Spanish for “good view,” the Buena Vista Lagoon lives up to its name with scenic views of the ocean and notoriously good bird watching. The 350-acre fresh water lagoon, owned by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, lies on the border between Carlsbad and Oceanside. It is managed as an ecological preserve. The San Diego Association of Governments is currently working on an environmental study of future enhancements of the lagoon. Find out more at the SANDAG website.
Buena Vista became California's first ecological reserve in 1969. The lagoon offers sanctuary to many species. It is located on the annual migration route known as the Pacific Flyway, and millions of birds pass through during winter and summer migrations.
More than 103 bird species, 18 mammals, and 14 amphibians and reptiles live in and around the lagoon. More than 235 types of birds have been spotted there, including the California Quail, Vermillion Flycatcher and the Great Blue Heron.
The lagoon may be viewed from the tranquility of Maxton Brown Park on Laguna Avenue and State Street, the Ecological Wildlife Viewing Area on Jefferson Street and Marron Road, or the Buena Vista Audubon Society Nature Center on Coast Highway in Oceanside. In addition to general information about the lagoon and its native inhabitants, the Nature Center also offers bird watching tours.