North Beach, Coronado, California

The Crown City

Most people love to celebrate birthdays. My mother-in-law is no exception, loving to commemorate hers all month long.  May is her birth month. This year, she made a special request that our little family of 4 join her for a trip to Coronado, California, the last week of April to usher in her birthday month. (Clearly, I need to start taking notes! I don’t celebrate mine nearly long enough.) And what better place to celebrate than “The Crown City”?

Sixth Street and Orange

So, come April 24, we flew into San Diego and caught an Uber to Coronado Island. Which isn’t an island at all, by the way. As my husband pointed out (and mentioned almost every day we were there). Coronado is actually a peninsula connected to the mainland by the Silver Strand (aka The Strand). But I digress.

Dragon sculpture

While the “island” is several blocks across, we found we could easily walk everywhere we needed to go. Thankfully, we were on vacation time, so no rush to get anywhere. So, walk we did. It gave us that much more time to take in the beauty all around us, from meticulously manicured lawns to sculptures to painted electric boxes to the gorgeous and fragrant flowers in full bloom. I couldn’t get enough of the birds-of-paradise, which seemed to peek out at us at every turn.

Helicopters and Happy Hour

North Beach helicopter, Coronado

On our first full day, we walked to the beach on the Pacific Ocean side of Coronado and enjoyed playing in the sand. Overhead, helicopters and other military aircraft passed by regularly. Coronado is, after all, home to Naval Base Coronado. It’s the United States’ ninth largest naval base.

After a day at the beach, my husband and I (and our 9 month old son) did an early Happy Hour date night at Coronado Brewing Company. Though there were several items on the menu that looked appetizing, we opted for the Ahi Poke, Artichoke Dip, and Spanglish Fries. All good choices, but I’d say my favorite of the three was the Artichoke Dip. Such creamy deliciousness! And, to finish it off, we split the Brownie a la Mode. So good!

Coronado Ferry

Coronado Ferry Landing

The next day, we walked over to Coronado Ferry Landing. While it boasts shopping centers with art galleries, clothing stores, and several places to eat, we made a bee-line for the ferry. After a lovely ride aboard a Flagship Ferry across San Diego Bay, we enjoyed a morning at leisure in downtown San Diego.

San Diego Bay
The bay walk bustled with activity and people rolling massive suitcases. While San Diego airport is not far, I could only guess they were on their way to the massive Disney Cruise ship docked close by. We enjoyed lunch, then found our way back to the Coronado Ferry and the beautiful beaches that awaited us back across the bay. Is there such a thing as too many days at the beach when you’re on vacation?

Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel Del Coronado sign

No trip to Coronado would be complete without wandering down Orange Street and taking in the sites, especially the historic Hotel Del Coronado. So, on our second to last day, we walked down to Leroy’s on Orange for their Saturday brunch. Since I am a huge fan of poke (after having discovered poke bowls in Maui a couple of years ago), I had to try the Poke Tacos. I was not disappointed.

historic Hotel Del CoronadoContentedly full of poke tacos and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, I walked to the beach near Hotel Del. I let the kids get in another dose of quality beach time, complete with sandcastle building. Then, while my husband and mother-in-law watched the kids, I meandered through Shops at the Del to check out the lovely lobby of Hotel Del Coronado. What struck me most was the sizable chandelier; crystals elegantly draped above as people checked in at the counter.

While their vacations had just begun, it was sadly time for ours to come to an end. And so, the next morning, we took another Uber back to the mainland towards home.

Leave a Reply