Coronado Island

Enjoy the local breweries and sidewalk cafés before venturing to one of the beaches where you can walk the boardwalk, play a game of beach volleyball, bike, fish, surf, paddle board, or take a day to tour the museums and have a picnic.
Coronado
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Coronado Island
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Hotel del Coronado
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Breweries & Beach Fun on Coronado Island

Coronado Bay Bridge from CoronadoTent City Restaurant in Coronado

To make your San Diego trip as special as possible, check out Coronado Island. Even better, stay right on the island…ahem…peninsula. That’s right, Coronado technically isn’t an island. The Silver Strand, a thin strip, connects it to the mainland. Few people pay that much mind, though. Call the place Coronado Island, and enjoy all it has to offer.

Take the Coronado Ferry over, and you’re in for a treat right away. From the ferry landing, you can take in the sights of the San Diego skyline and the Gaslamp Quarter. Of course, Coronado offers much more than great views of San Diego, the bay and the Pacific Ocean. It teems with beaches, including Coronado Central Beach with its shimmery, gold sand, courtesy of the mineral mica. Dog lovers adore North Beach (the Coronado Dog Beach), where dogs can roam leash-free. Altogether, Coronado’s beaches offer a remarkable mix of walking, sunbathing, camping, kayaking and swimming opportunities.

Many folks recommend a walking tour as the best way to get to know Coronado. If you’re here on a day trip, a tour may be the best use of your time since you get to see sites such as the historic Hotel Del Coronado, downtown Coronado, the Ferry Landing Marketplace and Coronado Central Beach. For a quicker way to see the island, hop onto a bike. Rentals are plentiful. You can get a bike at multiple downtown and ferry landing sites.

Are you torn about whether to stay in Coronado or in mainland San Diego? The truth is, you really can’t beat Coronado, whether you camp there or stay at the Hotel Del Coronado, the Coronado Island Marriott Resort or one of the many excellent lodging spots.

Coronado Island isn’t worlds away from the heart of San Diego. You can still easily access San Diego attractions such as the convention center, Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and Gaslamp Quarter while enjoying the laid-back, cozy and historic feel of Coronado.

For example, mainland San Diego is an easy ferry ride away or a quick drive over the iconic Coronado bridge. Alternatively, you can take a water taxi or explore south into Imperial Beach. The ferry runs frequently, and bicycles and Segways are allowed onboard.

Coronado Island
Why you'll love Coronado
Take the hop on hop off bus to the boardwalk and beaches of Coronado Island. Go biking, paddle boarding, kayaking or fishing and enjoy many local shops.

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USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
Explore the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum with your All-Inclusive Go Pass! Check out the hangar deck and flight deck, plus over 60 exhibits, displays and interactive experiences. Enjoy an authentic tour narrated by Midway sailors!
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Local Tips
What attractions are included with a Go Pass?

Attractions that you can visit with a Go San Diego Pass include:

The San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, Harbor Cruise, USS Midway Museum, the NAT Museum, Whaley House, PETCO Park Tour, iFLY San Diego and many, many more!

Things to Do

Beach Fire Pits
Beach Fire Pits
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Biking
Biking
Boat Launch
Boat Launch
Fishing
Fishing
Kayaking
Kayaking
Museums
Museums
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Sailing
Sailing
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming

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.

Beaches of Coronado Island

Coronado Central Beach

It's impossible to go wrong with any of Coronado Island's beaches, but Coronado Central Beach is arguably the best. It sprawls along Ocean Boulevard for 1.5 miles with fun and gentle surfing. Head out at dawn for the best waves.

North Beach (Dog Run Beach)

If your dog travels with you, check out North Beach, also called the Dog Run Beach. Fido can run leash-free while you enjoy the views of Point Loma and the great Pacific Ocean. To wear out your dog even more, play Frisbee and toss a trusty ball around. Swimming, sunbathing, walking and surfing are available here as well.

Local Tips
Find a sunken ship on Coronado Island
In 1937 the SS Monte Carlo was anchored off the coast of San Diego and was being used as an offshore gambling ship in order to bypass local laws. On the evening of New Year's Eve a strong storm broke the anchors and the ship drifted ashore to South Beach in Coronado.

Coronado Shores Beach

A third notable beach is Coronado Shores Beach, also called South Beach. It's within walking distance of Central Beach and is less crowded. Another bonus: You can fly kites on Coronado Shores Beach. Because of the Naval Air Base, flying objects are otherwise a no-no on Coronado Island’s beaches.

Silver Strand State Beach

If camping with San Diego Bay view’s sounds appealing, head to Silver Strand State Beach. You can fish the bay here but get a permit. Other popular activities at Silver Strand include kayaking, swimming and walking. If you prefer not to camp, Loews Coronado Bay Resort is within walking distance.

Glorietta Bay Park & Beach

Have kids? Consider Glorietta Bay Park & Beach with its playgrounds and opportunities for picnicking, biking, kayaking, swimming and building sandcastles. Another beach is the Coronado Ferry Landing Beach. After you get off the ferry, take in the great views of the San Diego skyline and the Gaslamp Quarter. Conveniently, the ferry stops close to Coronado Central Beach.

Featured Activity

Interact with Dolphins at SeaWorld San Diego
Visit SeaWorld San Diego
The world-famous SeaWorld San Diego is home to animal shows, roller coasters and other rides for the entire family. Enjoy encounters featuring the famed Orcas, dolphins and sea lions, or take a tour through the habitats.
Learn More

Museums and History on Coronado Island

Coronado has a fair measure of history and art to go along with its beaches. In fact, it’s downright historic.

The Spanish navigator Sebastian Vizcaino came up with the name “Los Coronados,” or “the crowned ones,” on November 8, 1602, for a group of islands and the Coronado peninsula. The name pays homage to four ancient Roman saints who died on the same date in 987.

Coronado is home to more than 85 historical sites, including the Victorian-style Hotel Del Coronado, which opened its doors in 1888. The hotel may or may not have a resident ghost. Either way, ghost lore is part of what gives the hotel its mystique. Various workers and guests talk about strange experiences that cannot be waved away. If you're a ghost lover, check into the hotel and see if you encounter the spirit of Kate Morgan, who killed herself in 1892. Downstairs, the hotel offers exhibits and more history for travelers even if they're not staying overnight.

In 1911, what is now the Naval Air Station North Island opened. The San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge followed on August 2, 1969. To learn more, visitors should check out the Coronado Museum of History and Art near Coronado Beach.

The island serves up unique perspectives of downtown San Diego. For example, suppose you take the Coronado Ferry from downtown. After you disembark, spectacular views of the bay and Gaslamp Quarter are right there. For the reverse effect, head to the top of the California Tower in Balboa Park on mainland San Diego. From the tower, you can see Coronado as well as shipyards, downtown buildings, Baja California in Mexico.

Featured Hotel
Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
Beachfront
Beachfront
Families
Families
Historic
Historic
4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
It doesn’t get any more iconic in San Diego than the Hotel Del Coronado. This luxury hotel is what other hotels strive to be. Treat yourself to this experience.
Prices Starting at $325
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Know Before You Go & Tips

Amazing Sunsets
Amazing Sunsets
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Cafes
Cafes
Museums
Museums
Parks
Parks
Shopping
Shopping
Walkable
Walkable

Tips for Visiting Coronado Island

Laid-back, beachy and historic describe the culture on Coronado Island. That may not be apparent at first, though.

For example, when visitors get off the Coronado Ferry, they see city views of the busy Gaslamp Quarter and downtown San Diego. However, it doesn’t take long to immerse yourself into Coronado. Coronado restaurants serve some of the best fresh seafood around, and hotels such as the Coronado Island Marriott Resort let guests customize their visit even more.

Beach-related activities such as swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, biking and walking offer hours of recreation. Other popular activities include golfing, shopping and dining.

Events and festivals on the peninsula include bike bar crawls, yoga for military service members and veterans, and the Crown City Classic July 4 run. Visitors and residents can easily travel to mainland San Diego for further offerings such as Padres baseball games, the 17 museums in Balboa Park, bird watching tours and whale watching tours.

Several companies offer Coronado-specific tours. Your morning itinerary might include the Hotel Del Coronado, the ferry landing and the golf course. In the afternoon and evening, you might lose yourself in the Coronado Ferry Landing Shops and take a gondola ride across the Coronado Cays.

Coronado Island
is Famous For:
Beaches
Beaches
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Parks
Parks
Sidewalk Cafés
Sidewalk Cafés
Known For:
Breweries
Breweries
Hop on Hop off Bus
Hop on Hop off Bus
Sunsets
Sunsets
Surfing
Surfing
Walkable
Walkable
This Month's Forecast
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September
Oct
63℉ / 78℉
Sunny in October
Nov
56℉ / 73℉
Sunny in November
Dec
51℉ / 68℉
Sunny in December

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Loews Coronado Bay Resort
Beachfront
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Loews Coronado Bay Resort
from $197 / night
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Glorietta Bay Inn
Boutique Hotel
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Glorietta Bay Inn
from $219 / night
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Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa
Bayfront
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa
from $256 / night
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Beach Village at The Del
Luxury Hotel
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Beach Village at The Del
from $911 / night
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1906 Lodge
Boutique Hotel
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
1906 Lodge
from $229 / night
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Coronado Beach Resort
Boutique Hotel
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Coronado Beach Resort
from $184 / night
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Cherokee Lodge
Boutique Hotel
2 Star Rating2 Star Rating
Cherokee Lodge
from $110 / night
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Hotel Marisol Coronado
Boutique Hotel
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Hotel Marisol Coronado
from $237 / night
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Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
Beachfront
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
from $325 / night
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