Robert Arends

San Diego’s Coronado Blooms – and Zooms – this Weekend!

Blooomin' good times at Coronado Flower Show!

Spring has sprung! Big white tents are sprouting up like flowers in Spreckels Park, Coronado in preparation for the big 87th Annual Coronado Flower Show this weekend, April 21-22. The delightful kaleidoscope of colors, encompassing the 600 block of Orange Avenue, makes it the most popular springtime event on the island!

Did you know: Coronado’s grand floral fête is the largest tented flower show in the U.S.!

Flower Beautifulness! Photo credit:

This year’s theme, “A Floral Olympiad” celebrates the summer Olympic games in London with design categories incorporating iconic images like the Olympic rings, release of the doves and the Olympic flame. Trophies for best blooms are awarded on Sunday at 3:00 pm; definitely bring a camera!

Cost is only $5; children 12 and under are Free. Hours are 1:00 – 5:00 pm this Saturday and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Sunday.

Coronado Flower Show

Stop and smell the roses!

Oh, and if you think it’s just flowers, think again! There’s also a beer garden, flower/plant marketplace and huge Coronado Library Book Fair. And if you’re up for exploring Coronado, be sure to pick up a self-guided map to award-winning home gardens throughout the island. It’ll inspire any aspiring gardeners.

Motorcars on MainStreet in Coronado

Vroom! with a view - Motorcars on MainStreet

To top off the weekend, there’s more “wheel fun” to be had at the 22nd Annual MotorCars on MainStreet this Sunday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Location: Isabella and Orange Avenues.

Check out 400 classic (pre-1973) cars, convertibles, roadsters, trucks, street rods and other cool custom rides that’ll get your motor running (my Chrysler PT Cruiser didn’t make the cut 😉 )

Rock to live entertainment all day by Tommy Price & The Stilettos and DJ Scooby spinning Solid Gold hits.

MotorCars on MainStreet in Coronado

Lookin' good under the hood! Motorcars on MainStreet

Admission is Free. There’s also a Free street trolley running all day to take visitors around the island: from Motorcars on MainStreet to the Hotel del Coronado, the Coronado Flower Show and down to Coronado Ferry Landing shops by the bay.

There are LOTS of good reasons to put you “petal” (hee hee!) to the metal and head over the bridge to Coronado this weekend. See you there!

(Coronado Flower Show photos courtesy of

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: Summer Events in Coronado

Bay views from Coronado Island Marriott Resort.

Discover San Diego’s Neighborhoods with our Summer Sweepstakes. Join us every week as we showcase the best in what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in some of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods. Be sure to check back for exciting insider tips, giveaways, and more! This week’s spotlight is on Coronado.

Things are heating up this summer in Coronado, just a bridge away from downtown San Diego. Visitors with swim towels, beach umbrellas and boogie boards are finding their happy place on the island’s 28 miles of beaches on sparkling San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to fun under the sun, following are Five Summer Events to Try on San Diego’s enchanted island:

Picnic at Promenade Concerts in the Park.

1.  Sure, there’s the soothing sound of palm trees swaying in the breeze, but visitors can also hear the sweet sound of live music in Coronado. A beloved local tradition is the Promenade Concert in the Park Series, which takes place every Sunday at 6:00 pm, through mid-September, in Spreckels Park. A perfect activity for families and picnickers; admission is free.

Bayside concerts at Coronado Ferry Landing.

2.  Also music to your ears: the Summer Concert Series at Coronado Ferry Landing which takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, through September 5, at the Coronado Ferry Landing shops on scenic San Diego Bay. Featured musicians include the Crown Island Jazz Band, Coronado Big Band and Teagan Taylor Trio. Continue reading