Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Coronado Island

Located just off the coast from San Diego, California, Coronado Island is eight square miles of pure bliss in the Pacific. Over 24,000 people call Coronado Island home, but the island welcomes countless visitors each year from around the world. Clearly, there is something special about Coronado Island and making the choice to visit is relatively easy. However, in order to get the most out of the trip, it is important to be prepared.

Relaxing View from the Coronado Island to San Diego 2013

Relaxing Views from the Coronado Island to San Diego – Photo author Bionic Sisters Productions


To get started, here is an overview of what you should know before your upcoming trip to Coronado Island.

Sights

As an island, much of Coronado’s aesthetic appeal comes from its gorgeous views of the water. The water provides a scenic backdrop that is hard to beat, and guests can witness spectacular sunsets. A popular landmark on the island is the Silver Strand, a 10-mile isthmus that connects the island with the mainland. This iconic strip of land defines the island in more ways than one, making it a popular sight for photography.

Another must-see location on Coronado Island is Hotel del Coronado. Since opening in 1888, this hotel has housed countless celebrities and has been featured in a number of films. This strong legacy has earned it a place as a National Historic Landmark. While people still come from all around the world to stay in the Hotel del Coronado, the hotel is more popular as a landmark, and many visitors stop by the grounds for a few quintessential snapshots of American history.

People also like to see the wreckage from the SS Monte Carlo, which is visible at low tide from Coronado Beach. This ship was a gambling vessel that sunk in the 1930s. Although most of the hull remains submerged, it is still a popular landmark amongst tourists, and there is still speculation that there may be money stuck in the waterlogged slot machines.

Activities

Coronado Island may have a lot to see, but the island is really the perfect place to get up and move. Coronado may not have a lot of square footage, but the island is dedicated to giving residents and guests alike ample room to explore. There are a number of parks on the island, many of which are well equipped with walking trails, playground equipment, barbecue stations and more. One of the most popular options is Tidelands Park, which features 22 acres of land on the bay front and offers guests the chance to walk, play basketball or even work out on a beach exercise course.

As an island, it is no surprise that Coronado has plenty to offer in the way of water sports. The beaches on Coronado are well developed to support a number of recreational activities including volleyball and surfing. Silver Strand State Beach is regarded as one of the best beaches in California for kiteboarding. Opportunities for boating are also readily available along the shore. Guests can also enjoy a round of golf at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course.

Leisure

There are few things more relaxing than a day at the beach, and Coronado Island has some of the best beaches in the world. Coronado Beach is perhaps its most famous offering, and it is consistently ranked among the top five beaches in the United States. Stretching for two miles, Coronado Beach has four sections that attract people for fun and leisure alike. There are fire rings, and the north section is a designated dog beach, where canine friends can run without a leash. Silver Strand State Beach is another option, and there is a small section of beach at Coronado Ferry Landing.

Astonishing Views from Coronado Island to San Diego

Astonishing Views from Coronado Island to San Diego – Photo author Bionic Sisters Productions


Culture

Coronado Island may have made a name for itself because of its beaches, but the island has a rich cultural scene. There are two playhouses in Coronado, the Coronado Playhouse and the Lamb’s Players Theatre. The Coronado Playhouse features performances from a community theater troupe. The Lamb’s Players Theatre, on the other hand, houses a non-profit professional group, which puts on five plays each year.

The island also has a thriving art community. The city supports a public art project, which spreads outdoor art throughout the island. Walking tours are available to see the full collection. Art-in-the-Park is another cultural attraction. Every third Sunday, there is an outdoor display that showcases over 50 artists. The selection includes painting, photography, sculptures and more.

A more in depth look at the island itself is available at the Museum of History and Art. This museum not only displays local art but provides a unique look at the island’s colorful history.

Shopping

There are ample opportunities for shopping on Coronado Island, starting with Coronado Ferry Landing. With a full range of specialty shops, the Ferry Landing also overlooks the bay and has a great view of downtown San Diego. Ferries are accessible from here, and there are even concerts every Sunday. More shopping is available on Orange Avenue and at the Hotel del Coronado.

Dining

With such a booming tourism industry, there are plenty of choices when it comes to dining on Coronado Island. There are over 70 restaurants and cafes, most of which feature seafood and ethnic options. Travelers on a budget can find fast food restaurants, while high end options include Mistral and Primavera Ristorante. Other popular eateries are Peohe’s with fantastic water views and Brigantine with some of the best seafood on the island.

San Diego Coronado bridge

Photo author and copyright holder, Jon Sullivan


Transportation

Although Coronado Island is connected to San Diego via the Silver Strand, most people use the Coronado Bay Bridge when traveling. This bridge opened in 1969 and rises to 200 feet above the water to allow for ships to pass through. The island is also accessible with the Metropolitan Transit System, which has several stops on Coronado. Travelers may also utilize the ferries that cross from Coronado Island to San Diego. There are hourly trips by ferry from 9 AM to 9 PM every day. There are also water taxis that run from San Diego to Coronado Island, which are best suited for day trips.

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