home Editor's Picks 75 pointers for Coronado summer fun

75 pointers for Coronado summer fun

If you’re charting a course to great summer adventures in and around Coronado, you may want to add several of these venues to your itinerary. Whether you’re a visitor here for the summer or an “island” local, you’re sure to find that Coronado and all roads that lead here are sure bets for summertime fun!

Ahoy, there!

Photo by: Darrall Slater, Bayshots Photography
Photo by: Darrall Slater, Bayshots Photography

1. Set sail! Cruise San Diego Bay aboard the Aolani catamaran, San Diego’s first private charter sailing catamaran (owned by Coronado resident Bruno Schwarz). Aolani (“heavenly cloud” in Hawaiian) offers dinner cruises, whale watching tours, and Catalina day trips. Aolani Catamaran Sailing: www.aolani.cc

2. Ferry fun …  Hop on the charming ferry at the Coronado Ferry Landing for a lovely 15-minute ride to downtown San Diego. Rides begin at 9:30 a.m. and leave every hour on the half hour. You can bring your bike for free.

3. Romance on the bay … Head to Loews Coronado Bay Resort and hop aboard a gondola, where you’ll be steered through the glassy waters of the Coronado Cays. Packages including champagne, cheese plates, and chocolate-covered strawberries are available. (619) 429-6317.

4.  Climb aboard the USS Midway …  60 exhibits, 29 restored aircraft, interactive flight simulators, and guided audio tours narrated by Midway sailors all bring the rich history of this Navy vessel to life. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. www.midway.org

Pop a wheeliephoto-5

5. No clubs needed …  Rent a golf cart from Coronado Golf Cars and zip around the island with the wind blowing through your hair — summer at its finest! Driver’s license required. www.coronadogolfcars.com or (888) 578-2388.

6. Pedal power … Rent an electric bike from Pedego Coronado and take a motorized joyride along the bay and under the bridge. 1132 First St., www.pedegocoronado.com or (619) 435-0404.

7. Get board …  With 16,000 square feet of bowls, ramps, jumps and turns, Coronado’s Skate Park at Tidelands Park will keep skateboarders entertained for hours. A one-time “annual waiver fee” of $10 is required, then admission is $60/year, youth (6-17) and senior (55+); $100/year, adult (18-54). Call (619) 522-7342 for details.

Freebie Fun

photo_10 8. No-cost culture … San Diego County residents can enjoy Balboa Park museums for free on a rotating basis the first through fourth Tuesdays of the month. For a schedule, visit www.balboapark.org/visit/Tuesdays

9. Free ride … The MTS 904 free shuttle runs every 30 minutes from the Coronado Marriott to the Coronado Ferry Landing, and then down Orange Avenue to Coronado City Hall from July 5 to Sept. 30.

10. Lawn bowl pro  …  Since 1935, the corner of Seventh & D has boasted a beautiful grass green, home to the Coronado Lawn Bowling club. San Diego County residents can receive a free lesson by appointment; call (619) 319-5509.


Catch a concert

11. Coronado classic … Every Sunday night through Sept. 7 at 6 p.m., pack a picnic and your dancing shoes and head to Spreckels Park for Concert in the Park. See the calendar for the weekly lineup.

12. Get organ-ized … Now through August, enjoy free Sunday organ concerts at 2 p.m. at Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion. The organ was donated in 1914 by Coronado’s own founding father, John D. Spreckels, for the Panama-California Exposition and is one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs.

13. Concerts with a view … Every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. the Ferry Landing hosts free concerts. Sit on the grass overlooking downtown San Diego and enjoy!

14. Summer Pops … San Diego Symphony’s Summer Pops series at Embarcadero Marina Park South features leading artists in a breezy, waterfront setting. www.sandiegosymphony.org


15.  Be in the know … One to two Fridays a month from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Coronado Historical Association presents its Wine & Lecture series on informative and interesting topics with a local emphasis. Lectures are free; wine is offered at $5/glass. www.coronadohistory.org

photo_18 16. Library learning … For Coronado-centric exhibits, lectures, and even cooking classes, look no further than the Coronado Public Library. Check out our calendar for more information.

17. Say “cheese!” The Coronado School of Photography offers photography classes and one-on-one instruction with Coronado photographic artist, Dan McGeorge. www.danmcgeorge.com

18. Culinary classes … Join Mistral’s Chef de Cuisine Adam Cho for culinary lessons at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. On July 9 and 23, Loews pairs up with Suzie’s Farm to teach you all about farm fresh produce and how to grow your own at home. Aug. 6 and 20, learn how to master the “slow and low” cooking technique to make deliciously juicy meats at home. Classes are from 1-3 p.m., $20/hotel guests, $30/non-guests. (619) 424-4000.

19. Smarty pants … Coronado’s summer adult education program offers classes in guitar, knitting, computers, tennis and more. Most classes are held at Coronado High School. www.adulted.coronadousd.net

20. Nature walk … Every Sunday, one-hour walking tours leave at 1:30 p.m. from the lifeguard headquarters on Silver Strand State Beach. (619) 823-5801.

Get arts smart

21.Park arts …  On the first and third Sunday of every month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., more than 50 San Diego County artists gather at Spreckels Park to display and sell all kinds of art, including painting, etching, photography, wood and metal working, stained glass, ceramics and a variety of other unusual and distinctive art forms. www.coronadoartassn.com

22. Curtain call! See our calendar for live theater, both on and off island.

23. No place like home …  See our calendar for details on this year’s Oz Con International — a weeklong celebration of all things Oz.

Break a sweat

24. Summit Mt. Coronado …  The Coronado Community Center boasts an indoor climbing rock wall with features like a flat face and overhangs that make it suitable for all levels. (619) 522-7342.

25. Stroller strides … Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m., Coronado moms head to the Coronado Island Marriott with strollers and kids for an all-encompassing workout that includes power walking, jogging and strength exercises. www.fit4mom.com

Go fly a …

photo_27 26. Soar! Live your dream of flight during a 25-minute tandem hang gliding experience with a certified instructor along the scenic Torrey Pines coastal cliffs. A tandem hang glide is the quickest way to get flying without the long-term commitment of lessons and certification. Call the morning you’d like to fly to check wind conditions and, given the go-ahead, head to the Torrey Pines Glider Port (no reservations; first-come, first-serve). Tandem flights are available daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; peak conditions occur between 12 and 3 p.m. www.sandiegofreeflight.com or (858) 452-9858.

27. In the swing …  head to one of Coronado’s playgrounds and watch the joy on your child’s face (or feel it on your own) as you get airborne on a good old swing.

28. De Plane! De Plane! San Diego Seaplane’s “Safari Seaplane” package will pick you up right off the Peohe’s dock at the Coronado Ferry Landing and take you on an aerial adventure around San Diego Bay. www.sandiegoseaplanes.com or (808) 732-7526.

29. For the play-it-safers: Not a fan of heights? Just head to the glider port at Torrey Pines, grab a sandwich from their quaint café and watch the hang gliders do their thing.

Get zen

30. Spaaahhh day …  Step into Bellassima Sea Spa and treat yourself to any number of customized facials and rejuvenating massage treatments. The chic, intimate setting will induce immediate summer relaxation. (619) 435-2525.

Be beachy

31. Bonfire fun! Fire pits are available at North Beach and Silver Strand State Beach, but Glorietta Bay Park may be your best bet. It’s more protected from ocean winds that can make starting a fire challenging and has public restrooms and a large playground and grass area for the kids. The beaches close at 11 p.m., alcohol and glass are not permitted.

photo_3332. Sleep on the beach …  Whether you live on the island or are here for a visit, RV camping at Silver Strand State Beach is a memorable way to soak in the sand and surf. Camping is limited to fully contained vehicles. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Silver Strand Beach Café sells ice cream sundaes, sandwiches, and barbecue, and rents beach amenities such as boogie boards and sunscreen. (619) 435-5184.

33. Beach glam … The Del has opened its new full-service “Del Beach” with luxurious cushioned lounge chairs with fringed umbrellas, half-moon cabanettes and even plush day beds for full day rental. Del Beach also offers food and drink service and recreational activities for the kids. www.hoteldel.com/activities

34. S’more fun … Cozy up to your own private bonfire at the Hotel del Coronado, tuck your toes in the sand and toast some marshmallows for an evening of gooey goodness. Seaside S’mores are also available for larger groups and birthday parties. (619) 522-8815.

35. Crown Island castles … Both the Imperial Beach Sun & Sea Festival and the Optimist Sports Fiesta offer competitive sandcastle building this summer. See our calendar for details.


36. Perfect pairing … Mistral’s chef de cuisine Adam Cho and Suzie’s Farm will prepare a four-course, prix fixe farm-to-table menu on Sunday, Aug. 24 at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. $49 per person; www.loewscoronado.tix.com

Get wet

37. Water toys …  Rent jet skis, paddleboards and pedal boats at Seaforth Boat Rentals on Strand Way. (888) 834-2628

38. Fountain play … The Port of San Diego’s new waterfront park by the San Diego County Administration Building features an interactive fountain the length of two football fields that’s designed for play! Thirty-one jets shoot 14-foot arcs of water over one-inch shallow pools. (619) 232-PARK.

39. Paddle around… Bike & Kayak Tours offers kayak tours of San Diego Bay that leave from the Coronado Ferry Landing beach. No experience needed. (858) 454-1010 or www.bikeandkayaktours.com.

40.Underwater adventure … You can snorkel among California’s state fish, the vibrant garibaldi, sea lions, and whimsical kelp beds at La Jolla Cove. Then, head to the “Children’s Pool,” at the cove where you’ll see piles of sea lions and harbor seals sunning themselves.

41. Surf’s up! Whether you’re a local or a tourist, round out your Coronado summer with a romp in the waves. www.coronadosurfing.com has information on surf lessons and hourly rentals for all levels.

42. Take a dip … The Coronado Community Pool is your best bet for lap and recreational swimming and water aerobics. www.coronado.ca.us or (619) 522-7342.

43. Learn to swim! Classes are offered at both the Brian Bent Memorial Aquatics Complex (www.bbmac.org) at Coronado High School and the Coronado Community Pool.

Explore marine life!

44. Tide pools … Explore the tide pools in front of the Hotel Del and in Ocean Beach, at the cross section of Ladera Street and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, where a world of wonders await in shallow water. Check online surf fore­casts and make sure you head over at low tide.

45. Aquarium wonders … Prefer to explore sea life without getting your feet wet? The Birch Aquarium in La Jolla houses some of Southern California’s most vibrant sea life — exotic sea horses, jelly fish, and sand sharks. www.aquarium.ucsd.edu

46. Sweetwater marsh … The Living Coast Discovery Center at the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Center in Chula Vista is one of the best places to explore the coastal wildlife that calls San Diego home. www.thelivingcoast.org or (619) 409-5900.

Silver Strand nature …

47. For the birds! Take a quick jaunt down the Silver Strand to the end of Seventh Street in Imperial Beach, where you’ll find some of the best bird watching in the county. Work your way back on foot (about a mile) to the South Bay Marine Biological Study Area where you can spot a large array of coastal birds.

48. Walk on the beach … Loews Coronado Bay Resort offers guided tours of the Silver Strand State Beach with a State Park Environmental Educator. (619) 424-4000 ext. 6300.

Keep Your Cool

49. Swap sunscreen for the silver screen! Catch a movie at the Coronado Village Theater to beat the heat. This 64-year-old island landmark has been beautifully renovated and offers three auditoriums to watch this summer’s blockbusters. www.vintagecinemas.com/village

50. Scream for ice cream! MooTime Creamery at 1025 Orange Ave. offers your favorite ice cream flavors and mix-ins, all mashed together on an icy stone slab. You can even snap a selfie with the life-size Elvis statue outside to show just how cool you’re keepin’ it!


51. Have a cold one … Sample internationally acclaimed beers brewed by hometown brothers Ron and Rick Chapman at Coronado Brewing Company. 170 Orange Ave., (619) 437-4452.

photo_5352. Sip to live music … Head to Wine A Bit on Orange Avenue for festive wine tasting paired with live music Thursday– Saturday, 5:30-7:30 p.m., $15/pp.

53. California wines … Zilaro Cellars on Adella Avenue offers tastings of its award-winning wines Tuesday-Friday, 3-8 p.m., Saturday, 1-8 p.m., Sunday 1-6 p.m.

54. Vino by the sea … Head to ENO at the Del to sample fabulous wines next to a roaring outdoor fire pit and ocean breezes Tuesday-Saturday 5-10 p.m.

55. Fun with Fido … No need to leave your four-legged friends at home during your next happy hour. The Hotel del Coronado holds a weekly “Yappy Hour” from 4 to 5 p.m. on its Sundeck where pups enjoy free Evian water and gourmet dog treats while their owners sip on Greyhounds and Salty Dogs (or other beverages of their choosing!). McP’s Irish Pub offers a large, dog-friendly patio where your faithful companion is welcome to join you for a libation.

56. Happy hour: The bar at Vigilucci’s has a lovely outdoor patio overlooking Orange Avenue. Happy hour is every day and drinks are served with complimentary bruschetta; Monday-Friday, 3-7 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. www.vigiluccis.com

57. Shaken or Stirred? Primavera Ristorante serves ice-cold martinis on hot summer evenings. Happy hour (Monday-Friday, 5-7 p.m.) offers $3 off any drink.

Shop til you drop

58. Hotel shops: Coronado has three distinct shopping districts: shops at the Del offer 17 stores on the lower level of the property.

59. Fun and fresh … Every Tuesday afternoon from 2:30 to 6 p.m., Coronado’s farmers market offers farm fresh, locally grown produce at the Coronado Ferry Landing.

60. Peruse main street: “Downtown Coronado” is an award-winning Main Street historical area offering eclectic shops from Eighth Street to R.H. Dana Place.

61. Shops on the bay: The Ferry Landing offers more shopping opportunities including art, clothing and home accessories.

62. Garage sale mania … Every Thursday (and sometimes on the weekends) residents’ garage sales offer great buys and occasionally found treasures. Check Wednesday’s local newspaper for a listing of the next morning’s sales.


63. One luv … Coronado is home to four world-class tennis courts at the Coronado Cays, next to the Coronado Library, on Pomona overlooking Glorietta Bay and the Coronado Golf Course, and the newest courts on D Avenue. (619) 522-2650 The Coronado Tennis Association offers organized play and lessons; (619) 437-4348.

64. Twilight play … Coronado Golf Course offers summer twilight tee times starting at 3 p.m. for a discounted price of $20, weekdays; $22, weekends. (619) 435-3121

65. Dribble, dribble shoot! Head to the Coronado Community Center Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. to shoot some hoops with adult pickup basketball (adult volleyball takes place Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m) (619) 522-2459

66. Go for gold … The Optimist Sports Fiesta will get the whole family involved in friendly competition. See our calendar for details.

67. Take me out to the ball game! Watch the San Diego Padres face off from the 2.7-acre “Park at the Park” adjacent to Petco Park. A huge outdoor screen keeps you up on the play-by-play, kids can run free and horse around in the little league area, and at $10-$19 a ticket, it’s a very affordable way to enjoy the ballgame with the whole family. www.petcoparkevents.com

Adrenaline Rush

68. Freefall! Skydive San Diego is about 30 minutes away in Jamul and offers full service skydiving for beginning and experienced jumpers alike. Flights take off and land in a grassy area complete with barbecue deck and patio. www.skydivesandiego.com or (619) 216-8416

Photo courtesy San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Photo courtesy San Diego Zoo Safari Park

69.  Fly on a zipline! At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Flightline Safari, you will soar over rhinos, deer and other African animals and reach speeds of 60 miles per hour on a one-hour tour. (619) 718-3000 or www.sandiegozoo.org.

70. Ready, aim … The Paintball Park at Camp Pendleton is the place to go for paintball and airsoft games! More than 30 acres of themed game fields such as Tiki Village and King’s Castle will let your imagination run wild. Walk-on play is every Friday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with night games on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m. www.thepaintballpark.com

71. Bounce! Sky Zone San Diego’s sea of trampolines are all connected to form one massive trampoline surface. The surrounding angled trampolines allow you to literally bounce off the walls. www.skyzone.com/sandiego

72. Vroom! Big Bear isn’t just for snow birds! Rent a street-legal ATV and explore the nearby mountain trails and to experience nature with a little bit of horsepower. Helmets and trail map included for your safe adventuring. www.bearlakefun.com/atv-rentals

One day Getaway

73. Apple pie in the sky! About 1½ hours east lies the quaint, historical gold-mining mountain town of Julian known for incredible apple pies. www.julianca.com

74. Smell the flowers … Just 40 minutes north in Encinitas, the San Diego Botanic Garden features more than 30 gardens, ranging from desert to tropical rainforest. Traverse four miles of garden trails and restful vistas, see the nation’s largest bamboo collection, and visit the Hamilton Children’s Garden, the largest interactive children’s garden on the West Coast. www.sdbgarden.org

75. On a mission … Take the train to historical San Juan Capistrano — a town established in 1776 by Franciscan missionaries. Stroll down the Los Rios Historic District for quaint shopping and dining, tour the famous mission, and visit the Zoomars Petting Zoo. www.sanjuancapistrano.org




photo_34CLM Starfish

Leave a Reply