Updated: May 19, 2023 | Has affiliate links

Discover 5 Charming Things to Do On Coronado Island (with Map)

View of San Diego skyline from the Coronado Bridge

Coronado was incorporated as a city in 1890. Being an island, separated from the San Diego metropolis, Coronado is a small beach community that maintains its island feel. By 1888, when Hotel Del Coronado was built the city had become a major tourist destination. Coronado welcomes visitors from all over the world and is surrounded by the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, with gorgeous views all the way around. So, come along with me as we explore my favorite things to do on Coronado Island.

Coronado Island offers visitors a great place to play golf, bike along the coastline, swim, sail, surf, take in a play, and shop local at one of the various shops, hotels and restaurants. Coronado also houses the Naval Amphibious Base which was formally commissioned in 1944 and is one of two Navy amphibious bases located in the US. The imposing Coronado bridge connects the city of San Diego to Coronado, and contains five lanes: two eastbound, two westbound and a reversible middle lane. Put on some comfortable shoes and let’s explore the best charming things to do on Coronado Island.

Coronado Island walking map
Map of things to do on Coronado Island
Red – see, Blue – walk

1. Coronado Ferry Landing

Watching the San Diego skyline from Ferry Landing is one of the charming things to do on Coronado Island
Watching the San Diego skyline from Ferry Landing is one of the charming things to do on Coronado Island
See my photos from Coronado Island

Visiting the Coronado Ferry Landing has become a favorite among things to do on Coronado Island. This picturesque location rents paddle boards, kayaks, single bikes, and surreys. You can take a boat across the bay, or with a bike you can ride all the way to Coronado Bridge. Take in the view of the San Diego Skyline from Centennial Park for a postcard setting. The Flagship Ferry has been running for more than 100 years, allowing visitors the opportunity to enjoy its timeless and well-run services. It begins service from San Diego to Coronado at 9am and leaves every hour on the hour. You can also walk from the ferry landing to Coronado Tidesland Park for beautiful views of downtown San Diego, the bay, and Coronado Bridge, giving many opportunities for fun things to do on Coronado Island.
San Diego Bay Tour | Ferry Schedule

2. Hotel Del Coronado

Palm trees surround the iconic Coronado Hotel
Palm trees surround the iconic Coronado Hotel
See my photos from Coronado Island

Hotel Del Coronado is high on the list of favorite things to do on Coronado Island. Built in 1888, this is a beautiful and romantic hotel that is also known as Coronado Hotel. It has been visited by many famous people over the years, such as Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey. A great option is to walk through the main lobby and visit the ritzy hotel shops at the basement. You can walk all the way to the back of the hotel towards Coronado Beach, which is cool as one of the things to do on Coronado Island. The Hotel Del Coronado is timeless and is a living legend which continues to inspire those who visit and take in its beauty. Guests rave about the stunning views, delicious foods, proximity to the ocean, and exquisite history that it boasts.

There are a variety of restaurants and bars to enjoy the beautiful view from, and the Old Town Trolley has a pickup station right outside of the hotel, which is great if you do not want to spend your time driving and want to enjoy the views and what the city has to offer. The fleet of orange and green trolleys travel over the Coronado Bridge to Coronado on a continuous 25-mile loop and make 11 destination stops.

3. Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach with Coronado Hotel and newer apartments in the background
Coronado Beach with Coronado Hotel and newer apartments in the background
See my photos from Coronado Island

Visiting Coronado Beach located behind the Coronado Hotel, is one of the relaxing things to do on Coronado Island. The water is shallow, making it great for children, and is not very crowded. It runs along Ocean Boulevard and has a backdrop of beautiful homes. There is free parking located on Ocean Boulevard, as well as Ferry Landing Marketplace. During low tide, the tide pools are visible. Lifeguards are staffed year-round, making it very safe for children. This beach is one of the wonderful things to do on Coronado Island with your family.

4. Glorietta Bay Marina

Boat house at Glorietta Marina
Boat house at Glorietta Marina
See my photos from Coronado Island

Glorietta Bay Marina allows the visitor to walk around the marina and take beautiful pictures, as one of the cathartic things to do on Coronado Island. It is centrally located, near Coronado’s downtown with Coronado City Hall here, and one can walk from the Marina, past City Hall to Glorietta Bay Park right along the ocean front. It has been suggested as a beautiful place to boat watch. It is within easy walking distance of Coronado’s shops and restaurants. The staff are fantastic, and it is adjacent to the historic Hotel Del Coronado, making it a conveniently one of the things to do on Coronado Island.

5. Orange Avenue

Cheese platter at Little Frenchie restaurant on Orange Avenue
Cheese platter at Little Frenchie restaurant on Orange Avenue

Orange Avenue has many shops and restaurants to enjoy and offers a boutique charm with over 50 stores to explore, boasting itself as one of the pleasurable things to do on Coronado Island. Strolling on Orange Avenue and enjoying some of the favorite restaurants should always make it on your list of cool things to do on Coronado. Some favorite local restaurants on Orange Avenue are: The Henry, Miguel’s Cocina, The Islander, and Little Frenchie.

The Henry is enjoyed for the location, vibe, service and food. The kimchi rice and burgers are something to try. Miguel’s Cocina does not disappoint, with fried lobster tacos and Mexican fried corn on the cob as two of the many delicious and unusual items on their menu. They also have a great vibe and wonderful service. The Islander has been described as fun with an islander vibe. Portions are large and items to enjoy include Todos Santos tostadas with mahi mahi, pineapple fried rice with chicken, bonfire s’mores and a Blue Hawaiian drink. Little Frenchie restaurant is a pleasant French bistro in Coronado, definitely a must as one of the delicious things to do on Coronado Island. The buckwheat crepe with salmon is phenomenal, cocktails are delicious, the herb omelet boasts eggs cooked like a crepe and folded over. The Frenchie is an amazing brunch spot and offers wonderful people watching on the patio.

Is it Worth Visiting Coronado Island?

Absolutely! Visiting Coronado Island is one of my favorite things to do in San Diego with kids. Everytime we visited Coronado Island, we found it to be very relaxing, not crowded and it gave us a great time. From the Ferry Landing, with its beautiful views, to the ritzy Coronado Hotel and the beautiful beach, we found Coronado Island to be a great place to visit. Whether you come with your family or by yourself, you will have a fun and relaxing time in this gorgeous California beach town.

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