Coronado, San Diego
The Hotel Del Coronado is the largest wood frame building in the United States. Built in 1888 it also houses the oldest continuously operating elevator in the country. There is an operator dressed in uniform to bring you to your floor. You feel as if you are traveling in 1920! So many things to explore around this beautiful hotel that you could plan to spend the entire day between lunch, shopping and the beach.
Visiting Coronado is a perfectly pleasant daytrip from San Diego, I wouldn't say it was the top place that I visited while in San Diego but the ferry ride was pleasant and the Hotel Coronado is a fabulous old hotel with a lot of history.
To get to Coronado, I took the trolley to the Sante Fe station, walked about 5 minutes and hopped on the ferry ($3 each way). Once the ferry landed at the Coronado dock, I walked out to the street outside the shopping area and found the #904 bus that takes you to the Hotel Coronado. I really had no idea of how far it was but I certainly was glad I found the bus since the bus ride was at least 15 minutes. The buses here were included with my 1 day MTS pass ($5 US). The bus schedule coordinates with the ferry schedule making it a very convenient way to get to the center of Coronado. Once I spotted the Hotel Coronado, I hopped off the bus, went for a stroll on the beach and wandered through the grand old hotel.
I'm sure there's a lot more to Coronado than the Hotel Coronado but I had places to go and food to eat so I headed back to the bus for the ferry ride back to San Diego.
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.
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!
The offshore island Coronado has a very flat, fairly protected beach with some of the safest and warmest water on the California coast without having any pollution problem.
Coronado Central Beach is ranked among the best in the country, recently rated the second best beach in the United States. The beach is very wide, flat and clean. In summer and on weekends it is a very crowded, full of restaurants, bars, clothing shops and fun.
Near the wide expanses of sandy beach there is also an area of rocky shore, the so called tide pool offers a chance to see crabs, starfish, mussels, anemones, limpets and moon snails.
The weather is almost always perfect for spending time here. It is hot enough to enjoy the relatively warm ocean water with such activities as surfing and swimming. And yet it is not excessively hot so you may also be comfortable just lying in the sun with a good book and a few snacks. Many visitors return here year after year.
On the end of the beach is the historic building of the pricey Hotel del Coronado, which was the film site for the Marilyn Monroe movie “Some Like it Hot.” This was built in 1888 and one of the biggest wooden buildings in the US and has even a haunted room!! .
Coronado is located across the bay of San Diego. There's a bridge that connects it to downtown San Diego, but it can also be reached by ferry, which makes for a nice short cruise across the bay with nice views of the San Diego cityscape. Tickets ($4.25) can be purchased at the booth located on the Embarcadero Promenade, near USS Midway. The ferry leaves San Diego every hour on the hour and returns every hour on the half hour.
The two biggest attractions in Coronado are its beautiful sandy beach and Hotel del Coronado. It's also worth going for a stroll along Glorietta Bay to take a look at the beautiful historic homes built there - from the very beginning (the city was founded in 1885), the plan was that Coronado should become a resort town for wealthy San Diegans. Unfortunately, we were there on a rather cloudy day so the beach was deserted, but we did enjoy walking down Orange Avenue (Coronado's main commercial strip) from the ferry landing. We took a quick walk on the beach, stopped by the city's famous hotel, and came back up Glorietta Boulevard. It made for a really nice afternoon!
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).
Whether you cross the bay by boat or drive via the big bridge, get out to Coronado Island. We fell in love with this area - its colorful shops and dining places, beautiful (and expensive) homes and Victorian mansions, and of course the Hotel del Coronado. Unfortunately, the only photos I have are of the hotel. (And - by the way, it's not really an island; there is a small strip of land connecting it with the mainland.)
Note - the city of Coronado shares this "island" with a naval air station, and traffic can get really hectic at shift changes. You will get accustomed to aircraft flying overhead at low altitudes.
We decided to drive over to see the Coronado Hotel on July 4th weekend of 2011...and the drive was a pleasant one since you go over this curving bridge which offers a great view of the city of San Diego. Coronado is a great place to visit, but the problem is parking during busy weekends or holidays. The hotel has limited parking for guests only, but there is a small private parking just before it which can easily fill up. After about 30 minutes looking around, we got lucky and got to park at a meter parking space in front of the hotel (no charges during Sundays and holidays).
The Hotel itself is spectacular and you could have seen already old pictures of this classic hotel from the year 1888. The interior has nice wood with an elegant chandelier in the lobby. The pool is wonderful and if you go out to the beach, you will have an awesome vanatage point from which to take pics of the hotel.
There is also a ferry which can bring you to the hotel from downtown, but I have not tried that yet. So far, the most convenient for us is driving to this picturesque area.
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.
Only a few years after the city of Coronado was founded, Hotel del Coronado - also known as The Del - opened its majestic doors to rich and famous guests. 2,000 men were hired to build the Victorian-style wooden hotel designed by architect James W. Reid. It is still the second largest wooden structure in the U.S., and when it was completed, its luxury and opulence were unprecedented. The hotel soon began attracting prominent businessmen, politicans and movie stars, and its fame culminated during the roaring 1920s when Hollywood celebrities such as Mae West, Clark Gable and Charlie Chaplin became regular visitors at The Del. The movie "Some Like it Hot", starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, was filmed at the hotel in 1958. The Del is also rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of Kate Morgan, a young woman who committed suicide while staying at the hotel in 1892. I very much enjoyed walking around the hotel (visitors are free to roam around the hotel's grounds, lobby and boutiques), and thought The Del in itself was reason enough to take a bit of time out of our schedule to visit Coronado.
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.
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)
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).