Across the bay from San Diego sits California’s best kept secret: Coronado Island. This place is so beautiful and fantastic that we decided a long time ago that we want to retire here. It is clean and well-kept with great parks, beaches, and weather. Living 3 hours inland in Arizona, we visit the San Diego area often and we always choose to stay on Coronado. It truly is our favorite place! Here are the best things to do if you decide to stop by.
Explore Orange Avenue
Orange Avenue is the main street on Coronado, and it stretches across the island from bay to ocean. It hosts a ton of cute shops, restaurants, and local businesses. It’s a great place to have lunch, take a stroll, and shop around!
Eat at Coronado Brewing Co.
While you’re on Orange Avenue, I highly recommend having a meal (or at least stopping by for Happy Hour) at Coronado Brewing Co. They now serve breakfast (weekends only), lunch, and dinner and they brew their own beers! The menu offers a variety of seafood, tacos, burgers, pizzas, and salads. It’s all delicious! We eat here at least once during every visit. It’s near the bay side of Orange Avenue, on the northern side of the street. Parking is $.50 for two hours.
Enjoy Centennial Park
Just a couple hundred yards east of Coronado Brewing Company is Centennial Park with a great view of the bay and downtown San Diego. There are large grassy patches, benches, and sidewalks to enjoy and take in the view. We love to sit awhile and watch boats, jet skis, or yachts go by in the water. It’s also a fantastic place to take some photos!
Visit the Coronado Ferry LandingOne block south of Centennial Park is the Coronado Ferry Landing. But that’s not why you should stop here. It’s the shops, restaurants, and overall ambience of this spot! It’s adorable and we love it! There’s also a great local cupcake shop for dessert. We have yet to try out any of the restaurants in this area, but by the looks of it, they’re fantastic. They are always crowded! There’s even a small beach area here that’s part of the bay.
See the Del
The Hotel del Coronado, known as just ‘the Del’ to locals, is not only famous in Coronado, but in all of Southern California. It is an older, historic hotel. We have never stayed here because it is pricy, but we have stopped by several times for a visit. It sits right on the beach and houses many shops inside the lobby. Anyone is welcome inside the main floor, not just hotel guests. And during the holidays they also have a famous Christmas tree, ice skating on the beach, and sandcastle builders.Visit the Beach
On the ocean side of the island, there are miles and miles of beach! The southern beaches are less crowded, but many are closed and are property of the military. This is where Navy Seals go through basic training. So your best bet is the northern beaches. There’s lots of street parking but it fills up fast. Go early to soak up the sun!
Check out the neighborhoodsCoronado is home to a large variety of homes! And all of them are expensive. I don’t think any house is less than $1 million here. While this is an island, you won’t find many ‘beach’ homes. There is a huge variety of structures here: historic, cottage, modern, etc. We love to drive around and gaze at them. They’re all beautiful! Some have and asian flair while others have gargoyles. Most are adorable! It’s fun to see what the island has to offer.
There you have it!
That is typically how we spend our time on Coronado. We have stayed here over 10 times in the past 3 years and it never gets old! We will continue to visit for the rest of our lives!