San Diego Stay-cation: Coronado

For those of you who live in San Diego but can’t get away for a major trip (we hope we aren’t the only ones!), look to this stay-cation guide for advice. We’ll be coming out with weekly San Diego Stay-cation Guides for the towns of Coronado, Solana Beach, Julian, Pacific Beach, Downtown San Diego and Borrego. Check back for ways to explore your own city!


Coronado Island is one of San Diego’s nicest areas. Known as The Crown City, the town was founded in 1885 and quickly became a beautiful resort town with its Hotel del Coronado (built in 1888) and its Tent City (built in 1900). Today, it’s one of the most expensive areas to live in the US and its Coronado Beach was listed as the best beach in the US (by the Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research in 2012). Basically, this is a great place to relax on your stay-cation!

San Diego Stay-cation: Coronado! From The Wanderer Guides Blog. #sandiego #travel

Unique Facts About Coronado

  • The sand dunes on Coronado Beach (by the Hotel del Coronado) spell out ‘Coronado.’
  • The SS Monte Carlo was shipwrecked in 1937 in front of the El Camino Tower of the Coronado Shores condos…it was a gambling and prostitution ship (and this was illegal in 1937) so no one claimed ownership of the ship. It’s still there today and can be seen at low tide.
  • The Hotel del Coronado is on the National Historic Landmarks list and has had such guests as Thomas Edison, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and 16 Presidents including our current commander, President Obama.
  • The Hotel del has been in several movies, including Some Like It Hot and The Stunt Man.
  • It’s been said that Emerald City in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was based off of the Hotel del Coronado…The author of Oz, L. Frank Baum, stayed at the Hotel for most of the writing of the book.

San Diego Stay-cation: Coronado! From The Wanderer Guides Blog. #sandiego #travel

Visit Some Museums
Coronado Historical Association: Museum of History and Art has some great exhibits on Coronado. Currently, it has exhibits on the Hotel del Coronado, Tent City, Coronado’s history and a special exhibit on the Kingston Trio.

Coronado Public Library is great! If you live anywhere in California, you can get a library card at this Library. They have a great collection of art too. The current special exhibit in the lobby area shows historical artifacts from the Hotel del Coronado.

See Some Attractions
The Beaches! Coronado has some of the best beaches in San Diego if you ask our opinion on the topic. Coronado Beach is the best option to lay the day away. It’s located next to the Hotel del Coronado. Imperial Beach is not too far away and gives you a nice drive in the beautiful San Diego sun. In between is Silver Strand State Beach–great beach to relax and see a dolphin or two.¬†Check to see if Stardust Donuts is open after you’re done!

The Bookshops! We like sitting at bookstores and Bay Books Coronado is one such place. The website is under construction but trust us–it’s a nice place to visit!

Getting Physical in Coronado
It’s easy to work your body in Coronado. Here are some ideas:

Listen to Some Free Coronado Concerts
Coronado Summer Concert Series
Sundays: Now-September 8
Spreckels Park

Coronado Ferry Landing Concert Series
Saturdays and Sundays: June 15-July 28
2pm-5pm (some exceptions)
Coronado Ferry Landing

Watch Some Movies or See Some Plays

Vintage Village Theatre is the one movie theatre on Coronado Island. Check here for movie times.

Lambs Players Theatre is currently showing Fiddler on the Roof (thru July 28th) and will be showing The 39 Steps starting August 9th. Check the website for current shows and more.

The Coronado Playhouse will be showing Carnival starting June 28th thru August 4th. Check the website for current shows and more.

Munch at Some Eateries
There are a lot of coffee shops and restaurants in Coronado. One place we love: Deluxe Dogs. They have gourmet hotdogs and there’s no extra charge to substitute a veggie dog for any hotdog!

San Diego Stay-cation: Coronado! From The Wanderer Guides Blog. #sandiego #travel

Places to Stay
There are 3 major hotels in Coronado: Hotel del Coronado, Loews Coronado Bay and Marriott Coronado Island. Because they are the major hotels in this expensive town, the price tags are high. Luckily, you have extra moolah from minimizing the cost of travel!

There are some nice, wallet-friendly alternatives in Coronado too:

Camp. If you have an RV, van or tent, camp-out along Silver Strand State Beach.

Budget Hotels. Try Best Western Suites, La Avenida Inn or Coronado Inn for cheaper rates.

Splurge Ideas
Since you’re saving so much on gas and airfare, treat yourself on this stay-cation. Here are some ideas:

Have any other great stay-cation ideas for your town? Let us know!