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CORONADO

Sometimes described as an island because its village-like atmosphere is far removed from the big city, picturesque Coronado lies on a sliver of land between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. More retired Navy officers live here than any other place in the US, and although the military presence is high, it’s unobtrusive. For over 100 years, visitors have flocked to Coronado to be part of this charmed life. Even with its thriving resorts, restaurants, sidewalk cafés, and unique shops, the village never seems overwhelmed.

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Coronado Map

NEED TO KNOW

prac_info coronadovisitorcenter.com

prac_info Hotel del Coronado: 1500 Orange Ave; 619 435 6611; www.hoteldel.com

prac_info Meade House: 1101 Star Park Cir

prac_info Ferry Landing Market Place: 1201 1st St at B Ave; 619 435 8895; open 10am daily, various closing times

prac_info Coronado Museum of History and Art: 1100 Orange Ave; 619 435 7242; open 9am–5pm Mon–Fri, 10am–5pm Sat & Sun; adm $5; www.coronadohistory.org

prac_info San Diego Ferry: 619 234 4111; adm $4.25

Google Map

  • Enjoy the Hotel del Coronado’s ambience by having a drink in the Babcock & Story Bar.
  • Excellent historical walking tours depart from Glorietta Bay Inn (1630 Glorietta Blvd; 619 435 5993; Tue, Thu & Sat at 11am; adm).

1. Hotel del Coronado

Google Map

This 1887–8 Queen Anne wooden masterpiece is a National Historic Landmark. It was the first hotel west of the Mississippi with electric lights.

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The resplendent Hotel del Coronado

2. Meade House

Google Map

L. Frank Baum moved to Coronado in 1904 and produced much of his work at this charming house, now a private residence.

3. US Naval Amphibious Base

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South of Coronado, along the Silver Strand, this training camp for the hallowed Navy SEALS is off-limits to the public.

4. Coronado Bridge

Google Map

Connecting San Diego to Coronado since 1969, this 2.2-mile (3.5-km) span has won architectural awards for its unique design. Struts and braces in a box girder give it a sleek look.

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The Coronado Bridge

5. Coronado Central Beach

Google Map

Coronado’s main beach claims a golden swath adjacent to the Hotel del Coronado. Families, fishers, surfers, and swimmers all stake spots, while dog-walkers rule the north end.

6. Mansions along Ocean Boulevard

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Designed by prominent early 20th-century architects Hebbard and Gill, mansions dominate Coronado’s oceanfront.

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A mansion along Ocean Boulevard

7. Ferry Landing Marketplace

Google Map

Next to the ferry dock is a shopping area selling beachwear, jewelry, souvenirs, and art. This is a handy spot to rent a bike or grab a snack.

8. Coronado Museum of History and Art

Google Map

In a 1910 Neo-Classical bank building, galleries exhibit early village history, with photos of the Hotel del Coronado, Tent City, and military memorabilia.

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Exhibit from the Coronado Museum of History and Art

9. San Diego Ferry

Google Map

Before the Coronado Bridge, access was only by a long drive around Southern San Diego or via the ferry, which is now only for foot passengers.

10. Orange Avenue

Google Map

The main shopping street has restaurants and sidewalk cafés, as well as a theater and a museum. Independence Day and Christmas parades see residents out celebrating.

THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF WINDSOR

When the British King Edward VIII gave up his throne to marry American Wallis Simpson, romantics insisted they originally met at the Hotel del Coronado. In 1920, Wallis Spencer, then married to a naval officer of that name, lived at the hotel. That April, Edward visited Coronado. It is unclear whether the couple met then; it wasn’t until 15 years later that they were formally introduced.

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