Top Destinations on Coronado Island
Coronado Island is a visitor’s delight because of its sandy beaches, outdoor recreational opportunities, dining, shopping and spectacular views of downtown San Diego. Visitors should take the Coronado Ferry for an extra level of charm rather than drive across the Coronado Bay Bridge. If you’re afraid of heights, stay off the bridge if at all possible. It’s extraordinarily tall to allow military ships passage (at least the bridge is just a little more than 2 miles long). You can also take a water taxi over to Coronado from the mainland. From the ferry landing, you can see the San Diego skyline and the Gaslamp Quarter. This spin on downtown is breathtaking and relaxing at the same time.
The top destinations on the island include the beaches, particularly Coronado Central Beach, and the Hotel Del Coronado. The island is also a top dining destination—and no wonder. Coronado bursts with fresh and local cuisines, including dishes that give diners an elevated, elegant experience. Coronado isn’t necessarily the place to go for visitors who prefer the familiarity and comfort of chain restaurants. That said, many places do serve traditional fare, and they can be budget-friendly.
It’s easy to get around Coronado without driving. Many visitors do exactly this to avoid parking hassles. They walk, bike, use scooters or sign up for tours that provide transportation. The following activities are favorites of many San Diego locals and visitors:
- Taking walking tours (several tours per week leave from the Glorietta Bay Inn)
- Enjoying Coronado Central Beach with its wide, shimmery sand and surfing
- Biking the 15+ miles of oceanside and bayside bike paths
- Strolling through downtown and appreciating nearby homes and architectural styles
- Shopping at the Ferry Landing Marketplace
- Visiting the historic Hotel Del Coronado
If you are looking to save some money while visiting Coronado and enjoying all the activities that it has to offer consider purchasing the San Diego Go Pass. With the Go Pass you will gain access to 50 over attractions and activities including a 90 minutes kayak rental, full day bike rental, stand up paddle board rental and even entrance into the San Diego Zoo. You can save up to 55% off of regular admission prices and if you purchase the San Diego Go Pass with our link you will get an additional discount.
Many tourists stay overnight at the Hotel Del Coronado. If you don’t, you can still dine there and check out the historic exhibits downstairs. The hotel has plenty of seaside restaurants as well. For example, you can go casual with a "taco shack" meal, sample several mouthwatering sea-to-table dishes or enjoy casual, gourmet fare.
Coronado Island is a can’t-miss spot to visit while you’re in San Diego. If at all possible, stay on the island during your trip. Of course, it’s understandable if the many charms of San Diego lure you elsewhere.
Fortunately, Coronado Island is accessible to day-trippers. Take the ferry over to swim, bike, walk, fish or kayak. If you do get a hotel room (or camping spot) on the island, mainland San Diego is an easy hop and skip away, thanks to the ferry, bridge and taxis. Enjoy Balboa Park, a Padres game at Petco Park and the San Diego Zoo. Back on Coronado, more than 15 miles of biking trails await, and the island has the best fresh seafood in the San Diego area.