Coronado, California-a must see SoCal destination

Things to do in Coronado, CA


12/2/20225 min read

There are multiple reasons why we are addicted to this destination:

Kathy and I have birthdays in April just three days apart, so to celebrate we usually book a little getaway as our gift to each other. One of our favorite places to visit every few years is Coronado Beach in California. Approximately a 6.5 hour drive from the Phoenix area (depending on coffee and pee stops of course), this long stretch of white sand beach and cute SoCal beach town is Indisputably a must see.

It's Rejuvenating
Sunset at Coronado Beach
Sunset at Coronado Beach

My love of the coast began in my childhood. I grew up in Chula Vista just 20 minutes from Coronado's oasis of sand and waves. It was the one place my grandma, who was raising me and my four siblings, could afford to take us kids on those warm, restless summer days. It was here, as I sat crossed-legged digging in the sand, that the soul of the universe connected with my soul and we've had a deep relationship ever since. I can't step on a beach without feeling rejuvenated. Kathy and I both adore a good beach and Coronado is definitely that..

You too will find a peaceful calm come over you if you don't go during crowded times and do this:

  1. Let go of your daily worries

  2. Breathe in the fresh salty air

  3. Take off your shoes and let the sand massage the soles of your feet

  4. .Let the warm sun kiss your skin

  5. Listen to the soothing crash of the waves and hear the voice of the Universe

It's Romantic

As a teen, while watching a sunset on Coronado Beach and listening to some friends discuss how the landmark Hotel Del Coronado was a favorite venue for weddings, I proclaimed "If I ever decide to get married, I would want it to be here on this beach, in the sand."

Fast forward almost 4 decades-2014,

Kathy and I chose California, and specifically Coronado beach to become legally married. Arizona was not yet onboard with gay marriage at that time and it wasn't nationally legal either. We had a magical wedding, with our friends and family attending, on the sands of Coronado. It was free, it was simple, it was destiny!

But you don't need our special experiences with this area to find it romantic. Just take your favorite beverage down to the beach, throw down a blanket, or set up some chairs, hold hands, and take in a spectacular sunset.

It Has A Variety Of Accommodations

Whether you want to take your RV, stay in a B&B, or go to a landmark hotel, this quaint little island and town has it all. We have stayed at the Glorietta Bay Inn, a charming hotel overlooking the marina and we have camped at Silver Strand State Park. This wasn't a fancy campground but we could walk out our door and onto the beach in just 5 steps, any time of the day or evening.

We love the blue skies, the steady rhythm of white-capped waves breaking on the shore, the tiny sandpipers scuttling in and out with the wave action. The air is always fresh and breezy. Almost too cool and breezy in April

It's A Great Place To Bike Or Walk
Bike ride in Coronado
Bike ride in Coronado

Rent bikes and roam around this quaint little island and town. Bike past the golf course and down to Centennial Park overlooking the San Diego skyline, and then cycle through the neighborhoods and along Coronado Beach.

The homes and gardens are amazing! Gardens and flowers explode in color -- brilliant pink and yellow roses the size of desert plates, coral trees with orange blossoms, and hedges of crimson bougainvillea. Kathy is always thrilled to see her personal favorite the Bird of Paradise everywhere. There are loads of vibrant flowers that could not survive our desert heat. I am so envious.

Kathy and I fantasize about which one of these pricey homes will be ours when we make it big. Nothing too large or pretentious of course. When we pass a local realtor's office and see that most of Coronado's homes are million /multi-million dollar homes, we roll our eyes and tell each other "We better make it REALLY big!!"

Its Shops And Restaurants
Coronado, CA
Coronado, CA

We prefer walking Coronado's main drag, Orange Avenue, browsing in the shops, and snacking. Since we visit here every so often, Kathy and I have a few favorite spots to grab a bite.

We've eaten at Miguel’s Cocina on Orange Avenue, a block from the beach, a couple of times. This time we sat outside for lunch. Our chips and queso and shared plate of chicken enchiladas were served at a table on a side street lined with blooming orchid trees. We watched a hummingbird dart about enjoying a springtime feast. The weather was perfect. It was enchanting.

Later, we ate some fantastic Gelato at Nado Gelato on C street. Kathy was thrilled with her heavenly combination which had caramel and small bits of chocolate and nuts. I had the coffee gelato made with real espresso beans.

Whatever your taste is, we're sure you can find a yummy menu and atmosphere. Plus there's always the beach a couple blocks away to take a picnic or snack to. You don't have to blow your budget.

Coronado is one of those unique towns where things change, yet nothing seems to change. It's a familiar friend from my youth. Yet it's not a complete utopia unless you do it right. Weekends and summer can be super crowded, when the Naval base lets out around 3:30 PM, the traffic is pretty intense, and housing is crazy-expensive. Most homes don't have much of a backyard or a garage. But if you visit on weekdays in the quieter seasons and walk or bike everywhere, it is the quintessential California beach town experience. Plus the entire city of Coronado - including its streets, alleys, sidewalks and parking lots - is smoke-free, so fill your lungs with that fresh ocean air!

There's a whole world to explore just outside your front door!