Coronado

Coronado

Almost but not quite an island, Coronado lies between the blue of San Diego Bay and the deeper blue of the Pacific. Set apart from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Coronado is a friendly little village community of resort hotels, shady avenues, beautiful homes, grassy parks, white-sand beaches, and a yacht harbor at Glorietta Bay.

The graceful span of the Coronado Bay Bridge makes getting to Coronado easy by car. You can also take the Coronado Ferry. The ferry leaves from the foot of Broadway in downtown San Diego every hour on the hour between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays) and returns from Coronado on the half hour. After a pleasant, 15-minute ferry ride, you'll disembark at the Old Ferry Landing in Coronado, one of Coronado's newest centers filled with specialty shops and restaurants. Once you arrive in Coronado, you can get around easily on the new trackless trolley, which picks you up at the Old Ferry Landing or Le Meridien Hotel. The trolley winds its way down Orange Avenue through the center of Coronado and takes you all the way to Coronado's most famous landmark, the Hotel del Coronado.

The Hotel Del, as locals call it, opened in 1888. The gracious Victorian wooden hotel, with its distinctive turrets and red roofs, has been an opulent watering hole for celebrities, presidents and kings. It has also starred in movies, most notably the classic 1959 comedy "Some Like it Hot" with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. Today you can enjoy many fine restaurants within the hotel, including special meals such as Sunday brunch, wine tastings and afternoon tea.

The best way to spend a day in Coronado is outdoors in the sun. Among parks and beaches in Coronado, a local favorite is Tidelands Park, 22 acres of vacant land transformed into a park with soccer and baseball fields, picnic tables, a bike path and children's play area. Spreckels Park and Glorietta Bay Park are also enjoyable places to rest or play. Coronado beaches are also very popular. They are the widest in San Diego so there is ample room for sunbathing, strolling, jogging, building sand castles and enjoying the mild San Diego weather. Dog owners and their best friends will also enjoy Coronado's dog beach, the largest in San Diego.

Driving through Coronado's quiet, tree-shaded residential neighborhoods is also a treat. Coronado homes are among the most expensive and unique in all of San Diego. Coronado does not occupy the entire tip of the peninsula. The northern half of Coronado is occupied by the North Island Naval Air Station, synonymous with the history of naval aviation. It was at this Naval Base Coronado that the landing of aircraft on ships first proved feasible. North Island Naval Base Coronado was also the place where Charles Lindbergh began the first leg of his record-breaking flight across the Atlantic in the San Diego-built plane, Spirit of St. Louis.

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