San Diego Destination: Coronado

By Oliver Jenkyns May 21, 2019

Sandy beaches, surfers, and sunbathers alike surround you in Coronado’s picturesque resort town. Located along the San Diego Bay, Coronado mixes historic charm and luxury to create a destination like no other. With temperatures averaging 70 degrees year-round and white-sand beaches that literally sparkle in the sun, this peninsula oasis is consistently ranked among the top 10 beach towns across the United States.

Coronado’s beauty can be seen from any angle: as you walk down Orange Avenue and through the historic downtown, gaze upon the Hotel del Coronado—a National Historic Landmark—ride a bike along the expansive coastline, or sail beneath the Coronado Bridge scenic highway. Though it’s only 32 square miles, Coronado boasts several distinct attractions, including Ferry Landing, the historic downtown, and of course, an array of beaches.

Coronado mixes historic charm and luxury to create a destination like no other.

The Coronado Bridge is a San Diego landmark. Whether sailing underneath it or driving over it, the bridge and island should not be missed.

Ferry Landing

Sweeping views of the San Diego skyline from the historic Centennial Park, a shopping village, and a selection of premier waterfront restaurants are only a fraction of the offerings you’ll find when your boat docks at Ferry Landing. Ferries run throughout the day from San Diego to Coronado and serve asa pleasant, sightseeing alternative to the traffic of the scenic highway.

Ferry Landing hosts an assortment of dining and shopping options for every mood, featuring coffeehouses, cupcake shops, gourmet restaurants, and boutiques filled with beach-fashion staples and souvenirs for the whole family. For the adventurous, Coronado offers bike, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard rentals—all ideal for exploring more of what the peninsula has to offer.

Sweeping views of the San Diego skyline from the historic Centennial Park, a shopping village, and a selection of premier waterfront restaurants are only a fraction of the offerings you’ll find when your boat docks at Ferry Landing.

Historic Downtown

Taking a stroll down Orange Avenue, the town’s main street, evokes pleasant memories of days gone by. Though Coronado’s history is deeply rooted in naval activity, the surfboard shops, high-end jewelry merchants, and quaint cafés of the downtown district would never allude to such. One of the most urban areas along the peninsula, downtown Coronado offers a host of beach alternatives, including a performing arts center, a movie theater, plentiful restaurants, a historic library, and the iconic Hotel del Coronado—whose previous guests include Marilyn Monroe and Thomas Edison, among many other prominent figures.

One of the most urban areas along the peninsula, downtown Coronado offers a host of beach alternatives.

Beaches

Coronado's miles of coastline provide the ideal backdrop for a grand adventure. Head to Silver Strand State Beach for a day of surfing and building sandcastles, or reserve a campsite by the beach for an extended stay.

Coronado’s 32 square miles are almost entirely surrounded by brilliant, white sandy beaches and clear blue waters. These miles of coastline are separated into four main beach areas: Central Beach, North Beach, Silver Strand State Beach, and South Beach. Since each beach is as beautiful as the next, it may be difficult to choose where to settle in for a day by the water; however, each beach offers a slightly different experience of Coronado.

The main lifeguard station towers over Central Beach and sits among volleyball courts and beach facilities, offering a safe refuge for families and sporting enthusiasts. Central Beach is situated to the north of the Hotel del Coronado and in front of extravagant family homes and mansions, providing an architecturally stimulating but less remote experience.

Coronado’s 32 square miles are almost entirely surrounded by brilliant, white sandy beaches and clear blue waters.

For visitors with furry friends, North Beach offers an off-leash area aptly named Dog Beach, along with bonfire pits.

Silver Strand State Beach serves as the perfect refuge for guests wishing to spend multiple days on Coronado, as it is one of two areas where overnight camping is permitted (note that reservations are required). Since this southern stretch is set up to accommodate a campground, it is equipped with plenty of facilities and lifeguard stations, and it is located six miles down the peninsula, away from the historic downtown and Ferry Landing districts of Coronado.

The fourth and final coastal region is South Beach, a portion of which is restricted and serves as a U.S. Navy training facility, but otherwise boasts sandy beaches, closer to the mainland.