Location: Coronado (6 Miles / 15 Minutes South of Downtown San Diego)
Features: California’s Best Beach; Fine Dining; Theatre; Boutique Shops; Famous Historic Hotel; Magnificent Skyline Views
Coronado Highlights: Coronado Island is a top destination for tourists seeking a relaxing vacation in a quaint community. Better yet, it is only a bridge or ferry ride away from the tourist attractions in downtown San Diego.
Visitors drive across the two-mile Coronado Bay Bridge from the south side of San Diego to reach the north side of Coronado. On the north side of Coronado, you can visit Centennial Park and the Ferry Landing Marketplace to enjoy spectacular views of the San Diego skyline and up-close views of the Navy aircraft carriers when they are in port. This is also the same place visitors arrive if they take the Coronado Ferry from downtown San Diego.
The opposite side of Coronado is only 1.5 miles away. In between the north and south sides of the island is one of the wealthier residential areas in the state. Among the residents are retired Navy Admirals and other military members who served at the North Island Naval Air Base. The naval base takes up the western two-thirds of Coronado Island.
To reach the other end of the island, many visitors will rent bikes and ride them down Glorietta Boulevard, which takes visitors along the Tideland Park, underneath the Coronado Bay Bridge, and past the Coronado Golf Course. (See a map of bike trails and routes from the City of Coronado web site.) Others will walk or take a bus along Orange Avenue, which is the main street with shops and businesses running through the center of town.
On the south side of the island, visitors can explore the historic Hotel del Coronado, made famous by visits from world leaders and the filming of the movie classic, ‘Some Like it Hot’ with Marilyn Monroe. For those who want to learn more about the rich history of the Hotel Del and the Coronado Navy Base, you can walk a couple blocks to the Coronado Museum of History and Art. Along the way, you will pass boutique shops and art galleries on Orange Avenue.
Nearby is Coronado Beach, generally rated the best beach in California and one of the best in the country. Relax or go for a stroll along the wide sandy beaches and calm surf.
Coronado Map – This is a great black and white map from the Visitors Center that you should print out for your visit. The Visitor Center is located on Orange Avenue near the Hotel Del and the Coronado Beach. In addition to helping you during your visit, they also provide a copy of their Coronado Visitors Guide online.
Is Coronado an Island? – Although Coronado is often referred to as an island, it is actually a peninsula connected several miles south of downtown San Diego in Imperial Beach. The community is connected to the mainland by a thin piece of land known as the Silver Strand. Also note, Coronado is not to be confused with the uninhabited Coronado Islands you will see when looking south off of the coast of Mexico on a clear day.
Silver Strand – The Silver Strand is the very thin piece of land we noted above running 7 miles from the Hotel del Coronado to Imperial Beach with the San Diego Bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other side. It consists of little more than a road and a dedicated bike path. (You can rent bikes from Wheel Fun Rentals at the Hotel del Coronado.) A third of the way down the Silver Strand, you will pass by the U.S. Naval Amphibious Base. It is home to the Navy Seals and other Special Forces. Two-thirds of the way down the Silver Strand, visitors come across Silver Strand State Beach and the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, where you can enjoy a Venetian-style Gondola Ride. Few people travel along the Silver Strand making it a nice place to enjoy the peace and quiet while being surrounded by water on both sides.
Information on Visiting Coronado
Directions from Google Maps to 1500 Orange Avenue in Coronado, CA 92118. (This is the address for the Hotel del Coronado. It is within walking distance of most Coronado attractons.)
Traffic – On weekdays, traffic on the Coronado Bay Bridge is very heavy entering Coronado in the morning (around 7AM) and leaving Coronado during the afternoon (around 3PM). Otherwise, you should not face any traffic problems getting in and out of the area. (Learn how to get the latest traffic updates.)