Weekend in Coronado Island, San Diego

Jenn stands in front of a yellow mini van in front of the Coronado Hotel in Coronado island, San Diego.

Often named one of the best beaches in the U.S; Coronado Island, San Diego is a charming island that sits across the bay from downtown San Diego in California. Although not an island by definition, many locals and tourists call it an island. It’s a peninsula connected by the silver strand, a neck of land connected to the mainland. A great getaway option if you’re looking for a weekend trip from LA or paired with your next visit to San Diego. 

Coronado Island Ferry 

The entrance to the Coronado Ferry Landing with the bay of San Diego in the background.

The Coronado Ferry is only a 15-minute ride to the island. There are two routes, you can either leave from the Broadway Pier or the Convention Center in San Diego. The boat arrives at the Coronado Ferry Landing, it’s also where you depart back to San Diego. A great experience for first timers to the island. 

  • The ferry costs $8 one way or $16 roundtrip || Purchase tickets here
  • Children under 4 ride FREE 
  • Dogs are not allowed on the ferry, only service dogs

Coronado Bridge San Diego (If you decide to drive)If you decide to drive to Coronado Island, San Diego then the Coronado Bridge will take you there. There are no tolls, it’s free to access. The curved bridge is 2.12 miles long and one of the tallest in the U.S.

Beaches in Coronado Island, San Diego 

Coronado Central Beach 

Coronado Central Beach in front of the Hotel del Coronado.
The back entrance of the Hotel del Coronado with palm trees lining the perimeter of the hotel.
Jenn sitting and smiling with a handbag next to her on a table.

This white sand beach is a favorite among visitors with its white sand and blue waters. The beach is widespread and ideal for those who don’t want to feel like they’re in a cramped space. The beach is shared with the iconic Hotel del Coronado

If you’re interested in having some of the perks of Hotel del Coronado, but don’t wish to stay overnight then purchase a day pass for $50. The pass includes access to beach chairs, games and more. A nice option if you want everything to be taken care of. 

Address: 838 Ocean Blvd Coronado, CA 92118
Parking: Street parking
Dogs Allowed: No

Silver Strand State Beach 

A catamaran boat in the ocean at Silver Strand beach in Coronado Island.
Bushes and flowers grow in the sand at Silver Strand beach.

Located on the southern coast of Coronado Island, this beautiful stretch of beach is for those looking to do activities. There are many things to do here, for example:

  • Biking (there’s a 10-mile long path)
  • Fishing – you’ll need a permit (usual catch is yellow-fin croaker, grunion, croaker, and others)
  • RV Camping, but make sure to make reservations here
  • Fire pits 
  • Swimming 
  • Surfing 
  • Volleyball 

Silver Strand State beach has on site bathrooms and showers to rinse off. It’s also the designated beach for Loews Coronado Bay Resort guests. If you decide to stay overnight, consider staying at Loews for easy access to the beach. Guests can walk, which only takes 5-minutes or the hotel shuttle can drop you off. 

Address: 5000 California 75, Coronado, CA. 92118
Parking: Street parking
Dogs Allowed: Yes but on leash

Coronado Dog Beach 

dogs run into the waves at Coronado Dog beach.
Dog paw prints in the sand at the Coronado Dog beach.

If you drove and brought your furry friend then head to the Coronado Dog Beach! They’re free to roam around leash free and enjoy the waves with other furry friends. 

A nice touch to this dog beach is that they have a water station with a dog bowl in case you forget yours. As well as a hose to rinse off your dog(s) after a sandy beach day! Definitely a hidden gem, even for those who are SD natives. 

Address: 100 Ocean Blvd Coronado, CA 92118
Parking: Street parking
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Parks in Coronado Island, San Diego 

Bayview Park 

Bikers use the path at Bayview park with a view of the bay of San Diego.
Large trees extend into the sky at Bayview Park.

This is a beautiful hidden gem in Coronado Island, San Diego with NYC vibes. The views are unmatched and there’s several benches to choose from to sit on and enjoy the skyline. I wouldn’t describe it as a park, rather a viewpoint with a large grassy area.

I suggest arriving a little before sunset hour to enjoy both the day and night views. It does get very dark at night as there’s no lighting but still many couples are there enjoying the waterfront. Just something to be aware of if planning to go at night. 

Address: Bayview Park, 1st Street, Coronado, CA, USA
Parking: Street parking
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Centennial Park

Kayakers are seen in the bay at Centennial Park.

The incredible manicured gardens and San Diego bay views of Centennial Park are what make this park. It’s the gateway to the Coronado Ferry Landing and a must visit if you take the ferry. In the spring and summer it’s beautiful but it’s also wedding season. I suggest visiting on a weekday to avoid the multiple gatherings. 

If you’re a photographer then you’ll enjoy the beauty of everything Centennial Park has to offer. It’s close to many restaurants and a great place to come to walk after you’ve enjoyed a meal! 

Address: 1099 First St., Coronado, CA. 92118
Parking: Street parking
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Coronado Tidelands Park

A pathway runs a long Coronado Tidelands Park and a large grass area with trees fills the space.

The Coronado Tidelands Park is great for kids, activities and bikers. It’s on the water with views of downtown San Diego, the bay and the Coronado bridge where you can enjoy a scenic walk or bike ride. If you decide to just take in the views then sit at one of their many benches along the pathway.

It’s a large park in comparison to the ones mentioned above. There’s a baseball field, a large grassy area for picnics and/or sports and a play structure for kids. There’s also a skate park with a $10 sign up charge and $5 when you return. 

Address: 2000 Mullinex Dr Coronado, CA 92118
Parking: Street parking & lot parking
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Things to do in Coronado Island, San Diego

The Old Town Trolly in the streets of Coronado with passengers on board.

You’ve made it to Coronado Island and now what do you do? There are so many things to do in this beautiful part of San Diego. From shopping to trying a local coffee shop and dining at one of the many restaurants. Although just an island, Coronado offers visitors a variety of activities! Below are a few favorites! 

  1. Coronado Bike Riding – $98 per person x 2 hrs 
  2. Gondola Cruise – $64.50 per person x 50 minutes 
  3. Coronado Walking Tour – $55 per person x 2hrs 30mins
  4. History & Highlights Walking Tour – $55 per person x 2hrs 30mins
  5. Trolley Tour (12 stops + 25 miles of touring) – $46.55 per person 
  6. Kayak Rental – $34 per person x 90 mins 
  7. Bike Rental – $29 per person x all day rental
  8. Paddle Board – $29 per person x 90 mins 
  9. Live Theater Performance at Lamb’s Players Theater – $28-$92 per person 
  10. Coronado Golf Course – $39 – $69 per 18 holes 

Beach S’mores at Hotel del Coronado – $210 x fire pit & unlimited s’mores (10 people max)

Shopping in Coronado Island 

Stores line up the streets of Orange Ave in Coronado with shoppers on the sidewalk.

Coronado island has over 50 stores available to shop from, similar to LA’s outdoor mall, One Colorado. The stores offer everything from clothing, fine jewelry, souvenirs, one of a kind boutique shops, vintage stores, home and decor to surf shops and more. You can find these shops on Orange Ave.

Not only is Orange Ave also offers casual eateries and cafes as well. You can decide to shop first and eat later or eat fuel up first then go shopping. There’s a variety of restaurants to choose from. 

Parking on Orange Ave is metered parking, with a 25¢ charge per hour.

Weather in Coronado, CA

Red cushioned seats and palms trees surrounding the courtyard in Hotel del Coronado.

On average Coronado Island often favors beautiful weather with clear skies and sunny days at 68°F-75°F. This is ideal for the tourists who want to visit outside of the summer months. 

In the Winter, the rainiest month is February. Avoid visiting if possible or you won’t be able to partake in any of the water activities. Overall, Coronado offers great weather. 

Coronado Island, San Diego Roundup 

A sign of Coronado with sails boats on the bay from the view of a car window.

And with that, we end our post Weekend in Coronado island, San Diego. This hidden gem that gets overlooked by visitors is the ideal getaway even for those who want to get away but don’t have enough time. If you live in California, consider visiting Coronado. You can fill your days with just water activities or lay out and just relax by the water. 

Jenn stand in front of Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.


  1. Are dogs allowed on the ferry? 
  • No
  1. When is the best time to visit Coronado Island, San Diego?
  • Early June to mid October 
  1. Is the water warm at the beach? 
  • Unfortunately, no. The average water temp is 62°F
  1. How long should I stay in Coronado Island to visit?
  • Depends on what you’d like to do, but a weekend should be enough time
  1. What should I pack when visiting Coronado Island? 
  • Pack light linens, bathing suits, sandals and anything you can fit into a carry-on for a sunny adventurous vacation. Click here for my free travel checklist that covers all seasons if you need help! 

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