Across the bay from downtown San Diego is the picturesque island resort of Coronado. It’s blessed with white sandy beaches, superb restaurants, beautiful historic turn-of-the-century homes, delightful shops, an 18-hole championship golf course and the world famous Hotel del Coronado.
Coronado, as we know it today, had its beginning in 1884 with the arrival of Elisha Babcock of Evansville, Indiana, and H.L. Storey of Chicago. These two financiers came to San Diego hoping the climate would help their poor health. A favorite pastime of theirs was to row across the bay and hunt rabbits and quail on the uninhabited brush-covered island. Together they conceived the idea of building a resort hotel on the island that would attract people worldwide. So in 1885 they formed a syndicate and bought the island for $110,000.
The original 400-room Hotel del Coronado (9) was completed in 1888. The magnificent 132-year-old Hotel del Coronado at 1500 Orange Ave. (619-435-6611) is an attraction that should not be missed.
Once you see what a beautiful place Coronado is, you’ll want to enjoy every aspect of Coronado. So if you are fit and would love seeing this historic treasure slow and up close, then you will want to rent a bike from PeDels which is also located at the Hotel Del Coronado (9). (619-433-9956), and guess what? Coronado is perfectly flat, thus this is a wonderful Coronado bike tour for all ages and skill levels.
You’ll see dozens of historic homes including where the Wizard of Oz was written as well as the picturesque Coronado Bridge from all angles, famed Glorietta Bay, the Naval Amphibious Base, the majestic Silver Strand and of course the Ferry Landing.
GETTING TO CORONADO
The easiest way to get to Coronado from downtown San Diego is by car via the 2.3-mile soaring, blue San Diego–Coronado Bay Bridge. It provides an unobstructed and superb view of downtown San Diego, Coronado and boats on the bay.
Another way to get to Coronado is by taking a scenic and relaxing ferry ride with Flagship Cruises & Events (1) (619-234-4111) or (800-442-7847). It departs from the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego on the hour from 9:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. on weekdays, and until 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. From Coronado Ferry Landing, departures are every hour on the half hour. The 15-minute ferry cost is ($4.75) one way per person. There is no charge for bicycles; children 3 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased on the San Diego side at the Flagship Cruises & Events ticket booth and on the Coronado side at a ticket machine at Coronado Ferry Landing. If you are running late, you can also purchase tickets on board.
CORONADO APARTMENT LIVING
Looking for a beautiful new place to call home? Stop by today for a tour and to get a glimpse of how amazing life at Broadstone Coronado on the Bay is.
CORONADO FERRY LANDING
The striking architectural design of Coronado Ferry Landing is reminiscent of the famous Hotel del Coronado. It’s home to a sensational restaurant row made up of seven bayfront fine and casual dining places including Peohe’s, Coronado’s premier waterfront restaurant, and Il Fornaio, serving exquisite gourmet Italian cuisine. If you like to dine and shop, this is it. There are several eclectic shops and galleries offering unique gifts, collectibles, imported fashions, beachwear and more. Coronado Ferry Landing (1) is located at the foot of B Avenue on the bayfront in Coronado at 1201 First St. (619-435-8895). See map. The stores open daily at 10 a.m. The restaurants have extended hours and ample free parking.
DINING IN CORONADO
All of these restaurants have been personally reviewed by San Diego’s Dean of Restaurant Reviewers. To lend authenticity to his reviews, he goes unannounced, pays for this own meals and periodically inspects the kitchen. This is your assurance that you will enjoy an equal to superior dining experience.
New to Coronado but not new to seafood lovers is the impressive Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill (8) at 1701 Strand Way. It’s ideally located in the historic Coronado Boathouse (circa 1884). You’ll undoubtedly be impressed with its romantic bayside ambience and extensive fresh fish selections. See Restaurants.
Everyone’s favorite Italian Restaurant is the one and only Il Fornaio Restaurant at 1333 First St. (619-437-4911). With wonderful gourmet Italian cuisine and a romantic bay view to match. It’s like taking a culinary journey to Italy. And everything is fresh and delicious. And with numerous “Best Italian Dinner” awards including the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Award of Distinction by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, expect the best. They also offer wine for dinner. The Mediterranean coastal setting is breathtaking, and the authentic Italian cuisine is second to none. Their menu celebrates the wonderful diversity of food and wine from Italy’s 20 regions. See Restaurants.
A no less spectacular dining destination is Peohe’s Restaurant (619-437-4474), which overlooks the bay. Diners will be enthralled with their updated look that features splashing waterfalls and spectacular waterfront skyline views.
More on the casual side is the Village Pizzeria Bayside (619-437-0650). They offer an unbeatable view to go along with their unbeatable pizzas and pastas. Pizza also available by the slice.
Sushi lovers never stop raving about Yummy Sushi either for its food or the captivating ocean views. And as you might guess, it has a loyal following of happy customers. Yummy Sushi (6) is at 1330 Orange Ave. in suite 280 (619-435-2771). It’s definitely a contender for being the best in San Diego County. See Restaurants.
For the best Mexican food in Coronado with a south-of-the-border seafood flair look no farther than Costa Azul Coronado (7) at 1031 Orange Ave. (619-435-3525). This grill and cantina is Zagat Rated for being the best cantina in town. You’ll like this place.
You must visit the famous Hotel del Coronado, and en route, see Coronado’s main thoroughfare, Orange Avenue. Other attractions include a historic home tour and Coronado’s beautiful main beach.
From Coronado Ferry Landing to the Hotel del Coronado is a pleasant 1.3-mile walk or drive along Orange Avenue, Coronado’s main street. You can also take the Coronado Shuttle “904” (619-233-3004). Stops include Coronado Ferry Landing, several points along Orange Avenue, Coronado Island Marriott Resort and the Hotel del Coronado. The fare is ($2.25) for adults, ($1.10) for seniors, disabled and free for kids 5 and under. En route to the Hotel del Coronado along Orange Avenue is the beautiful John D. Spreckels Park (3). From Memorial Day through early September, free concerts are performed Sundays at 6 p.m. with the final two concerts being at 5 p.m. Also held here every first and third Sunday of the month is Art in the Park. It’s a fine arts and crafts show displaying the works of talented local and nationally known artists and artisans. This event takes place 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
For live theatre in Coronado, it’s the Lamb’s Players (5) at 1142 Orange Ave. (619-437-6000). This 350-seat theatre offers excellent year-round live performances.
For more information on Coronado, visit the Coronado Visitor Center (4) in the lobby of the Museum of History and Art, 1100 Orange Ave. (619-437-8788). Here you can get maps, brochures and a calendar of events. Tickets for many San Diego attractions are sold here too. It’s open Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–4 p.m; Fri.– Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Winter hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Here too within the Coronado Visitor Center is the Coronado Historical Association (4) (619-435-7242). A must see attraction is their fascinating museum filled with period photos and memorabilia. And time permitting you should most definitely sign up for a short but informative walking tour of Coronado. After which you’ll undoubtedly want to discover even more on your own.