Chula Vista’s heyday is still to come. An undiscovered gem and off-the-beaten-track tourist destination, you come here to enjoy all the delights of San Diego County, but without the crowds. The city has a population of over 250,000 and covers and area so large, that you can’t visit for just one day.
For locals, you’ll want to enjoy the upcoming Marriott Hotel, set to open by next summer. There should be three hotels by the end of 2018. How will you want to spend your days? Make sure to leave room for golfing, hiking, horse back riding, eating, drinking and kayaking.
Day One: Start your time in Eastlake, getting a tour of the Olympic Training Center. Then spend the rest of the day at hiking or biking in the Otay Regional Valley park, exploring the upper and lower dams. Finish your day at the Otay Ranch Mall where you’ll be able to choose from a variety of chain stores. If you come during the Farmer’s Market on Thursday, the international cuisine and street food will abound and delight.
Day Two: Head on down to Bonita, an unincorporated area that is partly County and partly Chula Vista. You’ll be able to golf, hit balls on the driving range or find the hiking trails that lead to Rohr Manor and the Old Adobe House. The Bonita Museum always has a nice exhibit you can enjoy. At the end of the day, make reservations to Romesco, one of the hottest restaurants within the County.
Day Three: Drive over to the Bayfront where you can go kayaking. The Sailing Association can show you the Schooner and you can then sit along the banks of the bay at the Marina Restaurant. It’s a Bayfront that isn’t well known — and pretty soon will be booming with tourists as development here heats up. Come now and you’ll be able to say: “I remember when.”
Day Four: Stroll around Third Avenue where you can enjoy mom-and-pop shops that have mostly gone out of style. It’s too bad too. Harper’s Music, South Bay Bicycles, Sun Shine Academy, Sewing & Vacuums. Stop at My Cup of Tea to have a traditional English breakfast. You’ll be able to linger at 4 different cafe’s, see Memorial Park with its beautiful amphitheater, visit the commemorations to fallen heroes and end your day with either fine dining at Cocina 277 Artisanal, one of three Italian restaurants, or heck — go for the Third Avenue Alehouse or the Hookah Lounge, whatever is your poison.
Day Five: Rent a bike and go through the Salt Works and the Otay Valley Regional Park, biking through an urban recovery system like nothing else. You’ll be able to see a ship that’s been on shore for many years. Hang out at the Living Coast Discovery Center. End your tour with a lunch at either the food truck on Main Street or Otay Farms, the oldest Mexican American establishment within the County.