Coronado Beach epitomizes California’s famous mix of glamour, laid-back culture and natural beauty. It’s a short drive from downtown San Diego over the Coronado Island Bay Bridge, accessible by car, water taxi, or a 15-minute ferry ride. The area, known for its white sand beach that sparkles with jet-black mica, has been a popular vacation destination with Hollywood celebrities and families alike since it was established in the late 1880s.
Coronado, which means “the crowned one” in Spanish, is a regular on “best beach” polls. You’ll understand why once you leave the city behind, kick off your shoes and dip your feet into the gentle waves. Try your hand at water sports including fishing, boating, body-surfing and jet-skiing. Or, splash around in one of the many shallow pools that form in the sand when the tide is low.
Ocean Boulevard, facing Central Beach, is lined with glamorous mansions, chic shops and expensive restaurants. Have a drink or just take in the beautiful lobby at the regal Hotel del Coronado, made famous in the films Some Like it Hot (1959) and The Stunt Man (1980). The classic Victorian-style architecture of this 1888 mansion is still impressive today. The hotel’s guest book reads like a who’s who of America: Thomas Edison, Magic Johnson, Bill Clinton and Babe Ruth to name a few.
There is free parking along Ocean Boulevard but you’ll need to get there early to find a spot. To explore a little further afield, head to the nearby beaches of Glorietta Bay and Silver Strand. From Glorietta Bay you will have a good view of the striking San Diego-Coronado Bridge. If you come to Coronado by water, take some time to explore the Ferry Landing area. Browse art galleries, boutiques and gift shops, or simply enjoy the picturesque surroundings while dining at one of the cafés or restaurants here. Come on a Tuesday for the farmers’ markets, which showcases fresh, locally grown produce.