more. Another option is Otay Valley Regional Park, which passes through San Diego and Chula Vista and has hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.

Though a slightly different type of park, Sesame Place San Diego will help you get your steps in and is excellent for getting away with kids in tow. The theme park offers several activities for all ages, including family-friendly rides, water rides, live entertainment featuring many of the show’s characters, an interactive neighborhood, shopping, and dining options. In addition, each attraction sports a character-themed name, and families can meet their furry favorites throughout the park.

Catch a Live Show

The North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre is the place to be for any local concert. The outdoor performing arts theater hosts shows from June through November and seats about 20,000 spectators between reserved seating and an open lawn. The venue was built in 1998 and resides just 17 miles from downtown San Diego. Thanks to its sponsors, it has undergone several name changes over the years but still holds the title of the largest concert venue in San Diego County.

The city of San Diego also hosts its fair share of theaters if you’re looking for something that’s a little quainter but still nearby. For example, the Civic Theatre and Balboa Theatre are smaller performing arts venues in San Diego that host stage plays, operas, concerts, and more. There’s also the OnStage Playhouse right in Chula Vista, which hosts multiple performances each year. Additionally, the San Diego House of Blues is not only a venue for concerts and private events but has a restaurant and bar as well. It is also home to a weekly occurrence called Gospel Brunch. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

Grab a Bite (or a Drink)

Chula Vista is a diverse city full of diverse food options, from Hispanic to Asian, Italian, seafood, and more. For example, Italianissimo Trattoria holds the title of number one place to eat on TripAdvisor, with Tacos El Gordo De Tijuana coming in a close second. Though the two menus couldn’t be more different, the locals hold them in high regard. Satisfy your breakfast needs at Aunt Emma’s Pancakes or the Family House of Pancakes. If you’re looking for another kind of sweet treat, places like Hogetsu Bakery or Nado Gelato have you covered.

We can’t forget all the tasty drinks, either. There are many different libation stations to choose from, as Chula Vista is home to several local bars and breweries. Beer aficionados can enjoy a relaxed visit to places like Chula Vista Brewery, Groundswell Brew Tasting Room, or Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Co. Additionally, if you’re looking for a trendy bar with creative cocktails, establishments like Dock’s Cocktail Lounge and Bar Sin Nombre are excellent options.

The iconic archway sign for the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego
Photo from @gaslampquarter

Explore San Diego

As we mentioned, Chula Vista is near San Diego. If you want to venture out further, “America’s Finest City” provides no shortage of entertainment. Between attractions like Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, or the USS Midway Museum, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re setting off on your own or with your family.

Grab some grub at a popular restaurant or spend time in the sand at Pacific Beach. Of course, there’s also hiking the sandstone cliffs at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve or stepping back in time at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. But, if you want a place to shop, catch a live show, or enjoy the San Diego nightlife, Gaslamp Quarter is the place to be. Sixteen blocks of Victorian-style homes feature galleries, theaters, shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Adjusting to life in a new place can be a lot. If you need help with your move to Chula Vista, Prime is here to help. We have several convenient self storage facilities spanning from Chula Vista to San Diego, and our local staff can also offer suggestions on things to do in the area. In addition, we have storage solutions for your belongings while you’re waiting to close on your new home, during a remodel, seasonally, and more. So, come to us with all your home storage needs while you explore everything Chula Vista, CA, has to offer.


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