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While it’s often referred to as “Coronado Island,” Coronado is actually a peninsula with San Diego Bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Despite the fact that it’s a peninsula, Coronado lives up to its nickname by giving off a relaxed island atmosphere. It’s full of beautiful beaches, quaint shops, and accessible bike paths.
Coronado is also home to the Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. The military areas accounts for more than half of the space on the peninsula.
Coronado reachable by car or ferry from downtown San Diego, and once you’re there you’ll feel like you’re far away from it all.
Here’s your quick travel guide for what to do on a day trip in Coronado, California.
Rent a Bike and Explore Coronado
Once you arrive in Coronado, a great way to get around is by bike. The town is full of bike paths and you’ll get a much better sense of the area than sitting in the car. Biking around is a great way to explore Coronado on a day trip.
There are a number of places to rent bikes, such as Holland’s Bikes and Beyond at the Coronado Ferry Landing. You can rent a bike by the hour, half day, or full day, depending on your plans.
There is a paved bike path that runs from the ferry landing over to Coronado Tidelands Park, where there are also picnic tables, a skate park, and play areas. When the bike path ends, you can continue riding along the streets of the peninsula.
Cruise along the bay and admire the historic homes, quaint beach cottages, and modern abodes that line the roads. Explore the different parts of Coronado, such as the ferry landing, parks, and the downtown area, bustling with shops and restaurants. Pause whenever you like to take a rest or enjoy the view.
Grab Lunch at the Brewery
Once you’ve worked up an appetite biking around, pause for lunch at Coronado Brewing Company. The brewery has three locations in the San Diego area. The one in Coronado is located right along Orange Avenue, the main street in Coronado.
The brewpub offers a wide variety of beers from lagers and IPAs to amber ales and wheat beers. With pub favorites and beyond, there’s something for everyone on the food menu as well. Grab whichever pint looks enticing and don’t miss out on the carne asada fries.
The Coronado Brewing Company is open daily and located at 170 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118.
Check Out the Famous Hotel del Coronado
The city of Coronado is perhaps best known for its historic beachfront hotel.
The Hotel del Coronado is a California institution. The hotel was built in 1888 in the Victorian beach resort style. It’s a National Historic Landmark that has played host to royalty, celebrities, and political figures over the years.
The hotel has been featured in many books and movies, and legend has it that one of the rooms is haunted. Whether you’re drawn to old Hollywood glamour, the historic architecture, or the local legend, make sure to pay a visit to this local landmark.
The Hotel del Coronado is located at 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118.
Relax on the Beach
Coronado is known for having some of the best beaches in San Diego.
After a few hours of sightseeing, grab a spot on the sand and relax. There are small beach areas on the bay, while there are larger stretches of shoreline the ocean side of the peninsula.
On the San Diego Bay, there are beaches next to the Coronado Ferry Landing. These beaches are on the smaller side, but they’re conveniently located near the ferry landing area, which is full of shops and restaurants. There is no fee to use these beaches.
On the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula, there’s Coronado Beach. Coronado Beach is a larger, longer stretch of shoreline. There are beach volleyball courts, an area for dogs, and plenty of room to spread out and relax.
Coronado beach is a public beach, so there is no fee to use it. The beach is located along Ocean Boulevard (100 Ocean Blvd, Coronado, CA 92118).
How to Get to Coronado and How to Get Around the Peninsula
To get to Coronado, you can take the ferry or drive from San Diego, which is about two to three hours from Los Angeles, depending on traffic.
The ferry between San Diego and Coronado takes about 15 minutes. Ferries depart San Diego from either the Convention Center (600 Convention Way, San Diego CA 92101) or Broadway Pier (990 N. Harbor Drive San Diego CA 92101) and arrive at the Coronado Ferry Landing (1201 First Street, Coronado CA 9211). Tickets for the ferry are $5.00 one way. Ferries run daily and depart each hour.
To reach Coronado by car, take the I-5 and exit at CA-75 for the Coronado Bridge. This will lead you onto Pomona Avenue, which turns into Third Street. Once you arrive, it’s best to find a place to park and leave your car there.
The main street in Coronado is Orange Avenue, which connects the ocean side with the bay side. Other major streets in Coronado are Third Street and Fourth Street, which connect to the Coronado Bridge.
Once you’re in Coronado, the best way to get around is by bike or on foot. You’ll be able to see more with a bike, but exploring on foot can work too. It’s just more than a mile from the bay side to the ocean side of the peninsula on Orange Avenue, but there are lots of small streets and bike paths to enjoy as well.
If you’re in southern California and in search of a quick day trip, pay a visit to Coronado. With different areas to explore, delicious food, and relaxed atmosphere, it’s a wonderful place to spend the day. Cheers!