Coronado, San Diego
Rising from water's edge on the quaint island of Coronado in San Diego, the Hotel del Coronado is considered one of America's most beautiful beach resorts. A classic historic hotel, The Del was built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Today, The Del offers travelers contemporary luxury in an enchanting Victorian atmosphere.
Located on the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California, the Vietnam Unit Memorial Monument features a memorial wall and three brown water Navy boats: a PBR, a CCB, and a PCF. The memorial wall, 60 feet long and 8 feet high, lists the names of Navy and Coast Guard personnel who died in the Vietnam War during 1960-1975. A valid military ID or an escort is required to enter the base. For more information, refer to the website, www.vummf.org.
Coronado Island is not a true island, but a very long peninsula that is connected to the mainland some miles south of San Diego. Since it's more accessible by boat or by bridge than by driving the long way around, people refer to it as an island.
This is the resort part of San Diego. Here is the best beach that I've seen on the West Coast. The water is relatively warm, and the sandy expanse is huge. It seems more like someplace on the Gulf Coast.
Ferry Landing has regular boat service to downtown (near Seaport Village). It also has scores of shops, restaurants, bars, and pleasant little town squares. This is a great place to go and just hang out--just like Seaport Village, across the harbor.
It's an excellent place to learn about what Coronado Island has to offer.
Right through Downtown San Diego, cross the bridge, and you are on the laidback island of Coronado. This area is quite upscale. There is a neat walking downtown with alot of high end shops and restaurants. This makes for a lovely stroll. What is interesting about this island town is even though it is upscale, it still has a surfer mentality mixed in. There is just as many surf shops as classy shops. There is also a wonderful and clean beach here and the historic
Hotel Del, which you shall learn about in another tip. A good half day venture.
Located on the charming island of Coronado in San Diego, the Hotel del Coronado is reputed to be one of the country's most beautiful beach resorts. Built in 1888, the Del today offers a contemporary luxury experience. So even if you're unable to occupy a room for even a night (least expensive room can run $235), it's worth a dine at one of its restaurants or possibly even just a gander. I brought my Filipino and Japanese relatives here when I road tripped them to San Diego and they were quite impressed.
And oh yes, if you're at all into hauntings and the like, then the hotel can also serve to quench your fascination for the paranormal as it is popularly rumored to be haunted. Just ask for Kate Morgan's room.
*In 1892, a young woman checked into the Hotel Del Coronado to meet her estranged husband for Thanksgiving. He never arrived to meet her, and a few days later, she was found dead on the hotel steps near the ocean. Since then, guests and staff of the Hotel Del Coronado have noticed strange breezes, ghostly noises and the pale figure of a young lady walking in a black lace dress. (taken from the second website below)
Take the beautiful Coronado Bridge out to the island and grab a bite to eat and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. Orange Avenue is the main street, but there are some beautiful homes if you drive in the neighborhoods. And of course, you don't want to miss the incredible Hotel Del Coronado, a world class hotel.
If you come in the evening, you'll have great views back over the harbor to the San Diego skyline.
Coronado is a militar and residential area. One of the best spots is Hotel del Coronado, where all the US presidents stay when traveling to San Diego. Also this hotel was the protagonist of many films and its walls remain the pictures. Take a walk inside the hotel (no cover at all).
Coronado is a peninsula which can be reached from San Diego over the impressive Coronado Bay Bridge. Over here you will find a nice little shopping street, a beautiful beach, a large naval base (hence the calm atmosphere gets destroyed by some fighter jets from time to time) as well as famous and fancy Hotel del Coronado (see next tip).
Coronado Ferry Landing (CFL) and Broadway Pier are the two terminals of the Coronado Ferry. CFL is not only a dock; it is also a commercial center with many shops and restaurants. The restaurants range from fine dining to fast food. Shops include art galleries and souvenir stores.
From CFL, you have an excellent view of San Diego Bay and San Diego's skyline.
From CFL, you can take a shuttle bus (#904) to Hotel del Coronado. Fare is only $1 each way.
One of the most gorgeous residential areas is near the ocean. Old & new homes. Park your car & walk around (city buses are available that go to downtown San Diego, which is across the Bay). The beach is beautiful, of course. Don't forget to go into historic Hotel Coronado, near the beach downtown. Public is welcome to visit the shops, dining room & grounds. This is were old Hollywood vacationed & filmed " Some Like It Hot," with Jack Lemmon & Tony Curtis. The Coronado Bridge is impressively long & pretty.
We had some tea on the patio. If you ask me, $2.75 is a bit steep for a tea bag and some hot water. Ask for an extra cup of hot water! Sheesh. Anyway, we got our money's worth by enjoying the little park, watching people on the patio, and admiring the view. The tower makes for a great photo (there are tons of them, I know!), and the patio really provides great entertainment if you wait around long enough. Lots of characters for that great American novel you have in you. :)
While we were there, there were warnings against going in to the water. I don't know if that's always the case, but we stayed on the path either way.
It's a lovely beach area and the view is typically beautiful. We parked in a public parking spot right next to the beach. It was after the The Del Coronado entrance, in an apartment complex. It was free! I think it would probably be full on the weekends or in great weather. We had cloudy/threat of rain and a weekday. That equaled free parking. We walked all the way along until we reached "The Del." Then we enjoyed the park, the cafe, and the sights there.
Take a stroll along Orange Avenue for an afternoon's worth of eating & shopping or an evening's worth of eating & drinking.
For exercise buffs, there's a great "trail" along Orange Avenue that takes you all the way down the Strand (several miles round trip). You can also run along the beach... if you park near the Naval Air Station North Island's beach fence and run south, you'll run along the same beach that's used to train the Navy's BUD/S students (future SEALS). If you're lucky, you may even bump into one of the classes!
The Hotel del Coronado also had a large expanse of beach, looking out towards Point Loma where the Spaniards first landed on this coast. The Cabrillo National Monument on the point memorialized this act. This photo was taken from the Del's glass-walled promenade deck between the beach and their outdoor swimming pool area.
Hillcrest (my neighborhood) is where to go if you're looking for arthouses, sushi bars, great restaurants, organic grocery stores, and good ambience. It's the 'alternative' section of town, and you'll be sure to see plenty of gay couples walking down the street hand-in-hand, and gay pride stores. Picture the Castro in San Francisco and you have a good idea of what Hillcrest is like. It's a great walking neighborhood! I loved living there for the convenience of everything; I rarely drove anywhere!