Best of 2001: Best Place To Prepare For 2004

ARCO Olympic Training Center
1750 Wueste Road, Chula Vista

Once you find your way there (which will become easier when Olympic Parkway is completed), you'll be impressed with the design of the place -- and the quiet. From the visitor center walk past the Olympic flame to the mile-long Olympic Path, where you'll get a view of the athletic facilities and the surrounding lakes and mountains (as well as Chula Vista's encroaching development). You can see how immaculate and green the track, soccer, tennis, and archery fields are in contrast with the desert xeriscape that grows in between. You can see the athletes hard at work below. The athletic facilities, even the dorms, are in canyons, while the Olympic Path is a long, winding ridge high above them. There isn't a corporate logo in sight. The gift shop is tasteful and filled with bargains. And even the pitch for donations is low-key. If you're not in the mood for a walk, the volunteer staff will give you a guided tour on a golf cart and show you a highlight film at the visitor center. Take I-5 or I-805 to L Street/Telegraph Canyon Road and head east. This will become Otay Lakes Road. Past Eastlake, when the road narrows, the first right turn is Wueste Road (the sign is hidden by trees), which winds its way along the side of Lower Otay Lake. The first driveway, which has a big "Eastlake" sign, is the visitor entrance; if you get to the athletes' entrance, you've gone too far. Open seven days, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

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