Looking for great ideas for playtime in Coronado? Our little island town is chalk full of fun things to do. Whether you’re traveling with kids in tow, headed our way for a romantic getaway or checking out Coronado homes for sale, you’ll find opportunities for memory making on just about every corner. Better yet? These tried and true Coronado activities are all about maximum fun without a big price tag.
Grab your bike or best boat-going threads and head to The Coronado Ferry. The ferry departs from The Coronado Ferry Landing on First Street. The 15-minute boat ride is a great way to enjoy San Diego’s world famous bay. Choose the Broadway Pier or the Convention Center for disembarking and enjoy the day in downtown San Diego. Or ride your bike along the bay and stop for lunch at Anthony’s Fish Grotto. Then grab the ferry home, all fare-free, courtesy of the City of Coronado!
Who doesn’t like a night out at the movies? Especially when it’s at the newly renovated Coronado Village Theatre, a gorgeous Art Deco-styled picture house with three theatres, each with their own stunning 3-D murals depicting San Diego, the bay and Coronado landmarks. And before the movie, grab a quick gourmet signature hot dog at the new Deluxe Dogs restaurant on Orange Avenue, home to some killer good french fries, too. (The 50/50 tots are not to be missed!)
There’s no shortage of sunshine in Coronado so taking to the water is always a popular choice. Seaforth Boat Rentals offers jet ski waverunners, sailboats, power boats, kayaks, and paddle boards for day long fun on Glorietta Bay. You can motor, paddle or sail past the shores of the Coronado Golf Course and pass under the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge for views of the famous San Diego harbor. You’ll also find plenty of beach spots to pull over and picnic along the golf course side of the island and at Tidelands Park just beyond the bridge. Upon your return, enjoy a wonderful “turf or surf” meal at the historic Coronado Boathouse, established in 1887.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, every Sunday you can pack a picnic and join friends for a free, outdoor concert at Spreckles Park. Set up your outdoor dining area under the shade trees of this beautiful public park and stage a “progressive” picnic. The performers range from rock’n’roll, to country and blue grass, to jazz – and even the Marine Corps concert band. Here’s the Coronado Concert in the Park Schedule for 2012.
Folks begin setting up around 4:30-5:00 for the 6:00 concert and current city regulations allow for wine during the evening. It’s best to walk or bicycle to the park since available parking spots are far and few between. It’s always a great evening watching happy children dancing around the gazebo, along with their parents or grandparents in tow.
Search out the best organic fruit and vegetables or other locally grown produce at the Coronado Farmers Market, held each Tuesday from 2:30-6:00 at the Coronado Ferry Landing on First Street. Fresh flowers abound and you can stock up on delectable produce for the week. After visiting the great farmer stands, walk down to the public beach on the bayside of the Ferry Landing shops and enjoy your hand-picked choices. Boney’s market is nearby and features a ton of other whole, organic foods and beverages. You can easily swing by to round up the trimmings for a totally healthful (and local) picnic.
Walk the best beach in the U.S. (we don’t make this stuff up!) starting in front of the Hotel del Coronado. Stroll all the way down to the beginning of North Island Naval Air Station for breathtaking views, incredible ocean breezes and the sand in your toes. You can pickup shells and sand dollars along the way and watch for dolphins and seals (The Navy Seals train early in the morning if that’s the kind of spotting you’re after!). By the time you’ve returned back to the hotel, pop in to the Babcock and Story Bar for refreshments. The watering hole is a favorite of guests and locals for its margaritas, wines, espressos and delicious light fare.
If you’re a night owl and looking for an evening out of the ordinary, go grunion hunting! California grunions (member of the silverside fish family about 6” long) leave the ocean to spawn on four consecutive nights of full and new moons after high tide. The “grunion runs” sound like folklore but actually do happen. If you’re lucky enough to be in the right spot when they come up from the waves, you’ll be treated to the site of thousands of shimmering fish creating nesting sites in the sand. And even if it’s very late, and the sight of all those fish has made you hungry, visit the Night and Day Café on Orange Avenue. It’s an all-night diner that’s been feeding Coronadans since 1927. And FYI, it serves breakfast all day!
The Silver Strand bike path is a great place to scorch calories and check out the southern side of the island. Start at the Coronado Yacht Club, take a quick peek at the great murals on the boardwalk of the Coronado City Hall, stop along the way at scenic bayside overlooks to watch shorebirds, and continue to the Coronado Cays before turning around. If you’re looking for a fun way to check out Coronado Shores condos for sale or Coronado Cays properties, why not do this on an open house day?
It’s a little over 5 miles to the Cays and if you’re looking for more of a workout, the bike path continues all the way to Imperial Beach and South Bay. (You can even circle the entire San Diego Bay on bicycle and return to Coronado via the San Diego-Coronado Ferry). After the ride, a great spot for a late breakfast or early lunch is Clayton’s. Clayton’s is Coronado’s beloved vintage diner that serves up great All American breakfasts and Mexican Food take-out food from the back.
Grab the tennis shoes and enjoy a number of walking tours in the Village. The Coronado Historical Association hosts two great tours throughout the week, each for $12 per person. One docent-led tour features a 90-minute walk of the historic Hotel del Coronado. The Heritage Walk, also 90 minutes and led by a Coronado Historical Association volunteer, explores the famous architecture and residents of the island. A third option is the popular Coronado Walking Tour which offers an excellent opportunity to tour historic landmarks of the island and departs from The Glorietta Bay Inn (the former mansion of John D. Spreckles). It is an hour-and-a-half long walk and costs $12 for adults.
For a completely free work out (no gym fees!) visit the Coronado Tidelands Park on the San Diego bay side of the island. You can strap on roller blades and skate through the park and around the bay to the Coronado Ferry Landing. Or grab a bench overlooking the water and enjoy panoramic views of the San Diego Coronado Bay Bridge and watch sailboats, paddle boarders and kayakers. If skates aren’t your thing, the south side of the park has a free public exercise area complete with calisthenics stations for head-to-toe work out drills.
Coronado’s the place to be for picturesque views, plenty of outdoor activities, charming eateries and some very happy locals. We welcome the opportunity to show you more about this little slice of heaven we call home!