Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
2,500,000 members. Thank you!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Diego
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-25-2008, 03:14 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,947,624 times
Reputation: 912

Advertisements

I'm doing some fact-finding on various places to come up with a short list for potential cities for me to retire to. My personal criteria for this includes a community with plenty of pedestrian trails, parks, and proximity to shopping, a modern (floorplan) house, somewhere I can bike for miles, somewhere I can drop a kayak in a body of water and kill a couple hours, and somewhere I won't freeze in the winter. I'm investigating Chula Vista (east area, Otay Ranch or Eastlake vicinity) because it embodies my criteria. I don't mind driving to another part of town for arts, trendy restaurants, entertainment.

I've visited San Diego once before, but it was several years ago and I don't think the Otay Ranch area had even been built up at the time.

What I would like to know about Chula Vista is:

1. How is traffic in Chula Vista? I hear people complain about the thickness of San Diego traffic, but I'm assuming since Chula Vista isn't the trendiest part of the city, its traffic isn't bad. Is that true or false? Any tips for driving from Chula Vista into San Diego? Will I need to avoid certain times of day, or is it generally not a problem? What about driving to Viejas Casino and Shopping Center?

2. Anybody been to Otay Ranch Town Center? Any opinions on the shopping experience there? Compared to shopping in other parts of San Diego? Is it a good place for outdoor dining/restaurants with tables outside?

3. What are impressions of the Chula Vista Bayfront Park on San Diego Bay? I know the area is on hold for a revitilization project because the deal fell through with Gaylord. But as far as the park right now, is it a nice and safe park in which to spend time?

4. Have there been any problems with fires in eastern Chula Vista?

5. I've read there is a bike path along the vicinity of the Bay that bikers could bike from Chula Vista all the way up to San Diego? Do people actually bike that trail, and is it safe, ie. going through the urban part of Chula Vista and National City? Or do I want to avoid it?

6. Is the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater/Coor Amphitheater a popular spot for concerts? Anything in particular I should know about it, having never been there?

7. Do people boat (canoe, kayak) the Lower Otay Reservoir? The San Diego Bay?

8. Have they extended public transportation to Chula Vista so that when I get to 89 and can't drive, I can catch public transporatation into San Diego?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by MantaRay; 12-25-2008 at 03:25 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-25-2008, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Paradise/Las Vegas
1,658 posts, read 7,542,431 times
Reputation: 422
[quote=MantaRay;6704171]I'm doing some fact-finding on various places to come up with a short list for potential cities for me to retire to. My personal criteria for this includes a community with plenty of pedestrian trails, parks, and proximity to shopping, a modern (floorplan) house, somewhere I can bike for miles, somewhere I can drop a kayak in a body of water and kill a couple hours, and somewhere I won't freeze in the winter. I'm investigating Chula Vista (east area, Otay Ranch or Eastlake vicinity) because it embodies my criteria. I don't mind driving to another part of town for arts, trendy restaurants, entertainment.

I've visited San Diego once before, but it was several years ago and I don't think the Otay Ranch area had even been built up at the time.

What I would like to know about Chula Vista is:

1. How is traffic in Chula Vista? I hear people complain about the thickness of San Diego traffic, but I'm assuming since Chula Vista isn't the trendiest part of the city, its traffic isn't bad. Is that true or false? Any tips for driving from Chula Vista into San Diego? Will I need to avoid certain times of day, or is it generally not a problem? What about driving to Viejas Casino and Shopping Center?

Traffic in CV is served by either 2 or 3 lane arterial streets,most of them are programed to have "green waves" or longer green periods.Stick to the busier streets,navigating CV should be easy.

2. Anybody been to Otay Ranch Town Center? Any opinions on the shopping experience there? Compared to shopping in other parts of San Diego? Is it a good place for outdoor dining/restaurants with tables outside?

Town Centre mall sucks.Too much high end stuff,and I'm lower middle class.Can't afford it.I just go to Plaza Bonita,Parkway,HP or Mission Valley for my mall shopping.

3. What are impressions of the Chula Vista Bayfront Park on San Diego Bay? I know the area is on hold for a revitilization project because the deal fell through with Gaylord. But as far as the park right now, is it a nice and safe park in which to spend time?

I never go there,pretty much dead and no real draw for me to visit for the heck of it.

4. Have there been any problems with fires in eastern Chula Vista?

Only in 2007.Parts of Eastlake and Rolling Hills/San Miguel Ranch have had to pack things but we had no structures lost.

5. I've read there is a bike path along the vicinity of the Bay that bikers could bike from Chula Vista all the way up to San Diego? Do people actually bike that trail, and is it safe, ie. going through the urban part of Chula Vista and National City? Or do I want to avoid it?

I don't know bout bike paths.NC gets a bad rap.It's rough but not a total no go zone.That goes for parts of CV and the entire South Bay Megregion.In CV the roughest parts are Northwest,South Central,Southwest and Otay.Other than that CV is like any other city that has 250,000 people when it comes to safety/crime;maybe a little higher but not by much.

6. Is the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater/Coor Amphitheater a popular spot for concerts? Anything in particular I should know about it, having never been there?

Been there wtice.Pretty cool,major names like ACDC/Black Eyed Peas,Fallout Boy,T Pain,all of it or names like it swing through there every now and then.


7. Do people boat (canoe, kayak) the Lower Otay Reservoir? The San Diego Bay?

Not sure.

8. Have they extended public transportation to Chula Vista so that when I get to 89 and can't drive, I can catch public transporatation into San Diego?

The public transport for both CV and San Diego sucks in my book.Even when gas was crazy expensive I chose to drive because it is not reliable.


[quote=MantaRay;6704171]
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-26-2008, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Proud home of the Parkview Little Leaguers
489 posts, read 1,948,930 times
Reputation: 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
I'm doing some fact-finding on various places to come up with a short list for potential cities for me to retire to. My personal criteria for this includes a community with plenty of pedestrian trails, parks, and proximity to shopping, a modern (floorplan) house, somewhere I can bike for miles, somewhere I can drop a kayak in a body of water and kill a couple hours, and somewhere I won't freeze in the winter. I'm investigating Chula Vista (east area, Otay Ranch or Eastlake vicinity) because it embodies my criteria. I don't mind driving to another part of town for arts, trendy restaurants, entertainment.

I've visited San Diego once before, but it was several years ago and I don't think the Otay Ranch area had even been built up at the time.

What I would like to know about Chula Vista is:

1. How is traffic in Chula Vista? I hear people complain about the thickness of San Diego traffic, but I'm assuming since Chula Vista isn't the trendiest part of the city, its traffic isn't bad. Is that true or false? Any tips for driving from Chula Vista into San Diego? Will I need to avoid certain times of day, or is it generally not a problem? What about driving to Viejas Casino and Shopping Center?

The toll road is a quick way to get to Viejas from eastern C.V., although it is $2.50 (or $1.75 with FastTrack). Traffic does get congested during rush hour on the East-West corridors from Eastlake to 805 because many still won't use the toll road, but I've heard it is better than it used to be. (I work nights in East County and live in Eastlake so almost exclusively use 125).

2. Anybody been to Otay Ranch Town Center? Any opinions on the shopping experience there? Compared to shopping in other parts of San Diego? Is it a good place for outdoor dining/restaurants with tables outside?

It is a nice mall, though a little high end for the area. There is only one department store--Macy's. There is also an REI Sporting Goods and many high end shops, though there is a Best Buy, H&M Discount Clothes, etc. There are plenty of restaurants, with seating outside, including Cheesecake Factory.

3. What are impressions of the Chula Vista Bayfront Park on San Diego Bay? I know the area is on hold for a revitilization project because the deal fell through with Gaylord. But as far as the park right now, is it a nice and safe park in which to spend time?

I go there regularly to walk. During the daytime I feel safe. Lots of moms and kids and/or families. There is a nice campground there and two nice restaurants. The park closes at 10 p.m. - wouldn't walk around there late at night anway, but in the daytime, seems perfectly safe and a quick way to get near the water when you don't have time to go to the beach.

4. Have there been any problems with fires in eastern Chula Vista?

Not this year--the 2007 fires came very close to the far eastern reaches of Eastlake and there were some mandatory evacuations in other areas of Eastlake as well.

5. I've read there is a bike path along the vicinity of the Bay that bikers could bike from Chula Vista all the way up to San Diego? Do people actually bike that trail, and is it safe, ie. going through the urban part of Chula Vista and National City? Or do I want to avoid it?

I've had no experience with that.

6. Is the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater/Coor Amphitheater a popular spot for concerts? Anything in particular I should know about it, having never been there?

I haven't been for a few years - Saw Santana there--thought it was a nice venue with lawn seating, etc.

7. Do people boat (canoe, kayak) the Lower Otay Reservoir? The San Diego Bay?

I go to both areas regularly. There is fishing in the Otay Reservoir--have not seen kayaking. I have seen kayakers off the Chula Vista Bayfront Park in the bay between the park and Lowe's Coronado resort just across the bay.

8. Have they extended public transportation to Chula Vista so that when I get to 89 and can't drive, I can catch public transporatation into San Diego?

Thanks in advance.
Sorry, have not used it much--at least there are buses, but I've heard what J.K. said--that it is unreliable. I think there are plans to expand the trolley up Palomar from Western C.V. to Otay Ranch/Eastlake area but don't know when. Chula Vista is hurting financially now
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-26-2008, 08:36 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,947,624 times
Reputation: 912
Thanks so much for the feedback! This really helps give me some great perspective.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2008, 06:15 PM
 
44 posts, read 196,194 times
Reputation: 31
I'll just answer the questions that I feel like I can offer some insight to:

2. Anybody been to Otay Ranch Town Center? Any opinions on the shopping experience there? Compared to shopping in other parts of San Diego? Is it a good place for outdoor dining/restaurants with tables outside?

The Otay Ranch Town Center is a very nice mall, with as a previous poster mentioned some higher-end retailers (Coach, Anthropologie, Bebe, WHBM, etc) but I think there are a fair share of middle of the road shops too. If you really want a good deal, the Las Americas outlet mall is close by. The mall has several restaurants as well: Cheesecake Factory, Frida's (upscale "mexican" not that delicious but great ambiance and good happy hour), Nico's (the new steak/chop house, fantastic outdoor lounge area), King's Fish House, California Pizza Kitchen, and PF Changs. I think they all pretty much offer some outdoor eating areas, but for scenery you're pretty much stuck with mall traffic. The Eastlake/Otay Ranch residents pretty much have every imaginable chain restaurant within a stone's throw now, unlike a few years back.

Oh! This mall is also VERY dog friendly (there's even a dog park at one end) and most stores have water bowls for the pooches outside, so make sure you don't step on any of the many chihuahuas around if you go there.
There is also a Farmer's market every Tuesday that runs down the middle of the mall that is fun to go to.

5. I've read there is a bike path along the vicinity of the Bay that bikers could bike from Chula Vista all the way up to San Diego? Do people actually bike that trail, and is it safe, ie. going through the urban part of Chula Vista and National City? Or do I want to avoid it?

Not sure about the bike path you've mentioned, but my dad is an avid mountain/trail biker and says this is the best place for it. He's out there in the hills every weekend for hours and hours.

6. Is the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater/Coor Amphitheater a popular spot for concerts? Anything in particular I should know about it, having never been there?

Yes, great venue. Big names come by, this summer I saw Radiohead and Jack Johnson there and had a great time!

7. Do people boat (canoe, kayak) the Lower Otay Reservoir? The San Diego Bay?
Yes, again, my dad is a very big kayaker as well and is out there on the lake all the time. I think he has mentioned you can only go certain days though? He goes out on the bay as well, but not as often anymore since he got in trouble with the Coast Guard (don't ask..)

All in all, we've been here since June and I really don't have any complaints about the area other than yes, in order to get any non-chain resturaunt food or real nightlife, you do have to drive up the 5, but in all reality it's really not that far, and if you don't mind shelling out $2.50 each way the tollroad can really expedite that trip!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2008, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland / But still having San Diego / Eastlake withdrawal damn it !!!
340 posts, read 1,405,339 times
Reputation: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
I'm doing some fact-finding on various places to come up with a short list for potential cities for me to retire to. My personal criteria for this includes a community with plenty of pedestrian trails, parks, and proximity to shopping, a modern (floorplan) house, somewhere I can bike for miles, somewhere I can drop a kayak in a body of water and kill a couple hours, and somewhere I won't freeze in the winter. I'm investigating Chula Vista (east area, Otay Ranch or Eastlake vicinity) because it embodies my criteria. I don't mind driving to another part of town for arts, trendy restaurants, entertainment.

I've visited San Diego once before, but it was several years ago and I don't think the Otay Ranch area had even been built up at the time.

What I would like to know about Chula Vista is:

1. How is traffic in Chula Vista? I hear people complain about the thickness of San Diego traffic, but I'm assuming since Chula Vista isn't the trendiest part of the city, its traffic isn't bad. Is that true or false? Any tips for driving from Chula Vista into San Diego? Will I need to avoid certain times of day, or is it generally not a problem? What about driving to Viejas Casino and Shopping Center?

2. Anybody been to Otay Ranch Town Center? Any opinions on the shopping experience there? Compared to shopping in other parts of San Diego? Is it a good place for outdoor dining/restaurants with tables outside?

3. What are impressions of the Chula Vista Bayfront Park on San Diego Bay? I know the area is on hold for a revitalization project because the deal fell through with Gaylord. But as far as the park right now, is it a nice and safe park in which to spend time?

4. Have there been any problems with fires in eastern Chula Vista?

5. I've read there is a bike path along the vicinity of the Bay that bikers could bike from Chula Vista all the way up to San Diego? Do people actually bike that trail, and is it safe, ie. going through the urban part of Chula Vista and National City? Or do I want to avoid it?

6. Is the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater/Coor Amphitheater a popular spot for concerts? Anything in particular I should know about it, having never been there?

7. Do people boat (canoe, kayak) the Lower Otay Reservoir? The San Diego Bay?

8. Have they extended public transportation to Chula Vista so that when I get to 89 and can't drive, I can catch public transportation into San Diego?

Thanks in advance.

Manta Ray,

I don't know what part of the states you'd be coming from but IMO San Diego's Traffic is not nearly as bad as most other BIG cities. I'm originally from Wash DC (left in 1997) and for some reason I must have pissed off the "Gods" and have been sent back here for 5 or so years( wife is Navy that is why we're back here) and the traffic here is AWFUL!!!!! Of course its all relevant on where your from as well.

My wife and I fell in love with Chula Vista /Eastlake area very much. That area has everything in the world you'd want retail wise and entertainment wise as well for the most part. Excluding museums etc, etc. Otay Ranch Center is very nice. Like others have said alot of the stores are higher end which my wife and I don't usually shop at, but there are many restaurants there we went to quite often. Theres also a very nice movie theater and they just opened a new Best Buy there as well. There are plenty of plaza's to do shopping in as well.

There are bike paths all over Chula Vista and real nice scenic ride if take a short drive to Imperial Beach and ride up the Silver Strand to Coronado. Its a beautiful walk or bike ride.

The Marina is IMO a great place to launch a boat or kayak and it is a very safe area. I use to take my little girl over there to walk along the bayfront or to play on one the playgrounds they have in the area. Theres a Yacht Club there and also couple of nice Restaurants that I've heard are good, I never took the time to try them out.

Oh yeah the Otay Reservoir allows Kayaking as well , but its only open on Wednesday's , Saturday and Sunday and theres a fee.

I must say that this is certainly the time to buy a house and there are many deals out there. But you may what to rent for a year to test the waters? Just food for thought.

Good Luck with your decision and hope everything works out your way.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-31-2008, 12:26 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,947,624 times
Reputation: 912
Wow, thanks everybody! That's some really good information. I'm sort of trying to determine which I prefer between Chula Vista and Denver, which are the top two on my top 5 list, and it's a really tough choice. Both have plenty of trails for biking and good water access for kayaking, my two most important factors. Not to mention professional sports and arts/music and festivals. But all the insight given is really helpful in giving me a better feel for the area than just reading guides to the city and looking at maps. Thanks again!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-31-2008, 05:06 PM
 
5,139 posts, read 8,793,085 times
Reputation: 5247
gee I've lived in San Diego 31 years and I can't imagine picking Chula Vista over Denver, except if you don't like cold/snow, which obviously isn't a factor if Denver is one of your top choices. Keep in mind the new Chargers stadium might be built in CV, which will change the dynamics there (not sure if for better or worse). Also, my coworker has lived in CV for many years and always like it but is thinking of moving elsewhere in the County because of increased gang activity, etc.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-31-2008, 06:03 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,947,624 times
Reputation: 912
Well, here's the rationale for my decision process. The things I value in a place to retire, in order of importance, all with a theme of what activities would I want to do from day to day and the convenience/availability of amenities for doing them:

1. Ample bike trails/sidewalks I can easily bike to from my home (others I can drive to that are scenic is favorable)
2. Ample water for kayaking or canoeing, and preferably some kind of riverwalk or lakewalk or baywalk for just walking and sitting around.
3. No scorching summers and no tundra winters. (no avg summer highs >95, winter highs <45) I want to be able to actually bike or kayak the entire year (I could kayak on a 55 degree winter day with low humidity in Denver- which they do have- or on most any winter day in SD). And I don't want to be sweating profusely on hot sticky humid days like those I experienced when I lived in Florida.
4. A significant arts scene (museums, symphony, plays, festivals)
5. Ethnic cuisine (Moroccan, Jamaican, Thai, the good Mexican, etc.)
6. Neighborhood parks
7. Open air (lifestyle center) shopping
8. Pro sports within a 30 minute drive.
9. A food bank (I want to work as a volunteer)
10. Public transit, part for when I just don't want to drive and part for when I'm 89 and maybe shouldn't drive.
11. House with a modern open floor plan

There's not a whole lot else I can think of that is really important to me that some cities might not have. Church is, but any city with all of that will have plenty of churches to choose from.

So now you can see why I'm torn between Chula Vista and Denver. To me all Denver has on CV is the 16th street pedestrian mall downtown, snowboarding in the winter, 2nd largest arts complex in America behind NYC, countryside driving day-trips, and the best mixed-use development in the nation in Stapleton. But CV's Otay Ranch area development is basically just as good except not as much neighborhood park space and not as easy public transit to downtown, the plans for the North Embarcadero would make going there just as nice as the 16th street pedestrian mall, and I can always drive to Denver for a week of snowboarding. Oh and then there's housing cost difference. CV has access to beautiful beach views, Denver to beautiful mountain views and Red Rocks. Chargers, Broncos, Padres, Rockies. And Nuggets. Bottom line- tough decision.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2009, 02:45 PM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 8,335,955 times
Reputation: 878
Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
To me all Denver has on CV is the 16th street pedestrian mall downtown, snowboarding in the winter
It's possible to go skiing and snowboarding if you drive up to Big Bear. You'd want to do it over a weekend though, but it's in driving distance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Diego
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top