8 Essential Things to Do in Coronado

Enjoy a day at the beach in beautiful Coronado.

Spending a sunny day in Coronado? Be sure to visit these cool spots.

Welcome to Coronado, the crown jewel of Southern California! Nestled just across the bay from San Diego, this picturesque island offers more than just its famous sandy beaches and historic hotel. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or someone looking to soak up the sun and culture, Coronado has something special for you. Join us as we explore the top eight essential activities that make this enchanting island a must-visit destination. From kayaking the serene waters to exploring majestic mansions, Coronado promises unforgettable experiences wrapped in a small-town charm. Ready to discover the best of Coronado? Let’s dive in!

1. Coronado Beach

Frequently voted as one of America’s finest beaches, you’ll find miles of sand at Coronado Beach. Start out at the south end near Hotel del Coronado to see tidepools during low tide. Then head north for swimming, sunbathing and surfing. Insider Tip: bring your pup along to the dog-friendly north end of the beach, frequented by locals.

Ocean Blvd., Coronado. sandiego.org

2. Coronado Cays Gondola Rides

Be transported to Venice as you cruise in a private gondola through the canals of the Coronado Cays. Perfect for a romantic evening for two or bring the whole family along for a relaxing journey on the water. Wine and desserts are available for purchase. Reservations required.

Hours vary per schedule, check website for specific reservations.. 503 Grand Caribe Causeway, Coronado, 619.429.6317. gondolacompany.com 

3. Coronado Ferry Landing

Eat, shop and play at Coronado Ferry Landing. Restaurants include Il Fornaio, Peohe’s, Candelas on the Bay and more. Pick out some new clothes for him or her at Men’s Mojo and Miss Match. After all that, rent a bike to explore Coronado yourself or hop on the ferry to make your way back downtown. If you are looking for a thrilling adventure, rent a jet ski or a boat with San Diego Jet Ski and Boat Rentals. You can book a reservation here sandiego-boatrentals.com.

Open daily 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Complimentary parking. 1201 1st St., Coronado. coronadoferrylanding.com

Indulge in an elevated steak dinner at Stake Chophouse.

4. Stake Chophouse

Known for being Coronado’s only “tried-and-true steakhouse,” Stake Chophouse offers a variety of options from traditional filet mignon to A5 wagyu coming all the way from Japan. Additional menu highlights include a selection of shellfish and crudo, wood fire-roasted sides, as well as composed seafood entrées.

Sunday-Thursday, 4:30-9 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 4:30-10 p.m. and happy hour 4-6:30 p.m. 1309 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.522.0077. stakechophouse.com

5. Coronado Museum of History and Art

Peruse permanent exhibits like The Enchanted Island, which details the island of Coronado’s history from when it was hunting and gathering grounds for Native Americans to present day where it is now a place for residents and guests alike, as well as the home of the US Naval Air Station. The exhibit includes both art and historic photographs of life in Coronado.

Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 1100 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.435.7242. coronadohistory.org 

6. Hotel del Coronado

Book a stay at the iconic Hotel del Coronado, easily spotted by its white exterior and red rooftops. Notable features include their famous Sunday brunch in the historic Crown Room; lounge chairs, umbrellas and beach beds available for full-day rental; boat rentals located just across the street at Glorietta Bay; and pet-friendly accommodations.

1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.435.6611. hoteldel.com

Dine right on the water at Bluewater Grill.

7. Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill

Located in the historic former Hotel del Coronado boathouse, dine on fresh, sustainable seafood with a view of Glorietta Bay. Happy hour specials include oyster shooters, seafood ceviche cocktail, baked crab and artichoke dip, and $5 craft and imported beers.

See website for hours. 1701 Strand Way, Coronado, 619.435.0155. bluewatergrill.com

8. Lamb’s Players Theatre

Enjoy plays year-round at Lamb’s Players Theatre, an artist-led company that hires more San Diego-based actors than any other theatre. Their mission is “to tell good stories well,” which they do by looking for stories that question the values and choices of contemporary culture.

See website for showtimes. 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.437.6000. lambsplayers.org

Updated May 9, 2024

Header and Bluewater Grill photos by Bluewater Grill. Stake Chophouse photo by Blue Bridge Hospitality. 


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