Point Checklist: A Coronado Beach Vacation Guide

picture of Hotel Del Coronado

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The “Crown Jewel” as some locals love to call it, is one of the best places to vacation.

Taking a Coronado Beach vacation is what should be on everyone’s bucket list when visiting Southern California.

Whether you are there for a trip or planning an exquisite beach vacation, it is something you will never forget! 

Coronado Island, as some people refer to it, is actually a peninsula off of San Diego Bay. This peninsula is shared with the Navy Base, but you can still explore half of the island while enjoying some awesome activities.

This guide will help you find the best things to do and see so you don’t miss anything fun. 



Coronado was once a lonely peninsula for over 10,000 years. It wasn’t until 1885, that it suddenly became a great location for a beach resort.

According to public records, Coronado Beach started developing as a popular beach destination in the early 1880s. In 1889, a steam train was developed in hopes of attracting potential buyers.

After it was sold, and purchased by California Parks and Recreation, it grew to become a very popular area for tourists. 

Best time to visit

California is known to have that sunny warm beach weather for most of the year, but not always.

One of the biggest differences between Florida and California beaches is water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean! Let’s just say they are NOT always the warmest!

So if you’re planning a beach vacation be sure to also check out the differences between California and Florida beaches here. 

Even with cold weather temperatures, your body has the ability to quickly adapt to the water temperature, but it is recommended to wear a rashguard. It will help a lot!

Wearing the proper rash guard will make your California beach experience that much better! Check out our article on the best rash guards to wear to the beach here!

Even though there are a lot of overcast days in California, the weather is still good for the beach.

June does hold that trajectory of “June gloom” so a lot of days could be overcast. 

But surely you can still have a fun-filled day!

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July is probably your best time to check out the warmer weather and water temps.

Yes, the crowds will be larger but the weather is definitely warmer! 

According to weather.com, water temperatures are possibly the warmest of the year.

So if you are an avid surfer or about to take some cool beginner lessons then definitely plan for this month. 

If you are planning for non-peak times then September, October, and November are best, but do expect the weather to be a bit cooler.

What to Expect from Coronado Beach

Located just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of San Diego, Coronado Beach has long been hailed as one of America’s most spectacular coastal treasures. So, what sets this sandy paradise apart? Let’s dive in and explore!

Pristine Beauty: Stretching over a blissful 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers), Coronado Beach offers a pristine coastline that seems almost untouched by time. With its shimmering white sands, sparkling turquoise waters, and unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, it’s no wonder the beach consistently ranks among the best in the country.

Iconic Hotel del Coronado: Nestled along the beach’s edge stands the iconic Hotel del Coronado, a Victorian masterpiece and a National Historic Landmark.

This architectural marvel has played host to countless celebrities and dignitaries throughout its storied history. Its grandeur and charm make it a must-see attraction, even if you’re not a guest.

Sunsets that Take Your Breath Away: Coronado Beach is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets. Picture yourself strolling along the shoreline, with the sky painted in vibrant shades of orange, pink, and purple.

It’s a magical sight that leaves an indelible mark on your heart and is sure to captivate your senses.

Beach Activities for Everyone: Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a relaxation enthusiast, Coronado Beach offers something for everyone.

From swimming and surfing to beach volleyball and paddleboarding, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the refreshing waters and soak up the California sunshine.

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider taking a surf lesson from one of the local instructors and riding the waves like a pro!

Coronado Village Charm: Just a short walk across the iconic Coronado Bridge brings you to the charming Coronado Village.

Adorned with tree-lined streets, quaint boutiques, and delectable eateries, this enchanting community perfectly complements the beach’s natural beauty.

Explore the art galleries, indulge in culinary delights, and immerse yourself in the laid-back island atmosphere.

Family-Friendly Paradise: Coronado Beach is a haven for families, offering a safe and welcoming environment for children of all ages. With its gentle waves, lifeguard stations, and ample space for sandcastle building, it’s the ideal spot for creating lifelong memories with your loved ones.

Rich Naval History: Coronado Beach shares its shores with Naval Base Coronado, adding a touch of history and patriotism to the area.

Watch as fighter jets soar overhead, marvel at naval vessels, and feel the pride that emanates from this iconic military presence.

Where to Fly-In

Coronado Beach is located in Southern California and the most reasonable airport is the San Diego International Airport (SAN).

SAN is conveniently located in Southern California, not too far from your Coronado Beach vacation!

You can compare your flights on Expedia!

How to get around

San Diego is one of those cities where you have to get around with a vehicle.

There is public transportation, however, it has not been the very best.

If you are, however, interested in the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System then check them out here.

They do have the ability to go into the downtown Coronado Beach area. But plan accordingly.

Hands down, one of the best things you can do is get a car rental.

With a car rental, you will be able to get around and conveniently see what Coronado Beach has to offer. 

Check out car rentals right here for booking your next car rental on your Coronado Beach vacation. 


Summers tend to fill up very fast so it is recommended that you book one as soon as you know the dates.

If you would rather take an Uber or Lyft, that may be possible.

Though it is a bit limited. Most Uber and Lyft vehicles come from the San Diego Downtown area. 

In addition, a lot of people also love renting a bicycle and bike riding around the peninsula. Another great option to get around. 

Where to park

Parking in Coronado Beach is very tricky. 

There is no set parking lot nor is there any parking garage that is readily available near the beaches. Unless you are staying in a hotel, parking is a bit more limited. 

Parking in Coronado Beach tends to be more street parking than anything else.

If you are going to the beach your best bet is parking along the beach itself. 

For the actual beach & dog beach

  • Ocean Blvd is the street to park

For Orange Avenue Strip

  • Street Parking in the residential D, E, and F Ave

However, that does tend to fill up rather quickly. It is best that you arrive early in the day to be able to get those spots other than that it’s kind of a hit-and-miss.

Again this is mostly street parking and they do fill up rather quickly if you do get lucky be sure you snag it when you see it. 

Checklist: Top things to do

  • Visit Hotel Coronado
  • Visit the beach or dog beach(North Beach)
  • Check out the Sand Dunes
  • Explore the tidepools during low tide
  • Stroll down Orange Avenue
  • Grab an ice cream at Moos
  • Catch a ride at the Old Trolley Tour
  • Visit the Coronado Brewery Company
  • Visit Centennial Park
  • Take pictures at the San Diego Skyline View
  • Rent a golf cart and tour
  • Bike to Tidelands Park 
  • Kayak the Coronado Bay area
  • Take the ferry on Coronado Island
  • Dine at Ferry Landing Marketplace
  • Watch the sunset at the beach
  • If you have time drive over to Silver Strand Beach

Where to eat

There are lots of different restaurants in Coronado Beach to dine at. You can find Italian, Mexican, Greek, and American food.

However, if you are checking out Orange Avenue there are lots of different restaurants along the popular walking strip.

You are bound to find something you like. 

Walk to Orange Avenue to find some yummy lunch choices. 

For dining, I recommend checking out the Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace. There are a couple of dining restaurants and takeout eateries to check out.

It is the perfect way to end your day while watching the Ferry and taking in the San Diego Skyline view!  

Where to stay

Coronado Beach has a couple of hotels scattered in the area. Find one that works for you! Here is a map guide of some hotels you may want to check that are within your budget in Coronado Beach.

You can even find some vacation rentals in your area. 


Tips/tricks for your Coronado Beach vacation

  • Arrive early because parking is tricky
  • You can take your pup to North Dog Beach
  • There are Volleyball nets near Hotel del Coronado
  • You can find bathrooms in Coronado Beach 
  • Lifeguards are in most areas, especially in high peak season
  • Parking for the beach along Ocean Blvd
  • Parking for Orange Ave shops i.e D, E, F Ave
  • Bring a wagon since you may have to do some walking
  • Ice cooler is a must for your beach snacks
  • You can always rent a beach umbrella & chairs near Hotel Coronado


Taking a Coronado Beach vacation is one of the nicest places to visit in all of San Diego. In fact, Coronado Beach has made the top 10 list of beaches to visit nationwide in 2021 according to Dr. Beach.

Its gorgeous pristine sands mimic what would be a perfect Florida beach on the gulf coast. 

You can do family activities from kayaking, surfing, paddleboarding, and even renting a speed boat for the day!

Let alone you can do some shopping, and find some delicious restaurants to dine in! It’s the perfect place to take a beach vacation. 

The proximity to the airport and the San Diego downtown area allow you to also see what San Diego has to offer and gives you the chance to be able to check out other things. 

There is a lot that this offers including gorgeous weather, a dog beach vacation, and a view of the San Diego City Skyline for you to check out on your next vacation!

Hopefully, on your Coronado Beach vacation, you will know exactly what to do and where to go. Enjoy!

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Jess & Jeanette

Jess and Jeanette, two sisters who founded Unseen Beaches, were inspired by their family’s beach vacations while growing up.

Their passion lies in guiding you toward the most remarkable beach destinations across the U.S., while also protecting and preserving these beautiful coastal treasures! 🌊❤️

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