Chula Vista (; Spanish for '"beautiful view"') is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, the seventh largest city in Southern California, the fifteenth largest city in the state of California, and the 75th-largest city in the United States. The population was 243,916 as of the 2010 census, and the estimated population as of 2019 is 274,492. Located about halfway—7.5 miles (12.1 km)—between the two downtowns of San Diego and Tijuana in the South Bay, the city is at the center of one of the richest culturally diverse zones in the United States. Chula Vista is so named because of its scenic location between the San Diego Bay and coastal mountain foothills.
The area, along with San Diego, was inhabited by the Kumeyaay before contact from the Spanish, who later claimed the area. In 1821, Chula Vista became part of the newly declared Mexican Empire, which reformed as the First Mexican Republic two years later. California became part of the United States in 1848 as a result of the Mexican–American War and was admitted to the union as a state in 1850.
Founded in the early 19th century, and incorporated in October 1911, fast population growth has recently been observed in the city. Located in the city is one of America's few year-round United States Olympic Training centers, while popular tourist destinations include Aquatica San Diego, North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre, the Chula Vista marina, and the Living Coast Discovery Center.
Fossils of aquatic life, in the form of a belemnitida from the Jurassic, have been found within the modern borders of Chula Vista. It is not until the Oligocene epoch that land life fossils have been found; although Eocene epoch fossils have been found in nearby Bonita.