5 to Try: Coronado Holiday Delights

Just a bridge away, Coronado is full of sparkling surprises to put visitors in the holiday spirit and bring some smiles amidst the hustle and bustle of the season. Following are my five fav fun and festive finds from this fantasy island (say that five times fast!):

Gondolier at Loews Coronado Bay Resort

1. That’s amore! I love the Gondola Company at Loews Coronado Bay Resort, with their blissfully relaxing Venetian gondola rides through the Coronado Cays to view homes and boats festooned with holiday lights. It was pure magic as we glided over the calm bay waters, sipped cocktails and listened to the gondolier singing Christmas carols.

2.  Chocoholics unite… for not just any ol’ chocolate dessert. But a chocolate bread pudding with coconut (!) at Tartine, a charming French bistro & bakery near the Coronado Ferry Landing (1106 First St.). Decadent doesn’t even begin to describe how delicious this is. Dozens of other delectable desserts and pastries are made fresh daily (pick up some ginger snaps for Santa!).

3. Talk of the town. This yuletide, take a trip back in time with Coronado Touring. Hear riveting tales of dreamers and daredevils who turned a Christmas tree-less isle of jackrabbits into the shining crown city of today.  And discover insider secrets like a supposed tunnel connecting the Del and Glorietta Bay Inn (Santa’s shortcut?) and kelp ‘n sand dunes on the beach that spell “Coronado.”

The Del's 2010 collectible Christmas ornament.

4. Trim the tree. Each year the Hotel del Coronado debuts a collectible Christmas ornament. My coworker has a nifty Limoges-style one from 2008 that I can’t find on eBay (oh well). But you can still trim your tree with this year’s treasured glass creation. (Sidebar – Last-minute holiday shoppers: enjoy two hours of free metered parking on the island!)

5. Ice princess. The Del’s Skating by the Sea is simply surreal and incredibly cool with its postcard backdrop of palm trees, sun, sand and surf. Christmas doesn’t get any more SoCal than this. And it’s for a great cause too: portion of proceeds benefit Make-a-Wish Foundation. Ice is nice!

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Robert Arends

About Robert Arends

I’m a native San Diegan and man of many hats: PR, roadside America traveler/backyard tourist (especially our mountains and Anza-Borrego Desert), photographer (motto: capture the moment!), music fan, sci-fi buff, tiki collector and constant gardener. What would you do on your ideal San Diego day? I would spend the day snorkeling in La Jolla Cove. It’s like swimming in a huge aquarium – Garibaldi fish, lobsters, sea lions, oh my! If you were invisible, where would you go? I’d go surfing in Coronado. I’ve never surfed, but have always wanted to. If I was invisible no one would see me fall (again and again! – LOL). What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity? Walking the Prado in Balboa Park; feels like I’m in Spain. The architecture is amazing!  I also enjoy hiking Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to see the annual wildflowers and exploring the tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument. Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine? Linguine and red wine (wine list, please!), with tableside views of San Diego Bay. Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player are… Magic Man: Paris, Bear Hands: Giants, Capital Cities: I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo, Man Man: Head On, London Grammar: Nightcall (Freemasons Remix). Follow Robert on Twitter @groovestar

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