Situated just across the bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado is consistently voted best beach in the U.S. by Dr. Beach. With gentle surf, sparkling wide-sand beaches, charming main street and great hotels, including the famous Hotel del Coronado, this island paradise is perfect for a family vacation or romantic getaway.
Coronado's coastline offers wide sandy beaches with sparkling sand, courtesy of the mineral Mica, that draw visitors from around the world. With its elegant gardens, old-world mansions, quaint shops, and oceanfront dining with spectacular sunset views, no wonder this charmed small town has been dubbed "The Crown City," as Coronado means "the crowned one" in Spanish.
Spend the day relaxing on the beach or rent a bike and tour the island via Coronado's beachfront boardwalk. Take a stroll down Orange Avenue, Coronado's main artery, which is lined with shops, restaurants, galleries, theaters and the Coronado Museum of History & Art. At the other end of the island, Coronado's Ferry Landing offers a collection of more than 20 shops, art galleries and restaurants boasting stunning views of San Diego's downtown skyline. Flagship Cruises also offers low cost ferry service from the landing across the bay to Seaport Village on the edge of downtown.
Beyond the beach, Coronado features countless outdoor recreational pursuits including sailing, stand-up paddling, surfing, kayaking, and Venetian gondola cruises. There's also top-rate golf on Coronado's Public Golf Course, described as "a gem I consider the best value in the United States" by Golf Digest writer Matt Ginella. Locals and visitors alike also love the popular Coronado Flower Show, held each spring since 1922.
And no trip to Coronado would be complete without a visit to the legendary Hotel del Coronado. Built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark, the hotel has a fascinating and colorful past, which includes presidents and princes, socialites and scandals, ghosts and glamorous celebrities. It's also widely believed to have been the inspiration for the Emerald City in L. Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz" as the author spent many winters at the oceanfront hotel.