Coronado is a picturesque resort town in San Diego County in Southern California. It is on a peninsula just across the San Diego Bay from Downtown San Diego and offers quiet beaches, lovely bay scenery, and sights such as the historic Hotel del Coronado.
By carCoronado is a peninsula, and there are two routes in and out: the Coronado Bay Bridge, from I-5 just south of downtown San Diego, or the Silver Strand, a narrow spit of land running up the coast from Imperial Beach. Both are known as State Route 75. The Bay Bridge is worth driving over just for the panorama.
By boatThe Coronado Ferry, a pedestrian/bicycle ferry, launches from the Broadway Pier and the Convention Center in Downtown San Diego to the Ferry Landing Marketplace in Coronado. Departures from the Broadway Pier downtown occur every hour on the hour, from 9AM-9PM (10PM on Fridays and Saturdays), and departures from the Convention Center occur every half-hour, from 9:10AM-9:55PM (10:55PM on Fridays and Saturdays). It costs $4.25 one-way.
You can also take a Water Taxi, +1 619-235-8294, an on-call service that can pick up from most waterfront hotels, shopping centers, and restaurants along the bay in Downtown and Coronado, making them more flexible and faster than the ferry service. They run Fridays through Sundays from noon-10PM and cost $8 each way.
By busThe Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates bus service throughout the San Diego area. Route 901 serves Coronado, connecting it to Downtown San Diego across the Bay Bridge and Imperial Beach south down the Silver Strand.
Coronado is small and dense enough that one can easily walk around and take in the sites the area has to offer. One of the better ways to get around Coronado is by bicycle; bike paths and quiet streets (along with beautiful weather) make biking easy. A number of bicycle/pedestrian trails straddle the coastline.
The MTS runs a small circulator bus line, Route 904, from the ferry landing down past Hotel del Coronado. If you're not up to walking, it's an option. It generally does not run very often. However, during the summer, it's free and runs more frequently.
phone: +1 619-435-6611address: 1500 Orange AveThe hotel's architecture is a must-see, with its brightly colored wooden Victorian style exterior and its slightly dated art deco interior. Built by hand in 1888 by two railroad engineers, it is today a National Historic Landmark and has been a favorite location for films (including classics like Some Like it Hot) and weddings. Many presidents and celebrities like Babe Ruth and Marilyn Monroe have stayed here. You can view it from the beach or Orange Avenue.
phone: +1 619-435-7242address: 1100 Orange AveA small museum operated by the Coronado Historical Association, dedicated to preserving the art, history, and architecture of Coronado. The museum also holds walking tours of Coronado, which feature some of the island's historic buildings include the house where Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz.
- There are a couple of performance art spaces in Coronado:
phone: +1 619-435-4856address: 1835 Strand WayWhere Coronado's community theater group plays.
phone: +1 619-437-0600address: 1142 Orange AveHome to the region's third largest professional theater company. This ensemble based theater presents a wide variety of productions throughout the year in Coronado's historic Spreckel's Building.
Silver Strand BikewayAn 8.48-mile bike path running from Coronado down to Imperial Beach. This is one of the area's most popular due to its scenery and the fact that the path does not run through any car traffic. The bike path ends at Pomona Avenue and Glorietta Boulevard and runs along the San Diego Bay. There are restrooms and a drinking fountain at Silver State Beach (see below).
Beaches and parks
Central Beachaddress: along Ocean Blvd on the south side of the islandCoronado has a splendid beach, made up of beautiful white sand and the crowd is mostly families enjoying the day. If you look closely you can read the name Coronado in the sand dunes close to the Hotel del Coronado. A small tidepool area in front of the Hotel Del gives you a chance to explore a bit. There's plenty of free parking along Ocean Blvd, but it fills up quickly during the summer. At the north end of the beach, up by Sunset Park, the beach is open to dogs as well as bonfire pits and surfing. Surfing is also allowed in-front of the "Shores" just south of the Hotel Del. Lifeguards on duty seasonally. Restrooms and showers available.
Centennial Parkaddress: at the bottom of Orange Avenue, at the bayVisitors can walk several different paths with views of downtown San Diego. Bike rentals are also available, with a bike path that runs all the way to Imperial Beach. Boat rentals are also available for sailing around the bay.
Glorietta Bay ParkJust south of the Hotel Del on the bayside of Coronado, this small park offers shady trees, big grassy lawns, and a small beach with views of the Coronado Bay Bridge.
phone: +1 619-435-5184This is an excellent beach to swim or surf at about 5 miles south of Coronado on the Silver Strand. RV camping and fishing are allowed here.
Spreckels ParkIn the heart of Coronado, on Orange Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets, this shady park has a gazebo, a playground, and is the site of local events such as a summer concert series and other community events and shows.
Sunset ParkNear the north end of Central Beach is this small park with an expansive lawn.
Tidelands Parkaddress: 2000 Mullinex DrJust north of the Coronado Bay Bridge, this large park offers lovely views of the bridge (a bayside trail leads you right under the bridge), a large children's playground, a skate park, and big grassy lawns perfect for sports.
- The Coronado Flower Show, the world's largest tented flower show, takes place on the third weekend of every April in Spreckels Park.
- Coronado holds a huge Fourth of July celebration, with a fair and concert in Spreckles Park, a marathon, a large parade, a rough water swim in Glorietta Bay, and of course the fireworks display on the bay, with pyrotechnics fired from several locations in the bay simultaneously, making for a spectacular show.
- December brings the Parade of Lights to San Diego Bay, when dozens of boats decked out in Christmas lights make their way across the bay past the Coronado ferry landing.
Ferry Landing Marketplacephone: +1 619-435-8895address: 1201 1st StA themed shopping area home to some lovely little shops, art galleries, and restaurants. The ferry to Downtown San Diego launches from here. In addition, a Farmers' Market takes place here every Tuesday from 2:30-6PM.
phone: +1 619-435-0155address: 1701 Strand WayA former boathouse overlooking the southern San Diego bay.
Clayton's Coffee Shopphone: +1 619-435-5425address: 959 Orange AveOld style coffee shop, good food, mostly breakfast and lunch, very affordable around $8 per person.
Hotel del CoronadoOffers a Sunday Brunch, a steal at just under a hundred bucks per person; go for the atmosphere.
Loews CoronadoOn the Silver Strand, also has a Sunday Brunch; go for the food.
phone: +1 619-437-4237address: 1351 Orange Ave; inside the El Cordova HotelDelicious, authentic, Mexican cuisine ranging from enchiladas to chimichangas to their rather unique fish taco. Seating is on a heated open-air patio.
phone: +1 619-435-4323address: 1106 1st StA European style cafe open for breakfast lunch dinner and desert. They have hose made ice-cream as well as a large assortment of European deserts.
phone: +1 619-522-0449address: 1206 Orange Avenue; second location in the Ferry Landing MarketplaceA local favorite.
phone: +1 619-437-4452address: 170 Orange AveSmall brewpub. Happy hour Tu-F 2PM-6PM.
phone: +1 619-437-1666address: 275 Orange Ave
phone: +1 619-435-3000address: 2000 Second St
phone: +1 619-435-3116address: 520 Orange Ave
address: 1351 Orange Ave
phone: +1 619-435-6611address: 1500 Orange AveA massive luxury hotel; the architecture is remarkable, the lodgings less so.
phone: +1 619-435-3191address: 1315 Orange Ave
phone: +1 619-424-4000address: 4000 Coronado Bay Rd
phone: +1 619-522-7390address: 640 Orange AveFree access to computers with internet and free wireless internet available.