The Living Coast Discovery Center

The Living Coast Discovery Center is a little-known gem just 7 miles from downtown San Diego. A natural treasure on the San Diego Bay, the nonprofit zoo and aquarium is uniquely situated on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, offering visitors an ideal setting in which to explore the amazing animals and plants that call our coastal region home.

With a diverse collection of animal ambassadors and hands-on, interactive exhibits, the Discovery Center inspires curiosity and exploration of the living earth in guests of all ages.  The Living Coast Discovery Center is where wonder comes naturally on San Diego Bay!

Living Coast Discovery Center
4.6
Based on 764 reviews
powered by Google
Alyssa Stern
Alyssa Stern
01:04 28 Mar 22
We loved it! My partner and I are birders besides wildlife enthusiasts. The buildings and gardens themselves are very... tasteful. Besides the birds in the aviaries, we spotted sea birds and a few hummingbirds. The staff is very knowledgeable, courteous, and kind The marsh trails are awash with yellow, white and some purple flowers. Highly recommend.read more
Rebecca Laughery
Rebecca Laughery
18:40 09 Mar 22
A hidden gem in the area. I found out about the Living Coast Discovery Center from an online Mom group. Originally our... family was going to go to the San Diego zoo, but it was very crowded. I had this center saved in my ‘Family Adventures’ list, so we decided to visit here instead. This place is great for toddlers as they are able to see so many of the animals at their eye level. My teen also liked it. We saw sea turtles, sharks, fish, birds, bees, spiders, sea horses, an octopus, and more. The Pollination Garden and trail to the coastline are great too and another way to spot wildlife. There is a parking lot, then you ride a bus to the center, we went without the stroller, and it was doable. I saw other families bring strollers too. A great place and their yearly membership is under $100 if you love it!read more
Natalie Graber
Natalie Graber
08:04 26 Feb 22
Such a fun little outing. We had a lot of fun. I will be back. Next time with a picknik lunch. I like how we were... able to park and the shuttle picked us up. That was very helpful.read more
Ms. H
Ms. H
06:46 26 Feb 22
Great, unexpectedly educational experience for my family. The visit was interactive and the exhibits were excellent. It... was not a big space but there were exhibits of marine animals, birds, reptile, small sharks, rays, and sea turtles. The view was also gorgeous.To get here, you must park at the small lot on E (don't pass it or it will take you a while to make a u turn from afar) and take a shuttle. The shuttle comes about every15 min.read more
Renate Neira
Renate Neira
22:27 12 Feb 22
Great place to visit,. Especially during Museum Month. Aquarium, shark tank, birds. Great info about the regional... wetlands. On the weekends they offer guided tours through the wetland (20-30 min) . Perfect for kids.read more
Kenneth Maxey
Kenneth Maxey
05:54 01 Feb 22
A great option for locals. Heads up its gonna cost about $70 for a family of four. Plan to spend at least 3 hours here.... You start off at the parking lot. Parking is free. Grab the shuttle (it's free and tipping is not required). Note, you cannot walk to the center. Theres a gate and it only opens for the shuttle. Once you arrive, check out the sea life. The tank in the back is full of action!. Note, there are no dining facilities so bring food and drinks. The bathrooms are clean too.read more
Asha Theebaraj
Asha Theebaraj
17:20 26 Jan 22
Took the kids while on their winter break. The tours were closed, best to come on the weekends. However, got a glimpse... of the octopus and different birds species.read more
Lester Chong
Lester Chong
21:53 17 Jan 22
Nice little place to discover wildlife. Passionate staff. Well worth the visit.
Victoria Parker
Victoria Parker
05:33 23 Nov 21
I cannot say enough good things about this placed. The staff is so friendly and knowledgeable and patient. My girls are... two very social butterflies that love to ask questions, and ALL the staff where so kind to them. Thank you Living Coast Discovery Center for the GREAT experienceread more
Kevin Moore
Kevin Moore
22:02 02 Oct 21
Small but educational and nice views of the coast. They feed Turtles at 1pm and Sting Rays/Sharks at 2pm on weekends. I... like that you can bring your own food and they have a lot of places in the shade to sit and eat with a great view. You have to park at a shuttle pick-up and then they take you over so don’t follow the map all the way. My only 2 negative things is the hand rails are rusted… not safe for kids. Also the shuttle drop off they have to go twice as far on the way back because there is no turn or U-turn… they should just make a drop off on other side of street.read more
Brandon Holiwell
Brandon Holiwell
03:33 08 Sep 21
For the money this is an excellent exhibit. Includes several trails to the beach. My family and I really enjoyed.
VIRGINIA GONZALEZ
VIRGINIA GONZALEZ
22:18 30 Jul 21
We did a small trip with my granddaughter I'm sure you'll love the Discovery Center she's 11 years old I should just... love anything to do with the sea so very educational for the kidsread more
Jennifer T
Jennifer T
23:34 22 Jul 21
This is a great hands on experience aquarium. It's a little small but that adds to its charm. They've got sea animals,... reptiles and birds.read more
Joseph Solis
Joseph Solis
01:00 12 Jul 21
It was nice. There's alot of wildlife to see there and apparently you can book birthday party's for kids there! That is... awesomeread more
Chami
Chami
04:12 31 May 21
Great place to take your children! Lots of things to see & learn. It’s fun & exciting just an all around great place to... enjoy your day with kids! One of my favorite things to do with my son! He loves itread more
Shauna A
Shauna A
18:28 21 May 21
I love this place! I love the fact that they are rescuing and helping animals and its not just a zoo that profits off... of keeping animals in captivity.When we went it wasn't too over- crowded, probably because you can't just park and walk in. There is a parking area and shuttle busses that take groups to and from the building. So when a full bus comes back, they pick up another group.I was also impressed with how close you can actually get to some of the animals (within reason) and observe them in a natural habitat-like setting.My favorite was probably the bald eagle. I couldn't believe I was looking at an actual bald eagle in real life, it was an amazing experience!Also the sea turtles, they're so cute!And the staff is super friendly and helpful and always ready to give you information about the animals they have at the time.It seems small but we were there for a couple of hours and didn't even go across and do the trails, so I definitely can't wait to go back!read more
Mark Valen
Mark Valen
21:19 13 May 21
A terrific place to learn about local wildlife. The site is beautiful, historical, and wild. The plants and animals are... well cared for and great to see up close and personal. Bring the family, stop by after work. Afternoons are quietest and when more wildlife can be observed. Just make sure you show up early enough to catch the shuttle in and see it all before closing time. Membership is a great value and you can find no place like it on San Diego Bay. You are surrounded by urban development yet it is at such a distance that you feel the tranquility of the wild.read more
Wan ker
Wan ker
01:34 06 Jan 21
PRETTY COOL ! My wife and I brought our young grand daughter here not long back. We did a tour here a few years ago and... thought our little girl would like the place. Of course like everyone else intent on a tour we drove to the car park nearby and waited for the complimentary bus to come by and transport us to the facility. Within 15 minutes the bus pulled up and a bunch of us boarded for the slow scenic drive to the center....it takes about 15 minutes. Soon after we disembarked the bus our grand daughter was talking to the Turtles in the outside aquarium. We paid for our visit and proceeded to walk around looking at the indoor aquatic displays and a few other things ....like Snakes & a Chameleon. We also checked out the Stingrays and small Sharks in the huge tank further inside. After a lunch break...we brought our own packed lunch because unfortunately there is no cafe or food available once you are here. We then walked around the outdoor bird enclosures and saw little Owls, Ducks, a Tortoise, some large Eagles and Hawks. We took lots of photos but it was very difficult to take quality photos of the large Raptors because of their thick wire mesh enclosures and a fence barrier. Overall we had a great time and our little grand daughter learned a bit about wildlife. A cafe would be a welcome addition to the center benefiting the hundreds of daily visitors and also providing a steady income stream for the maintenance of the Living Coast Discovery Center. Worth a visit !read more
Next Reviews
js_loader

Contact The Living Coast Discovery Center

(619) 409-5900
VISIT WEBSITE

<

DON’T MISS OUT!
Subscribe To Newsletter
Be the first to get the latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Enter our Contests and Giveaways!
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link