Drink wine in the wild with today's side deal: for $45, you get one ticket to the Food and Wine Classic at the Chula Vista Nature Center in Chula Vista. The event takes place on Saturday, May 15, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Food and Wine Classic is a celebration benefiting the center, featuring enough wine and hors d'oeuvres to sate even the most ravenous animals on site (provided they’re 21+ of course). It takes place among the evocative atmosphere of the nature center and wildlife refuge, a feeling akin to reconnecting with your primordial hunter-gatherer-wine-sipper roots. Bid on unusual auction items, collector's wines, and surprise "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences. Celebrity-cooking demonstrations featuring Deborah Scott and Joe Busalacchi will entertain man and beast alike, while plenty of opportunities will be available to explore the exhibits and view the animals for which the evening will benefit.
The Chula Vista Nature Center is a zoo and aquarium on the shore of San Diego Bay, dedicated to preserving the livelihood of native-species populations. Exhibits offer bird- and fish-eye views of endangered green sea turtles, shorebirds, stingrays, bald and golden eagles, and more. Native gardens and more than a mile of open walking trails provide lush surroundings for education, conservation, and comestible consumption. So tuck today's Groupon into your protective outer shell and head to the nature center for an evening of socializing, animals, and entertainment.
The Chula Vista Nature Center was featured on CBS 8 upon the arrival of four baby sea turtles:
- The Nature Center and its partners stepped in to save the endangered species with an ambitious captive breeding program that began in Chula Vista eight years ago. – City of Chula Vista
- For kids, the Chula Vista Nature Center is a great adventure. For adults, it is both an adventure and a quiet, unspoiled retreat. – San Diego News
Living Coast Discovery Center
Greet a sea turtle as he swims up to say hello. Get eye-to-eye with a bald eagle. Touch a bat ray in an interactive touch pool. Visiting The Living Coast Discovery Center is a chance to experience Southern California's plants and animals on the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge on San Diego Bay.
A walk-through aviary encompasses the tidal slough habitat of black-crowned night herons and red-breasted mergansers. 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 non-releasable 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 follow their own path along the center's 1.5 miles of walking trails.