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Coronado Island Attractions

The exclusive beach community of Coronado is just across the bay from Downtown San Diego but feels worlds away.

It’s quiet and quaint, with beautiful tree-lined avenues and an old-fashioned vibe. It’s also a very popular resort destination thanks to the iconic Hotel Del Coronado® and it’s exclusive luxury enclave, Beach Village at the Del.

While many choose to check-in to these historic beachfront resorts (our top picks for the area), Coronado makes an excellent day or half-day trip on a San Diego itinerary.

On this page, I’ve collected my best Coronado travel tips, guides to Coronado Island attractions, and information about where to stay in Coronado, whether you’re traveling alone or with kids.

Coronado Travel Tips

If you’re staying in Downtown San Diego, you can get to this walkable island on the Coronado Ferry. You’ll enjoy a scenic 15-minute ride across the bay on the oldest working wood ferry in the country for just $5 each way

Coronado feels luxurious but there’s something here for everyone. There are wonderful beaches, miles of walking paths, a public golf course, and friendly sidewalk cafes, plus gorgeous views that don’t cost a thing to enjoy.

When you’re thinking about where to go in Coronado, the beaches may be front of mind. Just be aware that parking can be almost impossible during peak beach season. Your best bet will be to take an Uber, walk from your hotel, or arrive early if you have to drive.

You can find San Diego’s best brunch (plus bottomless champagne) in the Hotel Del Coronado’s Crown Room. There are carving stations, fresh seafood, house made charcuterie, impressive desserts, and a gourmet Bloody Mary bar.

One way to see more of the island and Coronado tourist attractions is to rent a bike. There are lots of bike rental shops on Orange Avenue, the Ferry Landing Marketplace, or the Hotel Del. If you’re visiting with a group, you can even rent four-wheel, multi-rider surreys.

Coronado restaurants serve everything from the freshest seafood to burgers, barbecue, and Baja cuisine. I’ve loved our meals at Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill, Saiko Sushi, and Lobster West Coronado.

If you want to see Coronado Island from a new angle, take a gondola ride. The Gondola Company offers relaxing and romantic gondola rides through the canals of the Coronado Cays and around the marina.

Where to Go in Coronado

There are lots of things to do in Coronado, whether you want to spend time outdoors, get pampered, or enjoy some local history and culture.

Of all the Coronado Island attractions, the Coronado beaches might be the very best. The long, sandy beaches on the island are some of the most beautiful in the country, though many tourists flock to Coronado Central Beach in front of the Hotel Del Coronado because it’s so broad and there’s plenty of room to spread out.

Plus, the resort makes a beautiful backdrop for fun in the sun and the sand actually glitters thanks to flecks of gold mica.

North Beach is sometimes called Coronado Dog Beach because four-legged friends are free to roam off-leash on the beach’s north end. Glorietta Bay Park beach is probably the best beach in Coronado for families with young children because it’s located in a protected spot in the bay and there’s a cute playground next to the sand.

You should also add the Coronado Museum of History and Art to your list of must-see Coronado, CA attractions. It’s small but has permanent exhibits and changing displays that showcase the art, architecture, history, and life of the neighborhood since the 1880s.

More tips about where to go in Coronado:

  • Head to the Hotel Del Coronado for a 90-minute walking tour through the resort
  • Take advantage of cabana, cabanette, and lounge chair rentals at Del Beach
  • Hit the tide pools at low tide to see sea anemones, hermit crabs, and sand dollars
  • Walk out during the lowest point in the tide to the SS Monte Carlo, Coronado’s own shipwreck
  • Head to Seaforth Boat Rentals if you want to kayak, sail, or jet ski
  • Take a lesson with Coronado Surfing Academy
  • Play a round at the Coronado Golf Course
  • Stroll down Orange Avenue for the best shopping on the island
  • Visit Ferry’s Landing on Tuesdays to shop the Coronado Farmers Market
  • Take photos under the picturesque Coronado Bridge
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth at Coronado’s MooTime Creamery.

Tips About Where to Stay in Coronado

Coronado makes a perfect home base for travelers who want access to everything San Diego has to offer without the hustle and bustle.

The most famous hotel in Coronado is arguably the beautiful and historic Hotel del Coronado, but there are several other hotels in Coronado. I’m also a fan of the four-diamond Loews Coronado Bay Resort on the Silver Strand.

If you are booking Hotel Del Coronado or Beach Village at the Del, keep in mind that I have access to exclusive VIP amenities as an Independent Affiliate of Cadence® Travel that include extras like complimentary breakfasts, room upgrades, spa credits, and other perks you would otherwise not have access to on your own. For all other hotels, you may save by bundling attraction tickets and your stay in a vacation package.

If you’re a fan of this neighborhood, what are your best tips for visiting Coronado, CA?