Robert Arends

Coronado November Events: A Cornucopia of Fun!

Skating by the Sea-Coronado Beach

With sunny skies, glistening crowd-free beaches and temperatures averaging 70 degrees, November is the perfect time to visit Coronado, located a bridge or ferryboat ride away from downtown San Diego. There’s so much to do, from craft beer tastings and lavish Thanksgiving feasts to ice skating by the beach, that you won’t know where to start!

The following are my Top 5 to Try in Coronado this November.

Good Times on Tap: San Diego Beer Week in Coronado

Craft beer by the bottle at Coronado Brewing Company

Craft beer by the bottle at Coronado Brewing Company

During San Diego Beer Week, Nov. 1-10, visit the award-winning Coronado Brewing Company to sample tasty ales like Orange Avenue Wit. Also, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge on Orange Ave. features a “Local Tap Takeover,” pouring only San Diego beer on all 16 of their taps!

Talking Turkey: Thanksgiving Dinner

san diego hotel del coronado crown room thanksgiving 2013

The luxurious Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado will host this year’s Thanksgiving feast.

Let the Hotel del Coronado and Loews Coronado Bay Resort do all the cooking this Thanksgiving Nov. 28 as they serve up turkey with all the fixings in festive elegant style. The Del presents a lavish buffet spread in the Crown Room and Ballroom, with live entertainment. Loews hosts a fab champagne brunch buffet in its main dining room, plus a prix fixe family-style dinner in Mistral.

Ice Skating by the Sea

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Lace up your skates and head to the Hotel del Coronado on Nov. 27 for the launch of Skating by the Sea, a magically surreal SoCal experience like no other where guests can practice their axel jumps just steps away from Coronado Beach. A portion of ice skate rental proceeds benefit San Diego’s Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Silver Strand Half Marathon and 5K

Rollerblading the Silver strand Half Marathon

Rollerblading the Silver Strand Half Marathon

Hightail it to the scenic Silver Strand for the popular annual Silver Strand Half Marathon and 5K on Nov. 17. Participants can run, walk, even rollerblade or rollerskate  from Coronado to Imperial Beach; handcyclists and wheel chair participants are welcome too!

Rock n’ Roll: “Suds” at the Coronado Playhouse

Suds Coronado Playhouse San Diego Theater

Suds hits the stage at the Coronado Playhouse this November.

Audiences are in for a rocking good time at the Coronado Playhouse– a 100-seat, cabaret-style theatre on lovely Glorietta Bay – presenting the 1960s musical soap opera “Suds” through the end of the month.

Want to win your own getaway to Coronado? Visit Authentic Luxury Travel to win a romantic Coronado stay!

Robert Arends

Ready, Set, Eat! Coronado Restaurant Picks for San Diego Restaurant Week

Peohe's spectacular bayside views.

The anticipation is palpable; you can feel it, almost taste it… OK, I exaggerate a bit. But, it is only the biggest dining event of the year: San Diego Restaurant Week! And it all kicks off this Sunday, Jan. 15, continuing through the 20th.

Have you made a reservation yet? With over 180 restaurants – from intimate bistros and casual eateries to elegant fine dines – there’s a lot to choose from. If I had to narrow it down, some of my top picks would be on Coronado Island, just a bridge away from downtown San Diego.

(photo credit: www.CorporateHelicopters.com)

Coronado is a diner’s delight with spectacular San Diego Bay and seaside views that accent the delectable dishes, from seafood that’s as fresh as it gets to the finest French, Italian and coastal/Pacific Rim cuisine. Following are my Top 6 picks:

Magnificent Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Dinner – $40
The magnificent Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort is a must-dine with its floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of San Diego Bay and the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bridge – an idyllic backdrop for modern French delicacies prepared by chefs Marc Erhler and Patrick Ponsaty.

A sheer delight! Sheerwater at The Del.

Sheerwater

Lunch – $20
The tables are set at the Hotel del Coronado’s two signature restaurants. The refined yet casual, oceanfront Sheerwater features a ”Fish by the Sea” menu of classic bistro-style cuisine with a focus on fresh sustainable seafood. Next door…

1500 Ocean at The Del.

1500 Ocean

Dinner – $40
1500 Ocean boasts a warm modern flare with Pacific views and menu by new Chef de Cuisine Aaron Martinez that uses fresh local ingredients, including The Del’s onsite herb garden, to create mouthwatering coastal-inspired dishes.

The classic Coronado Boathouse 1887.

Coronado Boathouse 1887

Dinner – $40
Coronado Boathouse 1887, located on Glorietta Bay across the street from The Del, serves gourmet steaks and seafood. This “diminutive Del” is a favorite with locals and visitors alike!

Tropical seafood at Peohe's.

Peohe’s

Dinner – $30
Situated on San Diego Bay (at Coronado Ferry Landing) with spectacular views of the downtown San Diego skyline, Peohe’s specializes in fresh tropical seafood and Pacific Rim dishes including innovative sushi. Al fresco dining is available on the patio or in a charming dockside courtyard.

Vigilucci’s Ristorante Coronado

Lunch – $15
Dinner – $40
Vigilucci’s Ristorante Coronado serves Italian classics, prime steaks and seafood in a romantic setting enhanced by live music daily from its martini lounge and piano bar.

Bon Appetit from Coronado! 🙂

Robert Arends

Arts Month San Diego: Art Makes a Splash in Coronado

Art & Frames by Wood Gallery - part of Coronado Gallery Walk.

This week, Arts Month San Diego is focusing on the island of Coronado.

Nestled between the Pacific surf and sparkling San Diego Bay with its palm-lined boulevards, Coronado is pretty as a postcard. The town’s picturesque setting is accentuated by a plethora of public art dotted around the island.

San Diego Magazine recently featured Coronado’s treasure trove of artistic wonders in its September issue. Heidi Wilson, Chair of Coronado’s Public Art Subcommittee, narrowed down her Top 5 picks  (scroll down to Coronado section)– two of which are my personal favorites!

Following are my five fav public artworks in Coronado. I definitely enjoy art’s more playful, whimsical side:

"My Bike" sculpture at Tidelands Park.

  1. “My Bike,” located in Tidelands Park, is just plain cool! A figure with wind-swept hair rides through the sky, taking in the fantastic bayside views.

    "Eye" see you! "Seaside Seating" at Tidelands Park.

  2. Nearby “Seaside Seating,” also in Tidelands Parks, is an octopus-like creature with one eye that begs for a close encounter of the visitor kind!

    Wizard of Oz glass panels at Coronado Public Library.

  3. Ease on down the road to the Coronado Public Library (640 Orange Ave.) to view the wondrous “Wizard of Oz Glass Panels”which jump right off the pages of L. Frank Baum’s famous children’s books. Baum, by the way, lived in Coronado and penned a few of his classics here.

    "Sea Passage" fountain on Gloriettta Bay.

  4. “Sea Passage,” a fountain by James Hubbell overlooking Glorietta Bay, is a gorgeous example of the natural aesthetic “San Diego’s Gaudi” is known for.
  5. “Solstice Clock” on the Silver Strand is Nature’s splendidly simple timepiece – but only tells time twice a year! On June 21 (longest day of the year) and December 21 (shortest day of the year) the rising sun aligns perfectly with this bayfront sculpture.

Coronado offers a fantastic self-guided public art walking tour of these plus 25 other great works of art. And best part: it’s completely free!

Coronado Art Walk. Photo credit: Bob Gardner

Hop over to the island this weekend (Sept. 17-18) to also check out Coronado Art Walk at the Coronado Ferry Landing, featuring paintings, photography, ceramics and other mediums by over 100 artists. Admission is free with a complimentary shuttle transporting attendees along Orange Avenue, with a stop at Art-in-the-Park in Spreckels Park.

Get a jump start on the weekend with Coronado’s first ever Gallery Walk this Friday from 5:00 – 8:00 pm (also free with a complimentary ArtMobile between the Ferry Landing and Hotel del Coronado), featuring 12 galleries – the perfect date night prior to Art Walk!

Robert Arends

5 to Try: Star-spangled Fun in Coronado!

Coronado 4th of July parade (credit: Coronado Visitor Center)

Let your patriotic colors fly this 4th of July – and all weekend long – in Coronado, just across the bridge from downtown San Diego.

Coronado’s Independence Day bash is the most popular in San Diego County. The prominent Navy presence on the island is a big reason why. There’s NAS North Island, aircraft carriers like the famous USS Carl Vinson which just returned from the Middle East, and Naval Amphibious Base Coronado where the elite Navy SEALs train. (Did you know: Coronado traces its rich military roots back to 1911 when the first navy plane flew from its shores)

A jam-packed day of July 4th fun includes a 5K/15K run/walk, rough-water swim at North Beach and a two-hour parade down Orange Avenue, Coronado’s quintessential “main street USA,” complete with military bands, floats and Navy aircraft. It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life with families of locals and visitors alike lining the route donned in red, white & blue and waving flags. There’s also “Art-in-the-Park” and a music concert in Spreckels Park, and at night, catch the spectacular fireworks display over Glorietta Bay.

Before, during and after the festivities, following are Five Fun Places to Try along Orange Avenue:

The Music Man at Lamb's Players Theatre.

  1. Guaranteed to have audiences humming “76 Trombones” all weekend long, the musical classic “The Music Man” takes center stage at the Lamb’s Players Theatre on July 2-3. Great way to launch into the 4th and set the celebratory mood.
  2. Catch a movie at the all-new Village Theatre, a polished cinematic gem at 820 Orange Ave. The dazzling Art Deco design and 3-D color murals are eye-candy for the kids – adults too! Bargain matinee shows before 6pm are only $8.50. Current flick: Pixar’s “Cars 2.”
  3. Sample handmade candies like “Coronado Crunch” (white or milk chocolate with peanut butter, marshmallows and rice krispies, drizzled in more chocolate!). at Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory at 1126 Orange Ave. Other tempting sweets: caramel, fudge, turtles and several varieties of caramel apples.

    Elvis (and a cow!) greet ice cream fans at Moo Time.

  4. Another sweet place to “chill” is MooTime Creamery at 1025 Orange Ave., famous for their fresh made-to-order ice cream creations and hand rolled waffle cones with totally cool flavors like girl scout mint, apple pie and “silly vanilly.” There’s a Moo Time at the Hotel del Coronado too!

    One of Artist Navarro Montllor's amazing seascapes!

  5. Take home a slice of paradise at the Art & Frames by Wood Gallery at 936 Orange Ave. Their just launched exhibit of fantastic seascape paintings by world-renowned artist Navarro Montllor are so realistic you can almost hear the waves crashing through the frames!

Have a fantastic 4th of July weekend!

Robert Arends

5 to Try: Magical Masterpieces of “San Diego’s Gaudi”

Ever wanted to know what it would be like to walk through the wondrous world of a Dr. Seuss book, with all of its quirky colorful shapes and landscapes? Well now you can at the Open House of the James Hubbell House and Studios in the East County community of Santa Ysabel (near Julian) on Father’s Day, June 19.

If you’re not familiar with Hubbell and his art or architectural creations, he is considered a “national treasure” known for his organic structures steeped in nature. The San Diego Union-Tribune even called Hubbell House & Studios one of the “Masterpieces in Our Midst.”

In addition to eight fantastical structures at his 40-acre artists complex, Hubbell has a few other stunning sculptural works sprinkled throughout San Diego County.

Following are five fun ones to try:

  1. Big/Main Studio at the Hubble House. Notice it’s resemblance to whale bones!

    Big Studio at Hubbell House and Studios.

  2. Boy’s House at Hubble House and Studios. This one is especially playful with its pools of colorful glass and mosaic tile flowing throughout.

    Boy's House, Hubbel House and Studios.

  3. Volcan Mountain Preserve entrance gate and sculpture in Julian. There’s something kind of sci-fi about this piece, like a space portal into nature!

    Beam me up, to Volcan Mountain!

  4. Sea Passage fountain and sculpture on Glorietta Bay in Coronado. This piece is very San Diego and fits perfectly with the beachy island vibe of Coronado.

    Hang 10 at Coronado's Sea Passage!

  5. Pacific Portal sculpture on Shelter Island, San Diego Bay. I collect seashells, and if I could I’d pocket this one! OK never mind, it’s kind of ginormous.

    Giant Pacific Portal seashell-like sculpture.

Oh, and for you history buffs, Hubbell did a life-size clay sculpture of Father Junipero Serra in front of Mission San Diego de Alcala – California’s first mission – in Mission Valley. Talk about prolific!

I’m checking out the Hubbell House & Studios open house on my way back from a weekend staycation in Borrego Springs – can’t wait! I’ll be sure to take lots of photos and share them with you later this month.