Robert Arends

Resort to Fun with Outdoor Activities in Coronado this Spring!

Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach

Spring over to Coronado Beach, the #1 beach in America

Spring is just around the corner (March 20) and with the weather warming up, now is a perfect time to plan your Spring Break and discover the great outdoors of Coronado Island!

With miles of beaches and coastline on the sparkling Pacific and San Diego Bay, there are countless options for fun in the water including surfing, sailing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and more.  On land, the “Crown City” has just as much to offer: bicycling, inline skating, golf, tennis… and the list goes on.

Here are my top picks of things to do at Coronado’s big four fab resorts and hotels where outdoor activities abound:

The Gondola Company near Loews Coronado Bay Resort

The Gondola Company near Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Loews Coronado Bay Resort was made for play and enjoys the best of both watery worlds, situated on a peninsula on San Diego Bay just steps from Silver Strand State Beach and the ocean. Fun ways to soak in the sun include swimming in three pools (including one for adults only), surfing, sailing, kayaking, bicycling, rollerblading, cool interactive nature tours of the Silver Strand (a pristine preserve of rare plants, animals and birds) and tours of the resort’s herb garden.

Did you know: Just down the road from Loews, The Gondola Company offers enchanting cruises on authentic Venetian gondolas!

Flamingos, finches and ducks - oh my! - at the Coronado Island Marriott

Flamingos, finches and ducks – oh my! – at the Coronado Island Marriott

I recently stayed at Coronado Island Marriott Resort where surprising outdoor finds made for quite a memorable visit, especially the aviary of finches, a flock of pink flamingos and families of ducks wading in ponds; photo opps galore! There’s also bicycling along beautiful bay-side paths, tennis and swimming/sunbathing in three pools. The resort even has its own private pier where you can take a water taxi across the bay to downtown San Diego.

Kayak Under the Coronado Bridge

Coronado Kayak Tour

Did you know: At the nearby Coronado Ferry Landing, the new Coronado Kayak Tour is San Diego’s only urban kayaking adventure, and glides under the iconic blue arch of the Coronado Bridge!

The landmark Hotel del Coronado is a grand playground to explore with recreational options that take full advantage of its location on the #1 beach in America.  There’s yoga on the beach, beach volleyball and beach rentals including boogie boards, surfboards and beach cruisers from PeDels (gotta love the name!). At night, s’mores on the beach is a sweet way to end the day.

Did you know: The Del’s tide break of giant boulders is a great spot to explore tidepools teeming with marine life.

Fore! at Coronado Golf Course

Fore! at Coronado Golf Course

The charming Glorietta Bay Inn is in a prime location overlooking Glorietta Bay, home to the Coronado Boathouse where sailboat, speedboat, water ski, jet ski, paddleboat and kayak rentals are available. The Inn is also just down the street from the Coronado Tennis Center (8 courts) and scenic Coronado Golf Course. Golfers will love Glorietta Bay Inn’s new Golf Play & Stay package which includes one round of golf and a golf cart.

Did you know: On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, Coronado Touring offers fascinating historic walking tours of downtown Coronado, departing from the Glorietta Bay Inn.

Happy Spring (almost)…See you in Coronado!

Robert Arends

5 Things I Love about Coronado

Coronado Beach - OrangeandPark.com

Beautiful Coronado Sunset. Photo courtesy of OrangeandPark.com

Oh Coronado, the “Enchanted Isle,” how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

OK, that’s a little sappy, but I can’t help it. Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and love is in the air. What better time to talk about five things I really love about the Emerald City.

1. The Restaurants

Fabulous views of San Diego Bay from Mistral

Fabulous views of San Diego Bay from Mistral

I love that Coronado was made for romantic dining, with fabu restaurants from the Pacific to San Diego Bay beckoning couples to gaze into each other’s eyes over a delectable candlelit dinner. Two of my personal favs: Chez Loma, an intimate, authentic French bistro, and Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort with views as phenomenal as the cuisine.

2. The Journey Around Coronado Island

Tweet! Aviary at Coronado Island Marriott Resort

Tweet! Aviary at Coronado Island Marriott Resort

I love the joy in the journey to and around the island. The views by car from the graceful blue arch of the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bridge are second to none! You can see as far as Mexico and the ‘lil Islas Coronadas (crowned islands) off the coast. Better yet, take a fun ferry ride over from downtown San Diego! Then explore the island by beach cruiser (there are bike rental shops throughout the island), Segway of Coronado or Pedego electric bike.

3. Playing in the Water

Kayak Under the Coronado Bridge

Coronado Kayak Tour adventure!

I love all the ways to play in the ocean and bay. There’s stand-up paddleboarding with SUP Coronado, surfing with Coronado Surfing Academy, the new Coronado Kayak Tour, The Gondola Company’s authentic Venetian gondola rides and San Diego Seaplanes, launching from the bay by the Coronado Ferry Landing!

4. The Island’s Secrets

The "Baby Del" (144 Isabella Ave.)

The “Baby Del” (144 Isabella Ave.)

I love the “secret” sights around the island, from sand dunes on the beach that spell C-O-R-O-N-A-D-O and the flock of flamingos and aviary at Coronado Island Marriot Resort, to Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum’s cottage on Star Park Circle, the ghost of Kate Morgan’s room at the Hotel del Coronado and the “Baby Del” on Isabella Ave.

5. The Sunsets

sunset2

I love the stunning sunsets. I took the photo above just last weekend. No matter how many times I see the sun set in glorious hues of yellow, orange and red over the beach, it’s never ceases to leave me in awe.

Coronado, what’s not to love! 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3

Robert Arends

Coronado: Essential Summer Guide, Part 2

Summer sun, surf and sand in Coronado! (photo credit: Brett Shoaf)

It’s almost the weekend and sun-kissed Coronado is calling! In between boogie boarding and wiggling your toes in the sand on America’s #1 Beach (thank you, Dr. Beach!) following are a few fun – and free – lesser-known “secret” sights and activities around the island to check out.

Del-ightful!…The Diminutive Del

Coronado Boathouse 1887 – The “diminutive Del”

So we all know about the famous Hotel del Coronado. But did you know that just down the block is a building referred to as the “diminutive Del:” The Coronado Boathouse 1887 restaurant on Glorietta Bay. Pretty as a postcard!

The Baby Del

The “Baby Del” (144 Isabella Ave.)

There’s also the eye-catching “Baby Del,” a beautiful private home at 144 Isabella Ave. that will be the site of the 21st Annual Coronado MainStreet Garden Party on September 8 (buy your tickets now!).

Art & Sol…

“My Bike” trekking across the San Diego-Coronado Bridge!

In Coronado’s Tidelands Park is one of the coolest public art pieces on the island, “My Bike,” which seemingly flies through the air as it catches the bay breezes, shining in the sun. Stand back a bit, though, and view it with the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the background and you’ll notice it’s actually riding across the bridge – a really cool visual effect! Check out the video.

Afternoon Delight…

Catching some rays in Coronado Island Marriott’s double hammocks.

There’s nothing like a lazy afternoon nap after a long day of play in the sun. Just around the corner from Tidelands Park at Coronado Island Marriott Resort, head out back behind the resort’s pool to find two big double hammocks just waiting for couples to catch 40 winks. The views are spectacular…this is the life!

Have a great weekend – see you in Coronado!

Robert Arends

Sparkling New Year’s in Coronado

Ice skating into the New Year at Hotel del Coronado

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! Shopping is almost done (THANK YOU, Coronado, for 2 hours of free metered parking!) and the last batch of cards are being sent out tomorrow. I’m definitely in holiday mode… Yesterday I visited the Hotel del Coronado and took some photos of their gorgeous lobby Christmas tree and Skating by the Sea.

Christmas tree at The Del

Now, though, I have my sights set on New Year’s. Where can you ring in 2012 on the enchanted island? There are a few fabulous fetes in store at the resorts, plus some wintery fun just steps away from Coronado Beach: 

  • The Hotel del Coronado is throwing a New Year’s Eve Gala, including a reception in the Crown Room, lavish dinner in the oceanfront ballroom with dancing to the contemporary sounds of the Mar Dels, plus a champagne toast at midnight ($275 per person). 

The Del also offers separate parties for kids ages 4-12 at the resort’s Kidtopia and teens ages 13-17 at Vibz Teen Lounge; includes dinner, crafts, beach parties, bonfires and more.

Crown Room at The Del

The party continues on New Year’s Day with a champagne brunch in the Crown Room from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Toast the New Year at Mistral, Loews Coronado Bay Resort

  • Loews Coronado Bay Resort kicks off its New Year’s Eve festivities from 5–10 p.m. at Mistral restaurant. There will be live music and an exquisite five-course prix fixe menu featuring the best of Chef Patrick Ponsaty’s award-winning modern French cuisine ($95 per person). From 10 p.m.–1 a.m., ring in the New Year in Cays Lounge with dancing and live music. Complimentary for restaurant goers and resort guests. Space is limited.

For children, there’s Party Hat Decorating from 4-5 p.m. ($5 per person) and Loews’ Kids’ Club will be open until 1 a.m.

Add some pizazz to your New Year’s party look with the New Year’s Eve “Glam” package being offered at Sea Spa, 3-7 p.m.; includes hair style and makeup ($120) and a “Razzle Dazzle” manicure & pedicure ($90).

Enjoy champagne brunch at Market Cafe on Jan. 1

On New Year’s Day from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., enjoy a Champagne Brunch buffet in the Market Café ($36 for adults and $18 for children).

Dining room at Current, Coronado Island Marriott Resort

  • Revelers can also ring in the New Year at Current Restaurant in the Coronado Island Marriott Resort. Festivities include live music, a special four-course dinner with wine pairing and a champagne toast at midnight. 
  • And if you haven’t gone ice Skating by the Sea yet at the Hotel del Coronado, there’s still time to practice your axel jumps and spirals! The rink on the Windsor Lawn is open through Jan. 2. Check out this cool video I shot!

Happy (early) New Year from Coronado! We’ll see you on the island 🙂