Everything You Need to Know Before Moving to Chula Vista
Chula Vista is Spanish for “beautiful view,” and it’s not hard to see why.
With 52 square miles of coastal landscape, rolling hills, mountains, and canyons, Chula Vista offers scenic views that are second to none.
Located just seven miles from downtown San Diego, Chula Vista offers its residents a slower-paced lifestyle with perfect year-round weather and an abundance of outdoor activities.
Chula Vista might be the perfect place to call home, whether you’re moving for work, school, or after a lifestyle change.
Learn everything you need to know about Chula Vista here.
History of Chula Vista, CA
Chula Vista has a unique and lengthy history that can be traced to around 3000 B.C. which is when Yuman-speaking people moved into the region.
In 1542, Spanish ships arrived and claimed land in the region now known as San Diego. In 1795, land that includes what is now known as Chula Vista was established under a Spanish land grant.
In 1831, Mexico broke away from Spain and claimed the land. Until 1847, the United States claimed what is now known as California following the Mexican-American War.
In 1911, Chula Vista officially became an incorporated city and eventually the “Lemon Capital of World.”
During World War II, the City of Chula Vista tripled its population by more than 10,000 people. After the war, many of its residents chose to stay, resulting in massive population growth.
During this time, schools, banks, restaurants, and shopping centers were built to provide its residents with access to essential services.
Today, Chula Vista is the second-largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, with just under 300,000 people.
Chula Vista Demographics Breakdown
Chula Vista, CA, has an incredibly diverse population with over 60% of the population of Hispanic origin. The city is considered one of the most culturally diverse areas in the U.S.
Chula Vista has a relatively low crime rate and is safer than the California state average. Chula Vista is ranked as the third safest city in California and 39th overall among 182 cities across the United States.
This might explain why some label Chula Vista as “boring.” If low crime and a laidback lifestyle are considered boring, then Chula Vista should wear the label as a badge of honor.
Weather in Chula Vista
One of the many reasons people choose to relocate to Chula Vista is the pleasant year-round weather.
Chula Vista receives up to 261 days of sunny weather. The warmest months are in July, August, September, and October. During this time, temperatures hover around 82°F.
The coldest months are in December, January, and February. But fear not because the average high temperature is around 68°F with a low of 55°F.
Chula Vista enjoys a semi-arid climate with less than 20 inches of rain per year. If the weather is the driving force behind your move, you will be pleasantly surprised when you arrive in Chula Vista.
Employment Opportunities in Chula Vista
According to the City of Chula Vista, the key industries driving economic growth include:
- Health and wellness
- Information and technology
Some of the major employers in Chula Vista are Virgin America, Qualcomm, Amazon, US Marine Corps, Target, and Collins Aerospace.
Chula Vista is quickly developing itself as a top tourist destination in Southern California. Given its scenic location and family-friendly attractions, it’s no wonder why tourism is one of its top industries.
You might have luck finding a job in accommodations, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation, or travel services.
Education in Chula Vista
Forty-nine schools in the Chula Vista Elementary School District serve almost 30,000 students in grades K–6. The city also has the highest number of top-ranked public schools in California.
Top-ranked schools in Chula Vista include:
- Parkview Elementary School
- Salt Creek Elementary School
- Heritage Elementary School
- Arroyo Vista Charter School
- Mueller Charter School
- Olympian High School
- Eastlake High School
Chula Vista does not have any four-year universities. However, Southwestern College offers a two-year college program with almost 18,000 undergraduate students.
At Southwestern, you can choose to study from more than 300 associate degree and certificate programs. Popular fields of study include:
- Arts, media, and design
- English, communication, and journalism
- Health and medical
- Technology and information systems
For those seeking four-year college programs, some of the top-performing schools in the state are within a 30-minute drive, including San Diego State University, University of San Diego, and Design Institute of San Diego.
Cost of Living in Chula Vista
The San Diego Bay area is known for its higher cost of living than other areas in the state. Chula Vista is no exception.
The cost of living is high but lower than those who live in the San Diego metro and many other coastal Californian cities.
The cost of living index for Chula Vista is 147 compared to 149 for California overall. Groceries, utilities, and house prices are slightly above the national average.
The median household income in Chula Vista is around $80,000. This can help you gauge the cost of living to decide if you’re in a financial position to afford to move.
Moving to Chula Vista without a job isn’t recommended. While there are plenty of job prospects, it’s vital to secure employment before you move to avoid stress and financial hardship.
Best Neighborhoods in Chula Vista
Chula Vista comprises 55 neighborhoods that feature historic homes and large yards. Choosing the right neighborhood to live in is one of the most critical decisions.
When selecting the right neighborhood, consider:
- Crime rate
- Proximity to public transportation
- School district
- Future development
Before choosing a neighborhood to live in, go for a “test drive” and see things for yourself. Consider reaching out to residents for their opinion, too.
Don’t solely rely on what a realtor tells you about the neighborhood. They’re in the business of selling and aren’t likely to give you the big picture.
The most desired neighborhoods in the Chula Vista area are in the northeast parts of the city, but they tend to be on the more expensive side. They include:
- Bella Lago
- Rolling Hills Ranch
- Bonita Long Canyon
For the budget-conscious, Chula Vista has plenty of other options, too, including:
- East Lake
- Otay Ranch
Chula Vista is a very family-orientated place to live, but some neighborhoods are most suited than others. They include:
- Eastlake Woods
- Paseo Ranchero
- Lynwood Hills
Eastlake Woods is one of the most desirable family-friendly neighborhoods in Chula Vista. Eastlake Woods has many sidewalks, well-lit streets, friendly neighbors, and easy access to schools and shopping areas.
Getting Around in Chula Vista
Thanks to the city’s multiple transportation options, getting around in Chula Vista is easy. Chula Vista is a cycling haven with nearly 100 miles of dedicated bike paths.
For mountain biking enthusiasts, choose from an extensive list of trails, including the Otay Valley River Park, which starts by San Diego Bay and finishes by the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
Chula Vista also has an extensive roadway and trolley system that provides public transportation throughout the area.
You should expect to pay $2.50 for a one-way fare on the MTS Trolley and MTS Bus. Discounts apply to seniors, disabled people, Medicare holders, and students.
For the most part, Chula Vista residents travel by car. But if you are going to commute to work or school, you’re likely to encounter heavy traffic.
To avoid traffic congestion and save money, try to live close to your work, school, or a public transportation line.
Fun Things to Do in Chula Vista
Chula Vista offers year-round attractions to entertain tourists and residents alike. With plenty of options, it’s unlikely you will ever understand why Chula Vista is considered “boring.”
The Living Coast Discovery Center
The Living Coast Discovery Center is a non-profit zoo and aquarium set within the Sweetwater March National Wildlife Refuge. The center is designed to inspire the community to learn about and care for Chula Vista’s coastal environment.
Book a private wildlife tour and visit sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, and eagles. During the tour, learn everything about San Diego County’s vast biodiversity. If you book early, you can even hand-feed a green sea turtle.
Formerly the Aquatica SeaWorld Waterpark, Sesame Place is a family-friendly water park featuring the characters from Sesame Street. The new theme park will open in March 2022, just in time for Spring Break.
It is the second theme park of its kind in the U.S. and first on the West Coast. Sesame Place is the perfect place to take your kids, with plenty of exciting rides and water attractions.
If your children love Cookie Monster, Big Bird, and Oscar the Grouch, they’re guaranteed to enjoy Sesame Place.
Chula Vista Center
Chula Vista Center serves almost one million residents and is the closest department store to the Mexican border. The Chula Vista mall caters to local and Mexican national shoppers with various shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Popular brands include JCPenney, Macy’s, and the only Sears store in the South Bay region of San Diego.
After a full day of shopping, choose from a range of popular Chula Vista restaurants and takeout establishments, including Subway, Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Burger King, and more.
As for entertainment, you can sit back and relax at the AMC theater and watch the latest new releases while you snack on a box of popcorn. It doesn’t get much better than that.
North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
The North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre is a 250,000 capacity theater – the first of its kind in the San Diego area. The theater offers open lawn seating and reserved chairback seating.
Upcoming performances include Bob Reynolds, Backstreet Boys, Tears for Fears, Train, and OneRepublic. For a truly unforgettable experience, book early and secure your seats before they sell out.
Eucalyptus Skateboard Park
Previously called Len Moore Skate Park, Eucalyptus Skateboard Park offers free admission for skateboarding, BMX biking, and rollerskating enthusiasts. You can strap on your skates from as early as 8 a.m. and shred until dusk.
The skateboard park is nestled within Eucalyptus Park, a 20-acre park with baseball, basketball, tennis, and picnic spaces.
Thanks to recent government grants, the park is set to include improved walking paths, additional drinking fountains, a new soccer arena, and a renovated dog park.
For the most spectacular sunsets, you must visit Chula Vista Marina. The marina opened in 1984 and has top-quality facilities and amenities. If you own a boat, reserve a slip and enjoy the five-star amenities.
The marina is also home to two waterfront restaurants, including Galley at the Marina, which offers casual dining with spectacular views. Join the crew on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings for live music and dancing.
Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center
Some of your favorite Olympic and Paralympic athletes have trained at Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
Unless you are eligible to represent the U.S. in your chosen sporting field, you can’t train there. But there are plenty of guided and self-guided tours you can take to observe the venue.
The training center is open year-round for tours and is wheelchair accessible.
OnStage Playhouse is the only live theater in San Diego’s South Bay. Performances are year-round in an intimate 60-seat space located in downtown Chula Vista.
Every year, the playhouse showcases six main stage plays and musicals. From comedies to historical biographies, there’s something for everyone. You might like to audition yourself if you’re a thespian at heart.
The theatre has recently undergone some renovations to improve the experience for its guests.
Otay Valley Regional Park
Otay Valley Regional Park is a nature lovers’ paradise and one of the biggest open space areas within the San Diego area. The OVRP runs through Chula Vista and offers hiking, biking, and horseriding trails.
The park is mostly flat, with plenty of bird-watching opportunities. After a long hike, eat lunch at a picnic table with spectacular views of the valley.
Parking is available at the west end of the trail. It’s great for families with plenty of space for children to burn some pent-up energy.
Easton Archery Center of Excellence
The Easton Archery Center of Excellence provides world-class training and serves as a home for the USA Archery Resident Athlete program. The center is newly built on the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center campus.
While the center is designed for professional archers, it does offer beginner archery lessons, tours, and training opportunities to the public. Check their website for availability. Don’t miss your chance to train in an incredible facility.
Real Estate in Chula Vista
There’s no denying it: housing prices in California are high. The good news is that the San Diego housing market is relatively affordable compared to other coastal areas, including San Francisco.
Currently, the median house price for a single-family home in Chula Vista is $650,000 to $710,000.
If you’re new to the area, you might consider renting first. On average, house rentals in Chula Vista are between $2,100 and $3,100 per month. This depends on how many bedrooms and how much space you need.
Individuals moving to Chula Vista might like to consider renting an apartment. The average rent for Chula Vista apartments is around $2,100 per month.
Again, this depends on your needs. Some studio apartments will cost you less if you are willing to embrace the compact design.
Tips for Moving to Chula Vista
Moving is daunting, exciting, and incredibly stressful. With so many things to do, it can feel overwhelming. But there are steps you can take to make your move as smooth as possible.
Here are some helpful tips to consider when planning your move to Chula Vista.
Visit Chula Vista Before You Move
Stay at one of the many Chula Vista hotels and explore like a local. You can tell a lot about the vibe of a city when you go beyond the main streets and touristy hubs.
But how do you know where the locals go? Ask shop assistants, hotel staff, taxi drivers, and baristas for insights into local life.
Find out where they eat, hang out, and shop. Be sure to get tips on the best neighborhoods to live in.
If you can’t visit Chula Vista beforehand, do your research. Go on the Chula Vista government website, explore the city on Google Maps, search for reviews from former and present residents.
The idea is to know as much as you can about the city before deciding to move.
Before committing to moving, figure out a relocation budget. You can decide whether it makes financial sense to move across the country. If you’re moving for a job, check with your employer and determine whether they can cover any moving expenses.
Once you have a budget, you can decide whether to hire a moving company or commit to a DIY move. More often than not, people opt for moving services.
Why? Because they can plan, pack, move and deliver your belongings without breaking a sweat (or maybe a little, especially in Chula Vista).
People assume DIY moving is cheaper, but is it worth it when you consider the time and energy it takes?
Book Moving Services Early
You should book movers at least 12 weeks in advance or when you know your exact move date. This is especially important for interstate moves, as movers need time to prepare for longer trips.
Booking early will allow you to secure your ideal move date and avoid the frenzy of trying to schedule movers a week before you move. To save money, avoid moving on weekends, during summer, or on special holidays.
The cheapest time to move is during winter when demand is at its lowest. Some people choose to avoid winter due to snowy conditions, but you’re unlikely to face the same issues given Chula Vista’s relatively mild winter.
Strategize Your Packing Process
Before packing up your belongings, create a packing checklist. Start by going from room to room and noting what needs to be packed and what is going in the trash (or to be donated).
Decide which items can be packed now – for example, home decor items and books – and what should be packed last.
If time is not on your side, consider arranging for your moving company to do the packing for you. Most moving companies will offer full-service or partial packing services and will even unpack the boxes at your new home.
Because they use quality packing supplies, you can rest assured that your belongings will make the journey in one piece.
Make Travel Movements
Are you moving interstate? Book your travel arrangements as early as possible. Don’t wait until it’s too late to book hotels, airplane tickets, and vehicle hire.
Last-minute bookings are always charged at a premium. Book early and take advantage of any early bird discounts. Use up any airline mile points and keep costs down by packing your own snacks on the plane.
Moving can be costly. When you can cut costs, do it!
Ready to Move to Chula Vista, California?
Deciding to uproot your life and move to another place is big. But if you’re going to move anywhere, Chula Vista is one of the best places to go.
Chula Vista has sunny year-round weather, scenic views, outdoor recreation activities, and abundant employment opportunities. How can you say no to that?
When it comes time to move, you want the process to be as smooth as possible. Move Central Movers and Storage are your answer to a stress-free move. Our Chula Vista movers can help you plan, pack, move and deliver your precious items safely and efficiently.
We know moving can be expensive, so we provide affordable, transparent pricing to ensure you get the best value for your money.
Reach out to us today for a free moving quote.