Robert Arends

5 Things I Love about Coronado

Coronado Beach -

Beautiful Coronado Sunset. Photo courtesy of

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


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

Benjamin Eastman

Go Wild at the WAP!

A relatively short drive out of downtown San Diego finds you at one of my very favorite spots to bring family and friends.  Affectionally called the WAP by locals, the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is located in North County San Diego (Escondido) and encompasses nearly 1700 acres!

Taking a nap at the Lion Camp exhibit

Taking a nap at the Lion Camp exhibit

Being further inland than the Zoo, the climate makes it perfect for African and Asian animals.  And with so much land available, the WAP is able to create a more natural area for the animals to live in.

The Journey into Africa tour included in their Best Value ticket gives you a great overall perspective of lower enclosures of the Park in just 30 minutes.  Animals of different species mix freely in large “exhibit” areas – much in the way I would imagine them to do in nature.

Can you spare some wrinkle cream?

Can you spare some wrinkle cream?


Part of the really cool element of the Wild Animal Park is their “premium features”.  Take a Photo Caravan tour through either the African or Asian enclosures, and you will truly be up close and personal with these animals.  You’ll even get a chance to feed giraffes or rhinos!  If you don’t plan on going on a true African Safari in the next say 30 or 40 years, this is absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!  The WAP’s new Flightline experience looks totally cool as well.  I haven’t had the chance to experience it myself yet, but am looking forward to it.  And in a truly imaginative way of mixing technology and nature, the Park’s Rolling Safari tour has you touring around the outside of enclosures on a Segway!  Too bad our caveman ancestors didn’t have these babies…hunting would have been much easier!

On the Rolling Safari Segway Tour at the Wild Animal Park

On the Rolling Safari Segway Tour at the Wild Animal Park

Another experience at the WAP that I have been wanting to do for YEARS is their Roar & Snore sleepover program.  They’ve got nice, canvas tents set up on a hill overlooking the African enclosure where you get to camp overnight!  Campers are treated to the growls of lions and the calls of various animals all night.  (You thought your husband snored loudly!)  The experience includes behind-the-scenes tours of the Park, your meals, and special animal presentations – this ain’t your typical camping experience!  They’ve got Family nights, Adults Only nights and even nights just for Girl Scout troops.  These experiences are so popular that they book up fast, so I’d recommend booking plenty in advance if you’re interested.