The Best Things to do in Coronado, California
“The country itself is the best I have ever seen for producing all the products of Spain… But what I am sure of is that there is not any gold nor any other metal in all that country.” -Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, 1510-1554, Spanish Explorer, Description of America. [He had it half right.]
I went with my fiancée to Coronado, Ca. the other day, and we had a lot of fun seeing the sites. It was a gorgeous day, and I really like the quaintness of the town and the escape it provides. Coronado Island is named for the famous Spanish explorer, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. Of course, Coronado isn’t actually an island, it’s a peninsula, but who actually drives from Imperial Beach all the way through Coronado Cays to get there? It was my fiancée’s first experience driving over the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and actually going to the island. Every time I drive across the bridge I can’t help but think of Jack Black drop kicking Ron Burgandy’s (Will Farrell) dog of the bridge in Anchorman (Watch the video here!).
There are so many aspects of Coronado that are very fun, and it is one of the best staycation spots in San Diego. The Hotel del Coronado is one of the most iconic landmarks in San Diego, and although some of the rooms are a bit dated, it is still a wonderful spot to stay. I love that it is a short walk to the main drag on Orange Ave., and you can go to the pool and the beach on the same day at nearly the same time.
There are some super cute shops at the Hotel Del, and of course, one of our favorite spots to get an ice cream is the Creamery on the property. I prefer to go to the restaurants on Orange Ave. to eating meals at the hotel, except for the pool café when sunbathing or hanging on the beach. The little coffee shop also has some great pastries.
I like the boardwalk as well, and it connects with a bike path that goes all over the island. You can rent bikes and these little bike carts right there next to the hotel. It is a good way to get some exercise and see some of the fun sites on the island. We didn’t do it on this trip, but I’ve rented bikes and rode with my kids over to the other side of the island where they have Centennial Park. It is where the ferry crosses, has really great views of the downtown San Diego skyline and some good restaurants nearby as well.
I almost always go to the Coronado Beach hotel, but there is limited parking on the street, and the parking at the Hotel Del is pretty expensive. An alternative that has more public parking is Silver Strand State Beach. It is also super nice, but a bit of a trek from the main town and down by Coronado Cays.
There is also a really nice municipal golf course on the island. It has really nice views of the city and the bridge, and it is a super nice course, especially for a public course. You can make advanced tee-times online here.
There are a number of good spas on the island as well, and if you’re into yoga or Pilates, there are a couple good studios as well. Or if you prefer, you can just do yoga on the beach. Coronado is also a good spot for surfing and wind surfing. I personally prefer to just lie on the beach, catch some rays, and maybe play Smashball, or throw around the football or the Frisbee.
The Hotel Del Coronado is an awesome place, but the Coronado Visitor Center lists 15 other hotels on the island that are great places to stay. (View them here!)
So, whether you’re up for a day trip, doing a fun stay-cation, or visiting from out of town, Coronado island is one of the best places to visit in San Diego, and it is totally fun!
Please tell us what you liked and didn’t like about this article, and we’d love to hear about your experiences in Coronado!