Coronado—also called Coronado Island—is a city actually located at the end of an isthmus just across the bay from the city of San Diego, and connected to it by a scenic bridge that is just over two miles long. Without this bridge, the drive from the city is more than fifteen miles south and then north along "The Strand" causeway that stretches along eight miles of pristine beaches including Silver Strand State Beach. Things to do on Coronado Island are heavily weighted towards the beaches and the ocean, with sailing and surfing high on the list.


A large portion of Coronado is occupied by Halsey Field and its North Island Naval Air Station as well as the Naval Amphibious Base. One of the unusual facts about Coronado concerns the latter. One of the structures here is a complex of six buildings designed and constructed during the late 1960s. It wasn't until the wide accessibility of satellite views of the earth that the public became aware in 2006 that these buildings form a perfect swastika when seen from the air. After some uproar, the Navy has agreed to modify and camouflage this shape. While the oddity is interesting, this is not one of the attractions of the island, and the base is not open to the public. For things to do on Coronado Island near the base, you might consider golf. There are two 18-hole courses here. One is the Sea N Air Course, which is open only to active and retired military and their dependents. The other is the Coronado Municipal Course, with some of the lowest greens fees in all of Southern California. The problem is being able to secure a tee time. If you'd like to get in a round on this scenic course, it is suggested you make arrangements as far in advance as possible.

Coronado Island Beach Rentals
Coronado Island Beach Rentals

Things to do on Coronado Island include some of the city's annual events and festivals. The Coronado Flower Festival has been held here every April since 1925. You are apt to see an entry from the famous Carlsbad Flower Fields during this show. It is largest show of its kind in the Western United States, and is held in Spreckles Park right in the center of the village. For the rest of the year, the park is a great place for family picnics, and the Summer Concert Series is held in the gazebo. Other things to do in Coronado include cycling, and the long causeway along the Strand is particularly good for this. Many of the hotels will have bicycle rentals available, and there are several rental shops in the village. The Coronado Island Arts Center is a respected performing arts facility in the region. You can get tickets for everything from the silky jazz of Kenny G to a comedy show with Cheech and Chong.

Coronado vacations became popular with the opening of the now famous Hotel del Coronado in 1888. Called "The Del" by locals, this classic Victorian seaside resort is part of the history of the city, and is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It is one of the best of the luxury Coronado hotels, and boasts a full-service spa, fitness center, fine dining spots, swimming pools, and its own long stretch of private beach. Today, tourism is an essential Coronado Island industry, and several other luxury resorts and hotels will be found here. This is a small island with a limited number of accommodations. If you want to visit during the peak season and holidays, you should make arrangements in advance. You can still enjoy the scenic beauty of the island if you're staying across the bay. It's an excellent day trip by car, and you can take the ferry from the Maritime Museum pier and from Embarcadero Park.

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