Unwind at the Relaxing and Unique Coronado Island

Advisor - Brittany Merryman
Curated By

Brittany Merryman

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  • Domestic Travel

  • USA

  • California

  • San Diego

  • Nature Escapes

  • Island

  • Outdoors

  • Sightseeing

Coronado Island travel guide.
Curator’s statement

Coronado Island, San Diego is a desirable location for locals and tourists alike. This small, unique location falls in the southernmost area in San Diego County. For me and my family, it's one of our most frequented weekend vacations. Appealing to couples, both young and grown, as well as families, we have been regular visitors of this island from a young dating couple to now bringing our young children. This location offers beautiful ocean and bay views along with an endless list of sports and activities for active travelers. From biking, surfing, hiking and paddle boarding to sunset walks and downtown strolls, Coronado Island has something to offer to all of its visitors. I can't wait to set you up to experience the wonders of this island for yourself!

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Where to stay

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Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton

A San Diego icon with its signature red turrets and a mix of traditional Victorian and more contemporary rooms.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa

With views of the San Diego skyline and Coronado Bridge, this hotel is ideally situated to provide easy access to local attractions while also offering the perfect premise to lounge back, swim in the pool as you enjoy a staycation.

1906 Lodge

A meticulously restored 1906 Lodge hotel has been a welcoming presence on San Diego’s Coronado Island for well over a century.

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Advisor - Brittany Merryman

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Day 1: An Evening out on the Town

Unwind at the Relaxing and Unique Coronado Island - Day 1: An Evening out on the Town

After checking into your hotel, you will likely want to explore the property and become familiar with what is near by. If you plan to rent any equipment such as surfboards, paddle-boards, bikes, etc., you will want to work with your concierge (or me before your trip!) to ensure those are all planned and prepped.

After settling in and getting comfortable at in your room or suite, dinner and drinks should sound pretty good. One of the best things about Coronado Island is the variety of options available to you. On Night 1 of travel, I tend to keep my dining more casual and easy. If you feel the same, Miguel's Cocina offers delicious Mexican food, with such an inviting and fun vibe. If you are a fan, the queso dip is a must and most thing on the menu. After an enjoyable dinner, and maybe a margarita or two, you can hit the streets to walk off those enchiladas, and find your way to numerous bars all offering a different atmosphere.

One of my favorite things to do (when we travel without the little ones) is to chat in the bars with locals and enjoy the company of those around us. The other great thing about this destination is the walkability of everything around! There is no need to drive, you can walk from the hotel to food/drink easily. After a night of chatting with the locals, we find our way back to our hotel.

Day 2: Island Activities

Coronado Island travel guide.

For us Day 2 is typically a more active day on the Island. There is nothing quite like running along the beach in the still of the morning, taking in the rising sun and listening to the crashing waves. If you are a dedicated athlete, runner or biker, there is a path that can take you all the way to Imperial Beach, where Katie's Café is a must stop. For some, this morning might be a book with a cup of coffee in the sand or overlooking the bay, for others it might be sleeping in with those hotel black out curtains! Whichever type of morning you suits your taste, you will be more than pleased with the many options for breakfast, either included at the hotel or at the surrounding cafe's and restaurants!

There are many options to fill your day on the island today. You may opt for walking the town and shopping in the many boutique shops, where you can find unique home décor, clothing and even toys/souvenirs for the kids. If shopping isn't your ideal day, or maybe doesn't take up as much time, you can take that bike ride you might have missed while sleeping in, or grab that surf board rental. One of my favorite ways to spend a day in Coronado is with a paddle-board in the bay. The bay offers calm water where you can simply enjoy being on the board and make the activity as strenuous or relaxing as you wish. Of course there is always the option to put your feet up at the beach with your sun hat and book, maybe watch your kids play in the waves and collect sea shells, or for those adults only travelers, find your way to the hotel bar between laying out on the beach and walking along the water. You can end your day with a meal and venue of choice. From the casual atmosphere of McP's Irish Pub or the fine dining of Stake Chophouse & Bar, there will be something everyone can agree on.

Day 3: San Diego Day Trip

A huge tomb during the sunset

Depending on your length of stay and desire for the trip, you can easily spend a day taking advantage of all there is to do in the surrounding area's of Coronado Island. Of course, enjoying the beach, shops, restaurants and hotel amenities is always an option, and often that's all we do on these trips! However, if you are looking to explore more of San Diego, there is so much to offer.

For the adults only, you may be interested in Downtown's lively Gaslamp Quarter, both for day time city walks or exciting night life. There are also some wineries nearby, though some on the island, you can find more a short drive away. Also nearby for those traveling with younger kids, are the family memory making attractions of the San Diego Zoo & Safari Park, Lego Land and Sea World. A family favorite of mine when when I was growing up is Belmont Park! This park brings a carnival feel, with The Big Dipper Roller Coaster, sure to please the older kids, and many other smaller carnival or fair-type rides. There are also food vendors selling cotton candy and popcorn. You could spend hours people watching or enjoying the attractions yourself! If you make it back to Coronado Island with enough time, swinging by MooTime Creamery is a must do if you have a sweet tooth. The line does get long, but its worth the wait. So many options to satisfy that ice cream craving after a long day soaking up the sun and adventuring through San Diego.

Day 4: Endless Ocean Views

Coronado Island travel guide.

As a visitor to Coronado, I hope its clear that your stay could be anything from a short weekend getaway to a weeklong vacation. For myself and my family, our stay would usually end here or on day 5. I don't like to waste a moment of time with the ocean views when we are here, so you'll find me taking in the serene moments of peace and quiet out by the ocean.

With an oceanfront balcony, this is a step away with coffee in hand, for other rooms on the property, no more than a short walk to the sand. You'll find it hard to leave such a beautiful location, and thinking of planning your next trip back before you have even left! We'll usually enjoy a sit down meal on this day and linger downtown browsing before we head home. You can see from the many options described and outlined in my guide, you can make this trip exactly what you want, for the length you desire! I feel as if I have only scratched the surface when it comes to all there is to see and do on the wonderful island of Coronado. The food and drink options feel endless, along with ways to experience the magic of this beautiful destination.

Need to Know

Advisor - Brittany Merryman

Travel Advisor

Brittany Merryman

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