South Bay is a region in southern San Diego County that includes Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, Lincoln Acres, National City and some areas of South San Diego. It's near the Mexican border and while home to industrial complexes and shipyards, there are several classic Southern California-style neighborhoods. The area is up-and-coming with new restaurants and hotels so those visiting San Diego may want to stop down here for a day or budget stay.
See & Do
The South Bay is home to a number of attractions. Families rejoiced when the SeaWorld Aquatica water park recently opened in Chula Vista. But nature offers the area's best attractions. The Living Coast Discovery Center showcases the areas native wildlife and flora while over 370 species of birds can be spotted at the Tijuana Estuary.
Proximity to the Mexican border means that the area is home to some of San Diego's best Mexican food restaurants. In fact, family-run Aqui es Texcoco was recently featured on the Travel Channel for its lamb barbecue. But, there are beachside cafes, awesome pizza joints and a number of other cuisines to choose from. All are casual in nature.
The South Bay isn't known for nightlife. If you're looking for dancing and high-end bars, head north to the Gaslamp Quarter. Otherwise, if a casual beer or glass of wine will do, there are plenty of local bars to tap ranging from sports bars to dive bars to a few beachfront options.
Most of the hotels in the South Bay are budget chains. However, the recently opened beachfront Pier South Resort in Imperial Beach is a new Marriott boutique hotel that is receiving rave reviews. At four stars, it's the highest rated hotel in the area. But those who like to camp or glamp should consider accommodations at the Chula Vista KOA resort.
Shopping in the South Bay is dream for those who enjoy the finer things in life but don't want to pay full retail. It's home to the Las Americas Premium Outlets where designer clothing for all ages can be had at a discount. Duty Free City, a haven for perfume, handbags, cigars and the like offers duty-free pricing for those crossing the border. And, there is so much more.