San Diego’s Coronado Island Offers a Fun Getaway

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Coronado is an exciting peninsula located at the southern tip of California, in San Diego. This popular location attracts tourists from around the country looking to take in some beautiful Southern California sights. Coronado is a vibrant beach community with a lot of charm.

Coronado is home to a national treasure, Hotel del Coronado. “The Del” is as impressive as it was when it was built in 1888 and is a National Historic Landmark. This Victorian masterpiece is the only beachfront hotel in all of San Diego.

Complete with mom-and-pop shops and picnics in the parks, Coronado epitomizes the small-town atmosphere. In the tree-lined streets and alleys, an eclectic mix of architectural styles can be found, from historically preserved Victorians to Spanish villas to beach cottages. In 2000, Coronado was awarded the Great American MainStreet award. Coronado was also named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

If you were playing tour-guide for friends and family that were visiting San Diego, where would you take them? The answer most likely includes Coronado.

The city of Coronado is small (it has a total area of only 32.7 square miles) but it has so much to offer. More than 2 million visitors come to Coronado annually. An endless list of activities complete the world class resort destination. Coronado has 17 hotels, three world-class resorts, over 70 restaurants, high-end boutiques, art galleries, day spas, yacht marinas, bike rentals and an 18-hole golf course. This national treasure caters to people of all ages, whether you’re an adventure seeker or you’re more of a day spa kind of person.

Coronado is a Southern California beach town offering family-friendly beaches which are consistently rated some of the best beaches in the world. There is also a bay-side district with stunning views of the San Diego skyline.

The US military has been a presence in Coronado since 1913. In 1923, the Navy established the Naval Air Station North Island, which occupies the entire north half of Coronado and is home to two aircraft carriers.  Serving as home to the Navy SEAL’s,  navy housing communities populate the southern end of town.

Coronado’s “The Enchanted Isle” has something for everyone! If we could take you on a day-long excursion to Coronado, here’s where we’d go:

We would make sure to keep a balanced day, incorporating both exercise and relaxation.  Once we crossed the bridge and arrived in Coronado, we would start the day by taking a kayak tour under the Coronado Bay Bridge. Paddling through the water offers a unique perspective of the iconic views of downtown and the bridge. The breeze is cool, the water is quiet, and there’s no better way to take in the beauty of the city.

To unwind after our kayaking journey, we would cruise over to The Village Theatre and catch a flick. It’s clear as soon as you walk through the etched glass doors that this is no ordinary movie theatre. The Village Theatre has been around for 70 years. The theater originally opened in 1947 and enjoyed its heyday during the Golden Age of Hollywood. However, it eventually fell into disrepair and became an eyesore in the middle of Coronado’s historic district. In 2000, renovations started on The Village Theater. $3 million and 10 years later, the grand re-opening was on June 23, 2011. Now, the swanky, vintage theatre brings the joy of film and history to all who enter.

After watching our movie, the sun would be high in the sky and it would finally be time for lunch. Bluewater Grill serves fresh, high quality, local seafood at reasonable prices. This restaurant by the bay is a short walk from The Hotel Del and it is located right on the water. The views are breathtaking from every table in Bluewater Grill. There’s something about chowing down on seafood while you sit above the water that feels so right.

A day in Coronado would not be complete without making a stop at The Hotel Del. Once we finished with lunch, we would take a scenic stroll across the street and visit this historic site. Whether we just stop by to admire the Victorian beach resort architecture and snap a few photos, or if we wanted to step inside and take a deeper look, there’s always something happening at The Del. Perhaps we would take a tour of the hotel and afterwards rent a few bikes to cruise down Silver Strand. An 8 mile bike trail along the Silver Strand is the perfect way to enjoy the stretch of coast from Coronado to Imperial Beach (don’t worry, we don’t need to cover all 8 miles).

Coronado is a nearby goldmine of things to do and places to see. Instead of visiting your usual hangs, plan a trip to our neighboring city and take a day to explore Coronado’s unique charm. 

Other things to do: 

  • Waling/Biking/Skating/Jogging
  • Golf – Coronado Municipal Golf Course
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Water Activities/Powerboats/Sailboats/Kayaks/Jet Skis
  • Swimming

Places to See:

Hotel Del Coronado

Museum of History and Art

Coronado Ferry Landing

Lamb’s Players Theatre

Coronado Playhouse


Finding Coronado:

Take I-5 South to the San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge exit (California Highway 75). Cross the bay and drop down onto Coronado Island, where the first stop light is Orange Avenue.

Turn right to the Ferry Landing or turn left to the business district, the beach, and the Hotel del Coronado.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at

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