home In The Spotlight The A–Z guide to summer fun, on and off the island

The A–Z guide to summer fun, on and off the island

We’ve got all the bases covered for the season’s must-do activities in Coronado and across the bridge.

 Anchors away!

Seaforth Boat Rentals at 1715 Strand Way has an array of water vessels — including sailboats and even chartered yachts — so you can get all hands on deck. (888) 834-2628


Coronado’s beaches continue to make top-10 lists for best beaches in the nation. But a jaunt over the bridge offers many other fantastic beach-going opportunities. One is La Jolla Cove, which has a small protected beach where visitors enjoy vibrant snorkeling.

For a funky experience, head to Ocean Beach, where the ’60s culture is alive and thriving. In addition to a number of celebrated beachside eateries (many locals swear South Beach Bar & Grille boasts the best fish tacos in San Diego, while Hodad’s is a beloved burger joint where the walls are decorated floor to ceiling with cheeky license plates and surfboards) a walk down the Ocean Beach Pier offers stunning views of the Pacific. There’s even a little café right on the pier where you can watch fishermen cast their lines.

And for an epic sunset, check out the aptly named Sunset Cliffs just south of Ocean Beach. Monumental sandstone cliffs hang over crashing waves; locals pack picnics and grab a front row seat for the setting sun.

Catch a game

Downtown San Diego is home to Petco Park, a field-of-dreams-meets-city-skyline baseball field, surrounded by the vibrant Gaslamp District. Enjoy post-game fireworks shows every Friday and Saturday night. Have restless kiddos? Opt for the more affordable Park at the Park tickets ($15-$30, depending on the game) and bring a blanket. Kids can run free and enjoy the playground and even a mini little league infield diamond. Padres.com

Dog Beach

When Fido needs to get his ya-yas out, Dog Beach on the north end of Ocean Boulevard is a doggy haven, where four-legged friends play fetch in the ocean waves.

Explore Balboa Park

One of San Diego’s finest gems is Balboa Park, just a 10-minute drive from Coronado. The park, which celebrated its centennial last year, includes vibrant art and history museums, an enormous lathe structure housing a verdant botanical garden, sprawling picnic areas adjacent to a reflecting pool complete with water lilies, plus entertainment from an eccentric collection of buskers and street performers.

And since last year, for the first time since 1935, guests are able to climb the iconic California Tower, in the heart of the park and offering 360-degree views of the surrounding area. Reservations are required; museumofman.org/California-tower.

On Friday evenings from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., food trucks park in the Plaza de Panama and serve up all kinds of cuisine. Balboapark.org/foodtruckfriday

Check out the weekly free Spreckels Organ Pavilion outdoor concerts, on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m.


One of San Diego’s newest attractions is iFly, an indoor “skydiving” experience in Mission Valley where guests get airborne in a specialized compartment. $79.95 buys pre-flight instruction and two flights with an instructor — the time and sensation are equivalent to three skydives from 12,000 feet. iflyworld.com

Garage sales

In Coronado especially, one man’s junk is another’s treasure. On Thursday and Saturday mornings on the island, the early bird certainly gets the worm. The local newspaper, Coronado Eagle & Journal, lists the weekly sales. Coronadonewsca.com

Hedge your bets

For a fun-filled day of festive hats and good old-fashioned gambling on racehorses, head about 25 minutes north to the Del Mar Racetrack and be part of an almost-80-year-old San Diego tradition. First post is at 2 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, except on Fridays when it’s at 4 p.m. (and followed by live entertainment in the paddock after last post). (858) 792-4242 or dmtc.com

Ice cream

We all scream for ice cream, especially when it heats up! Coronado’s own MooTime Creamery has two locations — one at the Hotel Del and the other at 1025 Orange Ave. — where guests pick from a number of devilishly decadent ice cream flavors and mix-ins to cool off in the summer sun. If you’re looking for something a tad lighter, head to Nado Gelato at 1017 C Ave. for artisan gelato in an array of vibrant flavors.

Jump for joy

Head to Chula Vista, where a huge indoor trampoline and adventure park boasts 32,000 square feet of custom-made, fun-for-all-ages attractions like sprawling trampolines, skywalks above large foam-pit arenas, bungee jumping and climbing walls. $18/per hour, jumparoundnow.com


For an up-close-and-personal ocean experience, and a great workout to boot, hop in a kayak. Bike and Kayak has two locations: on the island at the Coronado Ferry Landing for tours around the San Diego Bay or at La Jolla Shores where you’ll be guided among kelp beds and along the scenic La Jolla cliffs and in and out of sea caves. bikeandkayaktours.com

Lobster rolls

At Coronado’s newest eatery, Lobster West, the family-run business ships sustainable Maine lobster overnight so they can serve up the freshest and most tender meat in their decadent lobster rolls. Just a block off Orange Avenue at 1033 B Ave., (619) 675-0002, lobsterwest.com

Monday happy hours

The newly remodeled Brigantine offers all-day happy hour every Monday. 1333 Orange Ave., (619) 435-4166. Or, head into Primavera Ristorante for Martini Mondays, when all martinis are $5.

932 Orange Ave., (619) 435-0454. And, from 3 to 7 p.m., Vigilucci’s Ristorante takes off that Monday edge with $5 wine and well-drink specials, half-off draft beer and a complimentary appetizer plate in the bar. 1300 Orange Ave., (619) 522-0946


Coronado has state-of-the-art facilities for both tennis and basketball. Four locations of tennis courts throughout the island (1501 Glorietta Blvd., 555 D Ave., 1014 6th St., and along Coronado Cays Boulevard) total 19 courts, the majority of which are lighted for evening play.

If you prefer your courts with hoops, check out the Coronado Community Center’s regulation-sized basketball court and scheduled times for pick up games. (619) 522-7342 or Coronado.ca.us.

Old Town adventure

Hop on the Old Town Trolley outside McP’s Irish Pub on the corner of C Street and Orange Avenue (departs every :05 and :35 on the hour; tickets can be purchased at the same location) and head across the bridge to San Diego’s Old Town, where the first Europeans settled in 1850. The historic state park is surrounded by festive Mexican restaurants, a professional live theater, galleries, and an array of shops. Living history activities, such as blacksmithing, weaving, soap making and newspaper printing, take place every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (see oldtownsandiegoguide.com for schedule) and free historic tours are offered daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Paddleboard Pilates

Challenge your strength and balance with a Pilates lesson — atop a paddleboard! Lessons include a 30-minute stand-up paddle session around Glorietta Bay and an anchored 60-minute Pilates class  —  all surrounded by the beauty of the bay. A free class is offered the first Friday of every month at 8 a.m. (Call for other class times and locations.) Spots must be reserved in advance; paddleboardpilates@yahoo.com or (619) 701-5894

Quiet time

Coronado’s Bay View park is a little gem nestled on the bay on First Street at I Avenue. A little bench overlooking the water and the downtown skyline is a perfect place for some quiet reflection or journaling.

Retail therapy

A stroll along Orange Avenue presents myriad shopping experiences, from women’s clothing to bicycles to surfing goods to home décor. Stop in at Luxury Farms, 918 Orange Ave., for specialty culinary gifts as well as a take-out counter offering gourmet foods. And don’t miss Cotier, which is just off Orange Avenue at 1053 B Ave. and offers high-end home décor with both a casual coastal and French-inspired feel. At the Coronado Ferry Landing, (1201 First St.) meander through art galleries, hip men and women’s clothing boutiques, and souvenir shops full of fun Coronado memorabilia.

 Summer shuttle

The free summer shuttle runs “9 to 9” (10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays) from Coronado Community Center, through downtown, to the Ferry Landing then over to the Coronado Island Marriott Resort with a bus arriving every 15 minutes. New this year, the free Silver Strand Shuttle runs from the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, through the Coronado Cays and northbound to the Navy bases through downtown (Orange at Adella) with a bus arriving every 30 minutes. (619) 522-7340

Taco time

It doesn’t have to be Tuesday to enjoy a San Diego food staple — the taco. Coronado’s Costa Azul restaurant makes homemade tortillas hold a variety of fillings, including local favorite, swordfish (1031 Orange Ave.). Villa Nueva Bakery serves authentic street tacos with either chicken, steak or fish on the sidewalk every Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m. (956 Orange Ave.), and you can’t go wrong with the Coronado Brigantine’s classic fish tacos (1333 Orange Ave.).

For one of San Diego’s most authentic (and serious local favorite) taco stops, head over the bridge to Las Cuatro Milpas, where the Estudillo family has been operating — with a line out the door — for three generations. The only tacos they serve are pork, and the wait is well worth it. Mon.-Sat. 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1857 Logan Ave., (619) 234-4460

USS Midway

The longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century is docked permanently in San Diego. Admission includes a self-guided audio tour that will take you through 50 years of world history, more than 60 interactive exhibits, and 29 restored aircraft throughout the historic vessel. Purchase tickets online to save $2 on admission: adults, $18; military w/ID, $8; student (13-17), $13; youth (6-12), $8. 910 N. Harbor Drive, (619) 544-9600, midway.org


Village Theatre

The fully restored theater has been the locals’ go-to for cinema for 64 years. Its three inviting, art-deco auditoriums feature current box office hits. 820 Orange Ave., (619) 437-6161 or vintagecinemas.com

Wine and paint

Wine a Bit (928 Orange Ave.) hosts paint classes on Tuesday nights from 5:30 to 8 p.m. $28 provides the lesson and materials; appetizers, wine and beer available for purchase. (619) 365-4953. Emerald C Gallery (1331 Orange Ave.) hosts a weekly “Dip and Sip” on Wednesday and Saturday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. $40 includes two-hour lesson, all supplies, wine and light fare. (619) 996-3315

eXperiment with Science

Balboa Park’s Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and IMAX Theatre is an educational experience for kids and adults that doesn’t skimp on the fun. The IMAX Theatre offers stunning educational films projected on a dome theater that completely envelops viewers with incredible imagery. (619) 238-1233 or rhfleet.org


Yoga on the beach

Get your “om” on while overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Coronado local Mary Farley leads beachside yoga Tuesday and Friday mornings at 8:30. Meet at the beach entrance where Ocean Court meets Ocean Boulevard (across from Sunset Park) with a yoga mat. $5 donation suggested; beginners welcome.


The world-famous San Diego Zoo, celebrating its 100th year, is a must-experience for locals and visitors alike. The 100-acre zoo houses more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals and a world-renowned botanical collection of more than 700,000 exotic plants. Early morning and early evening are the animals’ busiest times as they await food. (Zoo hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. through Aug. 20, then til 8 p.m. for the rest of the summer.) (619) 231-1515, sandiegozoo.org 

B is for beach
B is for beach
E is for explore Balboa Park
E is for explore Balboa Park
F is for freefall
F is for freefall
H is for hedge your bets
H is for hedge your bets
K is for kayak
K is for kayak
L is for lobster rolls
L is for lobster rolls
P is for paddleboard pilates
P is for paddleboard pilates
W is for wine and paint
W is for wine and paint
X is for eXperiment with science
X is for eXperiment with science
Z is for zoo
Z is for zoo

CLM Starfish