Since we live in Las Vegas we decided to escape the craziness of New Year's Eve in Las Vegas and spend some time in San Diego, more specifically in Coronado, the beach-resort-island just across the harbor from downtown San Diego.
Hotel Del Coronado
We just love this place. Apparently a lot of other people do too.
First of all, nobody calls it Hotel Del Coronado. It's either "Hotel Del" or just "The Del." Yes, I am aware that Del is a Spanish contraction for "de el" which means "of the" in English, but don't try to argue with anyone about it. It's what all the locals call it. All of them.
The hotel itself is super pricey. We've never actually stayed in a room here, but there are hotels across the street that are nice for less than 1/2 the price of this place. Even if you aren't a guest here, you are welcome to walk through the historic hotel and check out all the restaurants (they all have ocean views), bars, and shops. A favorite of mine is Moo Time Creamery. There are two of them in Coronado, one in the Hotel Del and the other just a block away, and they are always packed!
Coronado's Famous Beach
The beach has one of the most scenic views of any beach in the world. Looking out across the bay you can see wide open ocean as well as Point Loma and the lighthouse. Behind you is Hotel Del and multi-million dollar homes. If you're thinking of moving here and buying a house, bring at least $1M and expect an outdated home built in the 1940s that's 800sf of living space on a 2,000 sf lot. Garage? Ha! Don't even.
The beach always has people on it, no matter what the weather is like, and on weekends there are always brides and grooms getting pictures taken here. It's easily the #1 picture taking place in San Diego.
Because we were there in January, the weather can be cold and rainy one day and sunny the next.
Every time we come to this beach we find sand castles. Some of them are actual castles, others are turtles, fish, hearts, whatever. I have no idea who makes them, but they are works of art. There is a big sand castle competition every year further south on Imperial Beach, and they take it very seriously.
Sunset in Coronado
Sunset in Coronado is probably not as spectacular as in Hawaii, where the sun sets on an open ocean, since many days the marine layer obscures the sun as it sets. There can be amazing and beautiful sunsets here with clouds enhancing the light show. We tend to find our way to the beach and walk the entire length (about 3/4 mile) and then after the sun sets find someplace yummy for dinner.
Restaurants in Coronado
There are a ton of places. You won't have a problem finding a good place. Within a few blocks of Hotel Del you can find virtually every restaurant on the island. We enjoy crepes for breakfast at Fabrison's Creperie. This place has it all. It's just across the street from the Del.
If you're look for a good view, you can eat at Hotel Del, or you can head down Orange Ave toward the bridge, but don't turn and go over the bridge. Take Orange all the way to the harbor and there you'll find a bunch of great places on the water that have full views of the San Diego city skyline.
Coronado is one of our favorite short-drive trips that don't involve airline travel and being on a standby list.