Tell Me About Coronado Island…
Coronado Island is a small body of land nestled between San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Known as the Crown City, Coronado’s appeal is immediately evident when you witness the soaring views and curvature of the Coronado Bridge.
Picturesque in its beauty, architecture and views, Coronado is a must-see destination on any San Diego vacation. With miles of sand and waves, Coronado’s expansive shore regularly earns a rightful position among the nation’s best beaches.
The main road into Coronado crosses the Coronado Bridge (built in 1977). The bridge is more than two miles long and curves at nearly 80 degrees, soaring across the San Diego Bay.
It stands just over 200 feet tall, with room for naval ships to enter and exit the harbor below. The aesthetics of the bridge have won several awards and earn praise from nearly all who witness it. Thousands of travelers drive along its five lanes daily, affirming the functionality of the largest girder box bridge in the world.
Coronado is actually a peninsula, and the Coronado Bridge – connecting the community to downtown San Diego – is the preferred and most efficient method of travel, creating an island atmosphere.
Prior to the formation of the Coronado Bridge, the two methods of travel to the city were the roundabout roads leading up from the south and the ferry across San Diego Bay. The ferry still operates out of the Ferry Landing on the eastern shore, acting as a side door to the community. Here you can find a collection of souvenir shops, restaurants, art galleries and eateries mixed among the walkways and ponds.
As you enter into the heart of the city you’ll find Orange Avenue, lined with amenities for residents and tourists alike. Unique shops paired with delightful cafes and restaurants provide breaks among the sightseeing and lead westward towards the Pacific Shore.
The west end of Coronado is home to the Hotel Del Coronado, the main attraction on the island. This beautiful and historic beachfront Victorian resort is one of the most popular beach resorts in the world, and visiting guests have ranged from Hollywood stars to foreign royalty. The “Hotel Del” or the “Del,” as it is often called by locals, was built in 1886, and remains one of the few standing examples of the impressive beachfront architecture from that time.
The Silver Strand is the small strip of land connecting the body of Coronado to the mainland. Named after the silver shells that line the water, the Silver Strand has an abundance of space for beach visitors. Camping, picnicking, boating, sailing, surfing and swimming are popular activities along this stretch of beach. Ten miles of designated bicycle lanes run up and down the coast and along the bay for additional recreation.
The land along the Silver Strand and Coronado Island was uninhabited until the late nineteenth century, when whalers began using the area as a harbor. Land ownership changed hands several times from the date of Mexican Independence in 1821 until the late 1880s when the Coronado Beach Company began construction of a new resort community.
The area flourished over the next few years as the Hotel Del Coronado acted as a centerpiece for growth and development. A phenomenon called Tent City, a makeshift city of Ferris wheels, carnival booths, sailing, and swimming booths appeared each summer in front of the Hotel Del drawing families and tourists from around the world.
Additionally, naval development on North Island kept the economy intact and growing throughout the early twentieth century, mimicking the development of much of the rest of San Diego.