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Day Trip from San Diego

Updated on November 30, 2012
Highly-rated Coronado Beach is easily accessible from your downtown San Diego hotel.
Highly-rated Coronado Beach is easily accessible from your downtown San Diego hotel. | Source

San Diego hosts about 16 million overnight visitors each year. This includes over 600,000 guests who will attend 65 conventions at the San Diego Convention Center, plus millions of other visitors who will stay in the many downtown hotels. If you are one of these lucky visitors, all you need is two hours to take a scenic round-trip cruise across San Diego harbor to visit the lovely community of Coronado.

San Diego and Coronado, CA

Getting There

Getting to Coronado is half the fun. Just walk or take a taxi from your hotel to the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego (1050 N. Harbor Drive) or the Convention Center Marina (600 Convention Way), purchase your ferry ticket for $4.25 each way (free for children under 3), and enjoy the scenic 15 minute ferry ride to the Coronado Ferry Landing (1201 First Street, Coronado). Tickets can be easily purchased at all three locations. The ferry schedule is posted at

The ferry offers unobstructed views of the downtown San Diego skyline, the sweeping San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, the swanky low-rise Coronado waterfront homes, North Island Naval Air Station, and the harbor itself. If you’re lucky, you can watch dolphins riding the ferry’s bow wave, U.S. Navy ships under way, the Coast Guard practicing helicopter rescue drills, and U.S. Navy Seals practicing in inflatable boats. The ferry’s top deck is also a great place to soak up the sun to take advantage of San Diego’s weather.

Coronado Ferry Marketplace

A markerCoronado Ferry Landing -
1201 1st St, Coronado, CA 92118, USA
get directions

Coronado Ferry Landing

Once you arrive in Coronado, you’ll disembark at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Check if the fishermen on the pier have caught anything interesting. Then explore the more than 25 unique and eclectic shops of the Ferry Landing Marketplace, including art galleries, apparel, gifts, souvenirs, waterfront restaurants and casual eateries. If you’re on a budget, buy a steaming latte from Kaffeen’s coffee kiosk, and sip it while soaking up the gorgeous harbor views. Even better, enjoy a cupcake with your coffee, which you can purchase from Coronado Cupcakery. On Sunday afternoons, enjoy one of the Sunday concerts. Lists of the shops, restaurants and concerts are available at

Explore Coronado

If you have some time, explore the fairy-tale community of Coronado. Coronado has over 15 miles of dedicated biking and running paths, so a great way to explore the community is to rent a bike at Bikes & Beyond at the Ferry Landing Marketplace and go for a ride. (If you have more than one person in your group, consider renting a surrey instead. Surrey’s have two benches, and seat up to 4 people easily.)

From the Ferry Landing Marketplace, go east along the Bayshore Bikeway (Silver Strand Bikeway) for a breathtaking ride along the waterfront. After you pass beneath the Coronado Bay Bridge, the Bikeway will take you along the edges of the Coronado Golf Course and then southward towards Glorietta Bay. If you feel like a longer bike ride, stay on the Bikeway as it heads southeast along Silver Strand Boulevard, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning Pacific Ocean views. Just be careful of strong headwinds.

If you’d rather see more of Coronado, take a right onto Orange Avenue instead. Your first stop should be the Hotel del Coronado, an iconic and gracious Victorian hotel built in 1888. Enjoy an ice cream cone from Moo Time Creamery (located at the Hotel), visit the Shops at the Del, or savor an oceanfront lunch. Then take a walk on romantic Coronado Beach, which is a perennial contender for America’s best beach.

As you continue northward on Orange Avenue, you’ll pass through the commercial center of Coronado, which offers more than 100 shops and boutiques, coffee shops, casual and fine restaurants. To get a better feeling for the community, venture off on some of the city’s quiet residential streets, which are home to some of the most expensive real estate in the United States. Just keep heading north so you’ll eventually reach First Street, where you can return your bike to Bikes & Beyond (1201 First Street). Be sure to exercise appropriate caution when crossing Third and Fourth Streets, which have a lot of traffic.

Once you reach the Ferry Landing, enjoy a cool drink as you wait for the ferry ride back to San Diego.


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    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      We only live about an hour drive from San Diego, and we enjoy spending time there. I have actually taken that cruise around Coronado. Interesting hub!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      We lived in San Diego and I have often missed the perfect weather and beauty. When we lived there we never wanted to leave. Great hub and well written.

    • aykianink profile image

      aykianink 5 years ago

      " If you’re lucky, you can watch dolphins riding the ferry’s bow wave..." Ooooh, very cool.

      Extremely detailed hub, Tips.

    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 5 years ago from New York

      The military families we met while living in Coronado for a short time were some of the most friendly people we've ever met! Thanks for stopping by.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      When my ex-husband was in the Navy, we were stationed in San Diego and one of our favorite places to explore was Coronado. There was a military beach there that was almost always deserted. Loved that! Kind of miss it now. :) The beach, not the ex-husband. Voted up and shared all over.