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

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!

Denise

San Diego Beaches – The Perfect Setting for a Stroll

Coronado - Silver Strand Beach
San Diego Beaches - Silver Strand on Coronado

Silver Strand State Beach – a great place for a stroll.

Are you looking for an awe-inspiring stretch of beach for taking a leisurely stroll? San Diego beaches provide the perfect setting with 70 miles of pristine coastline, gentle rolling waves and sparkling blue water as far as the eye can see. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, relaxation or even a little romance, you’ll find it at one of our world-famous beaches. In fact, San Diego has so many amazing beaches for walking, it’s nearly impossible to list them all. But, here are a few good spots to get you started.

Coronado and the Silver Strand

Silver Strand in Coronado is just a short distance from downtown San Diego, but is a world away in terms of relaxation. The waves are soothing and the beach literally sparkles in the sunlight due to the mineral Mica in the sand. If you walk north, you’ll see great views of Point Loma, or if you head south, the Imperial Beach Pier is off in the distance. Coronado beaches are consistently voted America’s finest by the Travel Channel, so whether you go on a romantic stroll for two or a family walk, this is the perfect place to get inspired.

La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is the quintessential San Diego beach. With soft, white sand and gentle rolling waves, strolling on this beach instantly makes you feel carefree and happy. A relaxed vibe also makes this beach popular amongst families, joggers and surfers. Walk north for a nice view of the Scripp’s Institute of Oceanography pier and La Jolla’s picturesque bluffs.

Mission Beach

Fun and energetic is the best way to describe Mission Beach. Probably because Belmont Park, a midway-style amusement park opened in 1925 and home of the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster, is nestled just to the south. A long stretch of ample shoreline makes Mission Beach a good bet for long walks. For a more lively experience, try strolling along its boardwalk filled with a colorful hodgepodge of rollerbladers, bikers, joggers and other locals.

Moonlight Beach

Located in Encinitas, Moonlight Beach has a nice stretch of shoreline perfect for a romantic stroll at sunset. The beach got its name in the early 1900’s when locals had late night picnics here by “moonlight,” and the name stuck. Today, its supple, wide beach is ideal for walking, and surfers love it for the great waves.

Carlsbad State Beach

Carlsbad State Beach is one of North County’s best kept secrets and offers a gorgeous, sandy coastline. So when you’re done playing in the water, sunbathing or building sandcastles, soak in a little extra sunshine walking along the shore. There’s also a paved path to combine your walk with a little people watching.

> Explore more of San Diego’s Beaches

Where’s your favorite stretch of San Diego beach for strolling?

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 - OrangeandPark.com

A Beautiful Coronado Sunset. Photo courtesy of OrangeandPark.com

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

20 Perfect Days to Play in Coronado!

Have you entered Loews Coronado Bay Resort’s 20 Days, Your Way” giveaway yet? If not, time is ticking… Last day for submissions is next Tuesday, October 25. Grand prize: 20 free room nights! It’s all to celebrate the resort’s big 20th Anniversary. Good luck!

So I was thinking, if I was eligible to enter and I WON, what would I do, not only at Loews’ resort, but around the picturesque island of Coronado? Fortunately, there’s a plethora of delightful and exciting activities to enjoy: arts & culture, fine dining, spas, outdoor recreation and much more.

Read on to see Robert’s 20 picks for 20 days on Coronado…

Robert Arends

Lovin’ Loews Coronado Bay Resort – 20th Anniversary

Lovely Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

Ah, to be 20 again! Loews Coronado Bay Resort celebrates its big 20th Anniversary this month with a massive giveaway promotion, 20 Days, Your Way – 20 free room nights to use anytime, any way you wish!

Imagine if you were the lucky winner. What would you do during your stay? Luckily, Loews was made for play with its unique, postcard-perfect peninsular location on San Diego Bay and just steps away from Silver Strand State Beach. There’s so much to see and do in and around the resort, it’ll make your head swim – and that’s a good thing!

Follow this link for Robert’s Top 10 picks while staying at Loews…

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

Coronado Named one of America’s Top 10 Beaches!

{cue The Go-Gos} Staycation all I ever wanted. Staycation, had to get away…

Hanging 10 in Coronado!

Yep, I’m taking a little break this weekend, but not going too far. For a little R&R I’m heading to sun-kissed Coronado – just a bridge away from downtown San Diego – to stay at the charming Glorietta Bay Inn and luxurious Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

My timing is perfect, as the weather forecast is sunny blue skies and temps around 70! With towel and sunblock packed and ready, I’m heading to the beach, of course. Actually, two in fact: Coronado Central Beach by the Hotel del Coronado and the Silver Strand just a seagull swoop away from Loews.

Speaking of sparkling stretches of sand, San Diego was named the #3 “Best Family Beach Vacation” in America by U.S. News & World Report!

Family-friendly San Diego and Coronado.

Coronado is also making headlines as a top beach spot in the USA.

Coronado Beach will soon be crowned the #4 beach in Parents Magazine’s 2011 “10 Best Family Beaches” in the U.S., running in their June issue (goes on sale May 17!).

Coronado Beach beckons...

And Sherman’s Travel named Coronado the #4 best beach in their “Top 10 Beaches for Families.”

I can’t wait to nap to the gentle sounds of the surf and wiggle my toes in the sand! Two days to go…

Robert Arends

5 to Try in the Sun, Surf and Sand

Spring Break has come and gone, but to ensure those postcard images of San Diego linger on through Memorial Day – and to put folks in a summertime frame of mind – following are five fun activities to try in Coronado that are just “beachy”!

BTW, forecast for this weekend: clear skies and warm!

Let’s soak up the sun:

What SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding)!

  1. Take a stand… Stand up paddle boarding! This popular past time is often seen in the calm waters of San Diego Bay or just beyond the surf line of Silver Strand Beach and Coronado Beach. For first-timers, lessons are available from Loews Coronado Bay Resort’s on-site Coronado Surfing Academy and Gnarly Neal’s at the Hotel del Coronado.

    Silver Strand walk on the wild side.

  2. Go wild… On a ranger-led nature walk at Silver Strand State Beach – one of the top 10 beaches in the world and home to some amazing tideland and shoreline creatures, including sand dollars, crabs, snowy plovers, pelicans and the mysterious grunion fish. You may even spot a dolphin hanging 10! Tours depart every Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 – 11:30 am, from the lobby of Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

    Bicycle built for... four!

  3. Wheel fun… Surrey biking! Bicycles built for two to four people, are a great way to sightsee around the island. The beach and bay boardwalks are the most scenic routes. Rentals available throughout the island, including Bikes & Beyond at the Coronado Ferry Landing, Wheel Fun Rentals at Coronado Island Marriott Resort, Loews Coroando Bay Resort, PeDels at the Hotel del Coronado and Holland’s Bicycles on Orange Ave.

    Finding Zen in the sand.

  4. Chill out… with yoga on the beach. Visitors can find some serious Zen on the sands of Coronado Beach during a session with the Hotel del Coronado’s Hatha Yoga instructor. Altogether now, “Ommmm…”

    S'mores on Coronado Beach - sweet!

  5. S’more fun… Roasting marshmallows around a bonfire on Coronado Beach, Tidelands Park or Silver Strand State Beach is a sweet way to end a perfect beach day in Coronado. Guests at The Del can indulge in their very own s’mores on the beach experience with a cozy fire pit and all the fixins (marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate) provided!