Along Ocean Boulevard and
1800 Avenida de las Arenas
City of Coronado: (619) 522-7300
Hours: 6 AM - 11 PM
Coronado Beach is often rated as one of the best beaches in California. The wide expanse of glittering sand along the ocean side of the island is a favorite destination for beach-goers year-round. Surprisingly, Coronado Beach is usually not as crowded as some other Sand Diego area beaches.
The beach is generally separated into three main sections - North Beach (which includes a designated Dog Beach), Central Coronado Beach where the main lifeguard tower stands, and South Beach on down toward Coronado Shores. Visitors most often praise the clean sand, the warm water, and beautiful scenery.
Little specks of mica in the sand make the beach sparkle as if it were dusted with gold. Coupled with the backdrop of the famed Hotel del Coronado and visitors feel as if they have arrived at some place slightly magical. The waves are usually fairly tame and the water warm enough for swimming. Volleyball nets are located near the main lifeguard tower. Most of the fire pits are located at the north end of the beach.
A long promenade behind a low seawall extends along the edge of the sand making a a convenient course for those who want to enjoy the beach without plodding through sand. The promenade has many access points along its 1.8-mile length from Coronado Shores north to the Naval Air Station. At the foot of F Avenue a concrete path leads across the sand to the main lifeguard tower and adjoining restroom.
The famous Hotel del Coronado stands on the edge of Coronado Beach. The wooden Victorian beach resort opened in 1888, boasting 399 rooms, making it the largest resort in the world. Soon after it opened the Spreckels family took over sole ownership and operated the hotel until 1948.
Hotel del Coronado
Among the amenities at the hotel were a yacht club, a Japanese tea garden, an Olympic-size salt-water pool, a bowling alley, and an ostrich farm. Famous guests have ranged from Presidents Harrison, Taft and Wilson to movie-stars Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn, and Douglas Fairbanks. More recent guests include Madonna, Barbra Streisand, and George Harrison.
The hotel is been modernized and continues to operate. It was recently valued at over half a billion dollars.
The north end of Coronado Beach adjacent to Sunset Park has been designated as a Dog Beach where owners can turn their pets loose to romp in the sand and waves. Dogs must be walked on leash from cars to the beach and then monitor them once they are released on the dog beach. Bags for cleaning up after the dogs as available as is a dog washing station. The beach is open 24 hours a day. Many rate this dog beach as the best in the San Diego area.
Most of the parking in Coronado is at metered street spaces, however, there are free spaces along Ocean Boulevard near the Central Beach area. Naturally they fill quickly. Metered parking is usually 25 cents per hour, often with a 2-hour limit. Meters are not enforced after 6 PM Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday and holidays.
Coronado Plaza at 1330 Orange Avenue has an underground parking garage where you can park for $12 per day.
MTS Routes 901 and 904 serve Coronado. Route 901 buses run from downtown San Diego over the bridge and makes a loop on 3rd and 4th streets before heading out Orange Avenue and down Silver Strand Boulevard to Imperial Beach. During the summer the 904 shuttle bus crosses the island every hour from 10 AM to 6 PM, traveling from the Ferry Landing to the Hotel del Coronado (except Sundays).
Metropolitan Transit System Trip Planner
Glorietta Bay Park is directly opposite Coronado Beach on the bay side of the island. The two-acre park has a small-craft launch ramp and a broad expanse of lawn. A small sandy beach makes a nice place for sun-bathing and wading. Visitors enjoy views of the San Diego - Coronado Bridge and nearby boat harbor.
Facilities there include a free parking lot, playground, bike trail, picnic tables, and restrooms. The park is open from 5 AM to 11 PM. Dogs are not allowed in the park.
California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety