One thing comes to mind when I think of Coronado: beaches. The beaches in Coronado are spectacular and among the best in the San Diego area, and some even say in the world. Coronado Central Beach runs along Ocean Boulevard and is flanked by beautiful mansions. The sand is powder white where it is dry but closer to the water it gets darker and has flecks of gold from tiny pieces of mica that sparkle. This is what they mean when people talk about the golden beaches of southern California.
Coronado has several nice beaches to choose from other than the larger aforementioned Coronado Central Beach, based on your preference and needs. North Beach is dog-friendly and is mostly visited by locals. Glorietta Bay Beach is family-friendly with its playground, restrooms, grassy area, and small sandy beach. Silver Strand State Beach has a Bayside beach, picnic areas, and access to Loews Coronado Beach Resort. Ferry Landing Marketplace has a pier, grassy area, and small beach with views of downtown San Diego.
Where to Stay
Coronado is an island across San Diego Bay in San Diego, California with a famous hotel, Hotel del Coronado and its iconic red roofs have been photographed many times. It is a beachfront resort with a spa and many dining options. Since it opened in 1888 the rich and famous from Thomas Edison to US presidents and a long list of actors have stayed here. An ocean view room with one king bed in mid-November is $787 per night plus $28 daily resort fee plus $37 to $47 per night for self or valet parking, respectively.
“The Del” as it is affectionately known is a place well beyond my family’s budget. Instead we chose to stay at the much less expensive Cherokee Lodge Inn. Here, rooms in mid-November range from $145- $185 per night with free off-street parking, free wi-fi, and free vouchers for breakfast at Panera Bread, only one block away. To help with minimalist packing, (see my post Never Check a Bag with an Airline Again) they offer free laundry in a common access area. Finally, Cherokee Lodge Inn is just 2 1/2 blocks from the beach and is an easy walk.
What to Do
There are many shops and restaurants along Orange Avenue, including Coronado Brewing Company, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge, and Bay Books. For the best ice cream in town, head over to Moo Time Creamery, also on Orange Avenue. Lamb’s Players Theater and Coronado Theater are good places to see a concert or live show. During the summer months Spreckels Park is a fun place to enjoy free concerts and enjoy a picnic with your family.
There isn’t a lot of nightlife in Coronado; it’s more of a place to relax and unwind. After running my 40th half marathon in my 38th state, Silver Strand Half Marathon, California-38th state, Coronado was the perfect place to just hang out and spend time with my family. We went to the beach every day and did some leisurely shopping and went for walks enjoying the beautiful scenery. It was perfect before we began our adventure in San Diego.
For more information on Coronado, see the city’s website Coronado.
Directions: Take I-5 South to the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge exit (California Highway 75). Cross the bay and drop down onto Coronado Island. The first stoplight is Orange Avenue. Turn right to the Ferry Landing or turn left to the central business district, the beach and the Hotel del Coronado.