Robert Arends

Shhh! – 4 Secrets of Coronado’s Beaches

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

If you promise not to tell ;-), I’ve got some cool secrets to share with you about Coronado’s beaches, including Coronado Beach – the #1 beach in America!

1. The Sand Dunes

C-O-R-O-N-A-D-O Beach sand dunes!

The ice plant-covered sand dunes on Coronado Beach by the massive boulders along Ocean Blvd. spell C-O-R-O-N-A-D-O! (The Navy jets flying overhead have the best view.) But that’s not all…if you look north toward Dog Beach you’ll see a few more inconspicuous sand dunes that continue to spell B-E-A-C-H. The “BEACH” portion is harder to see, but it’s definitely there.

2. Shipwrecked

SS Monte Carlo Shipwreck on Coronado

S.S. Monte Carlo shipwreck at Coronado Shores.

Head to Coronado Shores beach (located just south of the Hotel del Coronado) during low tide to spot the outline of shipwreck. It’s all that’s left of the S.S. Monte Carlo, a notorious gambling ship from 1936 that was known for “drinks, dice and dolls.” Word to the wise: Watch your step! Lots of jagged edges poke up through the sand.

3. Beach Au Naturale

Coronado - Silver Strand Beach

Pristine Silver Strand State Beach

Coronado’s most “natural” beach (translation: every piece of kelp or seaweed that washes up, stays put) is the Silver Strand. But did you know that Loews Coronado Bay Resort offers ranger-led “Explore & Restore Silver Strand State Beach” nature walks to see rare plants, animals and birds up-close?  The two-hour tour begins at 9:30 AM on select Saturdays and Sundays (call the concierge at 619.424.4000 to check dates and sign up) and participants meet in the Loews lobby.

4. For the Kids

Kid-friendly beach at the Coronado Ferry Landing.

Coronado’s two most kid-friendly beaches (translation: calm waters with little or no waves – perfect for little tykes!) are the small sandy beach at the Coronado Ferry Landing just north of the ferry dock and the scenic little beach in the shadow of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge at Tidelands Park (look for the colorful kayaks and boats).

Hope you have fun exploring the secrets of Coronado’s sparkling stretches of sand! 🙂

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

Just Beachy: Coronado Named #1 Beach in America!

Coronado Beach - Brett Shoaf
Coronado Beach - Brett Shoaf

We're #1 - Coronado Beach! Photo courtesy of Brett Shoaf

Shhh… can you keep a secret? I almost couldn’t. I’ve known for weeks that postcard-perfect Coronado Beach was going to be crowned America’s Best Beach by “Dr. Beach.” However, I couldn’t tell a soul. I promised coastal expert Stephen Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach), that mums the word until May 25.

And today’s the day! I’m shouting it from the highest sand dunes on the island that Coronado is the #1 stretch of sand in the United States!

Coronado Beach -

A Beautiful Coronado Sunset. Photo courtesy of

The timing is perfect. Memorial Day weekend is here and AAA ranked San Diego the top Memorial Day destination! The official summer season has begun. Pack the beach towel, sunblock and boogie board and head to the sunny shores of Coronado!

(photo credit: Hotel del Coronado)

A few fun facts about Coronado Beach:

  • The 1.5 mile long beach has a silvery white sheen because of the presence of mica.
  • The northernmost section is known as Dog Beach (woof!), where four-legged visitors are permitted off leash!
  • The giant sand dunes along Ocean Blvd. spell C-O-R-O-N-A-D-O

If you’re heading to Coronado this summer, I’ve got the inside scoop on a couple more “must-sees” in the area.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition!

The Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition, America’s original surf dog competition, is June 16 at Imperial Beach – just south of Coronado’s Silver Strand. See hounds hang 10 solo (!) or with their owners. Tune in to ABC’s Good Morning America that weekend. Their crew will be filming the whole tail-wagging event with TV star Cameron Mathison!

Coronado - Silver Strand Beach

Silver Strand State Beach

Visitors are also welcome to join in the fun on the Explore & Restore Silver Strand State Beach interactive nature tours of the beach’s rare plants, animals and birds. Tours depart every Saturday and Sunday morning from the lobby of Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Sign up by calling the Loews concierge at 619-424-4000.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone and I’ll see you in sun-kissed Coronado!

Robert Arends

A Shore Thing: Coronado Named #2 Best Beach in America by Dr. Beach

The doctor is in and his prognosis is just beachy!

Dr. Beach, aka Florida International University professor Stephen Leatherman, has announced Coronado Beach is the #2 Best Beach in the USA!

Each year Dr. Beach visits America’s finest stretches of sand and rates them based on a long list of criteria including sand softness, water quality, waves, weather, facilities and crowds. It’s no surprise that San Diego’s beaut of a beach (and my personal favorite!) on the enchanted isle of Coronado scored high marks, as it did on a number of recent top 10 beaches lists.

According to the famous sand specialist, “Coronado Beach is the toast of Southern California; it is a veritable oasis by the sea, measuring hundreds of yards wide.  With its lush subtropical vegetation, unique Mediterranean climate, and fine sparkling sand, beach-goers flock to this beach for great ship watching and the summer’s mild surf.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Dr. Beach’s news made headlines across the country, from ABC and CNN to USA Today.

Speaking of sandy sound bites, Sherman’s Travel called Coronado Beach (which nabbed the #4 spot in their Top 10 Beaches for Families) “a prime spot for fun-seeking families looking to boogie board, surf, and swim – all just a bridge or ferry ride away from downtown San Diego.”

All this talk of beaches is making me want to play hooky, slather on the sunblock and head to Coronado… See you in the surf!