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Field Trip: Coronado Island

July 25, 2011 12:00 PM

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(credit: Loews Coronado)

(credit: Loews Coronado)

05 loews coronado bay resort1 Field Trip: Coronado Island

Across the bay from downtown San Diego, sits Coronado Island, a small-town beach community offering sophisticated luxury with plenty of relaxation and recreation. Take a drive across the distinctive San Diego-Coronado Bridge to this local “island” (which is actually a peninsula) and share in the history of the “Crown City,” which has been a top vacation destination for more than 100 years. Known for its expansive stretches of white sand, the beaches here are consistently ranked among the best beaches in the nation.

02 thedel lizlaing Field Trip: Coronado Island

Hotel Del Coronado

1500 Orange Ave.
Coronado, CA 92118
619-522-8041
More Info

Most people associate Coronado with the historic Hotel Del Coronado (“The Del”) — a visit to this iconic Victorian-style resort is a must. Open since 1888, The Del has a rich and colorful history, hosting several U.S. Presidents, famous dignitaries and movie stars throughout the years. Many will recognize the red-tiled roof and whimsical turrets from the classic Marilyn Monroe film, Some Like It Hot, filmed at The Del in 1959. This National Historic Landmark is one of the few Victorian seaside resorts still standing and thriving, partially due to a $150 million renovation in recent years, which included the addition of Beach Village – an enclave of upscale, ocean-view cottages and villas.

Be sure and check-out the ghostly gift shop, Established 1888, where resident ghost, Kate Morgan, likes to pull some pranks. Apparently, she’s a bit jealous of Marilyn Monroe, whose memorabilia garners much attention. I swear I saw a necklace on display shiver inexplicably with a ghostly vibe.

This award-winning beachfront property offers plenty of seaside activities ranging from beach yoga, surfing lessons and biking along the coast. Rent a surrey or bike cruiser at Wheel Fun Rentals, located adjacent to the Hotel Del Coronado on the boardwalk.

03 miguels lizlaing Field Trip: Coronado Island

Miguel’s Cocina

1351 Orange Avenue
Coronado, CA 92118
619-437-4237
More Info

For dinner, head over to Miguel’s Cocina on Orange Avenue for award-winning Mexican food and kick-ass margaritas (walking distance from The Del). Miguel’s is tucked into the lush courtyard of the El Cordova Plaza and has long been a local favorite. If you get hooked on the complimentary spicy cheese dip, you can purchase a jar of it to take home. From carne asada tacos, to vegetable enchiladas and calamari rellenos, Miguel’s has plenty of choices to satisfy your Mexican cravings.

04 cafe1134 lizlaing Field Trip: Coronado Island

Café 1134

1134 Orange Ave.
Coronado, CA 92118
619- 437-1134
More Info

Locals flock to Café 1134, also on Orange Avenue, for breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks. This bistro offers fresh and delicious food in a casual atmosphere. You’ll find omelettes, egg burritos, grilled paninis, salads, wraps and a tempting array of desserts and pastries on the menu. Espresso drinks, loose leaf teas, wine and beer are also served.

Orange Avenue is the main artery in Coronado’s historically-preserved downtown. You’ll find one-of-a-kind specialty shops, bookstores, antique shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.

05 pool loews coronado Field Trip: Coronado Island

Loews Coronado Bay Resort

4000 Loews Coronado Bay Road
Coronado, CA 92118
619-424-4000
More Info
Situated on a private peninsula on San Diego Bay just across from the Silver Strand State Beach (tiny iridescent seashells sparkle in the sand), Loews Coronado Bay Resort provides the perfect balance of luxury and comfort. The spacious rooms are beautifully decorated, but there are plenty of activities to lure you from your room — take a stroll through the on-site herb garden, watch a dive-in movie, make s’mores on the nearby beach, or indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment. Bike, rollerblade and boat rentals are also available.

The resort’s signature restaurant, Mistral, offers outstanding food and views of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

06 gondolaloewscoronado Field Trip: Coronado Island

The Gondola Company

Loews Coronado Bay Resort
4000 Loews Coronado Bay Road
Coronado, CA 92118
619.429.6317
More Info

Our favorite activity at Loews was cruising throughout the canals of the Coronado Cays in a private gondola (imported from Italy). The Gondola Company provides a truly memorable experience based on the Venetian tradition of gently cruising in a gondola with a serenading gondolier.

A bottle of champagne cools on ice (you bring your own drink, but set-up and glasses are provided), a plate of chocolate covered strawberries beckons and a heavy blanket keeps you warm and cozy. As you comfortably cruise along the cays sipping champagne, being lulled by the gentle waters, you’ll dream you’re in Italy and wake-up to a California dream that you’re lucky enough to live.

Liz Laing is a writer, Web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on LizLaing.com.

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