Family Travel: A Relaxing Day on San Diego’s Coronado Island, Flickr: huffstutterrobertl

Hotel Del Coronado

More accurately a peninsula, San Diego’s Coronado Island retains its world-away-from-it-all island feel.  The old fashion town is lined with beautiful luxury homes, quaint shops, artisan eateries, calm beaches and famous hotels.  Here’s my recommendation for a perfect day trip to Coronado. 

To get to Coronado, you have two exciting kid-friendly options: Drive highway 75 over the sprawling 2.1 mile curving bridge or take the ferry from downtown San Diego and arrive by boat.  (A third option is available for those fearful of bridges and/or water- you can drive up the peninsula, but this does add 15 miles to your journey.)

Once on the island, take advantage of its flat landscape and rent some bikes with your family.  Numerous bike rental shops line both the ferry landing and Orange Street, giving you plenty of options.  Once on your bike, head through Coronado’s quiet and beautiful neighborhoods where you can check out incredible landscaping, beautiful turn-of-the-century homes and fun people watching. 

When you are in need of a bite to eat, head to Orange Street, which offers a slew of fabulous eateries.  If you’re craving a burger, I recommend riding to Burger Lounge for organic, sustainable (and tasty) options.  In addition to serving burgers, they offer up chicken for the kids, some very delicious salads and the can’t-miss fries and onion rings! 

After your meal, continue southwest on Orange Street to the most famous icon on the island: the Hotel Del Coronado, nicknamed by most locals as “The Del.”  The beautiful hotel was built in 1888 and it both retains its old-world charm and seamlessly blends in modern luxury.  You don’t even have to stay at the hotel to enjoy it.  Take a walking tour through the grounds to learn history of the hotel.  You might even catch a glimpse at a star!  Throughout its years, famous celebrities have stayed and visited including Walt Disney, Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Whoopie Goldberg, Brad Pitt, Madonna and Oprah Winfrey to name only a few.  If your little ones are less interested in Hollywood’s favorites, their curiosity might be peaked by the tales of ghost stories connected with the hotel.  Guided walking tours take place Tuesdays and begin in the gift shop.

Connected to the Hotel Del is my favorite stretch of beach:  Coronado Beach.  It offers flat sand, plenty of room to run and play, and a small rocky area that houses some easily accessible tide-pool discovery.  If you can wait it out, stay for the sunset; watching my kids play in the ocean in this golden hour always creates the most magical pictures and memories!

Numerous family-friendly restaurants offer dinner for families, from casual eateries to fine dining.  If you don’t want to have to clean up from your beach time, head to Miguel’s Cocina on Orange Street.  Outdoor patio dining, coupled with fantastic queso dip and salsa, make this a relaxing and fun way to end your day on Coronado’s beautiful little island.

Are you ready for a relaxing San Diego family vacation

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photo: huffstutterrobertl

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