Sightseeing in National City

Select Local Merchants

Step into to a bird's house. Get eye-to-eye with a moray eel. Greet a sea turtle as he swims up to say hello. The Living Coast Discovery Center isn't a nature museum?it's a chance to hang out with Southern California's plants and animals on their own turf. The Discovery Center's "living, breathing, flapping, buzzing, and splashing home" sits on the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, the ideal location for exploration of the region's most memorable residents in their native habitats.

A walk-through aviary encompasses the tidal slough habitat of black-crowned night herons, red-breasted mergansers, and endangered clapper rail chicks, freshly hatched from the in-house breeding program. Bald and golden eagles await up-close encounters at the Eagle Mesa, but the rays get even closer: an interactive touch pool puts the aquatic creatures beneath your fingertips. Raptor Row hosts the Center's rescued birds of prey, all of which have injuries or other conditions that prevent them from surviving outside the refuge on their own. Visitors are also free to pursue their own wildlife adventure along the center's 1.5 miles of walking trails.

1000 Gunpowder Point Dr
Chula Vista,
CA
US

Turista Libre organizes adventuresome and exploratory day tours in Tijuana. It gathers guests into caravans for trips to local water parks or Xoloitzcuintles games, Tijuana's pro soccer team. Stops at lucha-libre matches (pro wrestling) and piñata factories are often part of the fun. All excursions provide the opportunity to sample the local cuisine and bar scene of Tijuana, the second-largest city on the West Coast after Los Angeles.

727 East San Ysidro Boulevard
San Diego,
CA
US

The Official World-wide Source of Chuck Jones Artwork For over 34 years, this family-owned and operated art business has brought the art of legendary animation director to life. The Chuck Jones gallery also represents over 30 additional artists that bring joy and smiles to life.

232 5th Ave
San Diego,
CA
US

Indulge Wine School's staff of educators, such as Kris in Jacksonville, a wine expert and blogger, expands wine knowledge with ease, having turned the revelry-steeped tassels of nearly 3,000 graduates. Classes of 12–20 take place in venues throughout the United States, as students swirl and sip their study materials and nibble complimentary appetizers. Every class ends with a Q&A session, during which potation professors shine a light on oenophilic mysteries including tannin content and regional differences. Afterward, students continue to ferment knowledge at home with a complimentary electronic copy of Indulge's book A Fun and Informative Introduction to the Wonderful World of Wine, a food-and-wine-pairing chart, and a top-10 list of wine-buying tips.

536 5th Ave
San Diego,
CA
US

The Museum of Man is San Diego County's only anthropology and archaeology museum, home to five permanent exhibits including Ancient Egypt; Kumeyaay: Native Californians; Footsteps Through Time: Four Million Years of Human Evolution; Maya: Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth; and the Children's Discovery Center's exhibit, Discover Egypt, as well as special exhibitions and cultural collections. Museumgoers can experience the entirety of human history by viewing actual artifacts, sculptural reconstructions of early man, a 42-foot Mayan rainforest mural in the Maya: Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth exhibit, and the June 2010–April 2011 special exhibit Counter Cultures: The Secret Lives of Games, which explores the rich history of games and their place in human societies from past to present.

1350 El Prado
San Diego,
CA
US

Among its two facilities in La Jolla and downtown San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego houses an array of works made since 1950. Head here and you can explore everything from Pop Art and minimalism of the 1960s and 1970s to conceptual pieces from the last half-century, headlined by contemporary-art luminaries such as Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.

Major figures aside, the MCASD strives to spotlight mid-career artists still looking for their big break, as well as pieces by Latin American artists and emergent talent. Between the museum's collection and rotating exhibitions, there are galleries that accommodate paintings, photographs, films, and multimedia installations. Outside both locations, there are more site-specific installations and sculptures by artists such as Richard Serra and Marcos Ramírez ERRE, whose father created the Caps Lock on the day his son was born.

There’s more to the place than its exhibitions: the museum engages visitors with events and programs such as art-making sessions and artist lectures. Held three evenings a year, the Thursday Night Thing series includes talks, hands-on activities, live music, and cocktails, all based on the latest museum exhibitions.

1001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego,
CA
US