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 Kayaking: Make Waves on a Tour to the Coronado Bridge!

Our good friends at the Coronado Visitor Center and Coronado Museum of History and Art recently blogged about a kayaking adventure from Glorietta Bay to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, and I just had to share it!

The following was written by Coronado Visitor Center intern Chelsey Schmid:

Chelsey Schmid and her mom on a Coronado kayaking adventure!

Chelsey Schmid and her mom on a Coronado kayaking adventure.

Mom and I were looking for something fun – we wanted to make a new memory together, so we decided to try kayaking in Coronado.

Seaforth Boat Rentals boasts one of the largest arrays of rental crafts on the island, with everything from fishing boats to Jet Skis to kayaks. They incidentally also have the perfect location for their line of work. The rental center is not merely on the shore but literally on the water, with a metal gangway leading to the building. Boats, boards, and kayaks are launched directly from their platform into the glorious Glorietta Bay; which is located across Orange Avenue, one block south of the Hotel del Coronado.

The staff generously provided the instructions we needed. Paddlers can make their way around the sheltered waters of the bay or, for the more adventurous, the sweeping expanses of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge which beckoned us in the distance.  They did warn us about the midday; when the winds pick up, that’s not the best time for beginners.

coronado bay bridge kayaking san diego

Kayaking under the immense Coronado Bay Bridge gives you a whole new perspective. (Photo: Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals)

My mom and I enjoyed our journey out to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge; it was relaxing and fun, and we made excellent time. After arriving, we floated near the shore for a while, enjoying the warm California sun and the gentle lap of the waves against our kayak. The view was amazing!

We glided triumphantly back into the marina and docked, excited about our accomplishment of trying something new. We felt wonderfully happy and eager to come back again for more. Our round trip took about 2 hours.

The excellent crew at Seaforth really made the pieces fall into place. It’s a ‘must do’ for those who enjoy the water! Seaforth has single, double and triple kayaks. For a 2 hour rental, expect to pay from $18-$45.

Thank you to Chelsey for sharing her story!

Make your own memories by visiting Coronado during the winter holiday season. The city offers plenty of fun festivities coming up, like ice skating by the sea, caroling gondoliers, a holiday parade and much more.

Do you have a San Diego memory you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

Robert Arends

Family Fun for Free in San Diego’s Coronado!

Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach

Family fun in the sun in Coronado! Courtesy Joanne DiBona, SanDiego.org

The Kidvasion has begun! Kids Free in San Diego month is in full swing. As you and your family are in town enjoying the numerous (100+) free deals, be sure to visit sun-kissed Coronado, a bridge away from downtown San Diego.

Kids are sure to get a kick out of these free activities around the island:

The Beach

Build a Sandcastle at the #1 Beach in America - Coronado Beach

Build a Sandcastle at the #1 Beach in America – Coronado Beach

Make sandcastles at Coronado Beach – the #1 beach in America – with its expansive stretch of soft white sands. To the north, check out the tail-wagging fun at Dog Beach where friendly fidos splash in the surf and play fetch. Along Ocean Blvd., can you spot the giant sand dunes that spell C-O-R-O-N-A-D-O? Pretty neat!

Coronado Museum of History & Art

US Navy's aircraft carriers at NAS North Island

Mighty aircraft carriers and high-flying jets at NAS North Island

Fly by the Coronado Museum of History & Art (kids under 12 are free with 1 adult paid admission) to check out their new 100+ Years of Yachting exhibition, plus cool U.S. Navy display. To see the real thing, head to Shoreline Park (First St. & I Ave.) for a peek at the Navy’s mighty aircraft carriers. A free air show of sorts can be seen almost daily at Coronado Beach, with Navy jets and helicopters flying overhead on their way to NAS North Island.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Coronado Public Library

Wizard of Oz Glass Panels - Coronado Public Library

Wizard of Oz scenes at the Coronado Public Library

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Coronado Public Library to gander at massive glass panels depicting scenes from the Wizard of Oz. Oz author L. Frank Baum lived in Coronado! Join Coronado Touring on a walk back in time through the Hotel del Coronado (Baum’s inspiration for the Emerald City) and past the yellow cottage where Baum wrote a few of his fantastical children’s books. Tour is free for kids under three ($12 each for mom and dad).

Secret Art of Dr. Seuss

The whimsical "Secret Art of Dr. Seuss" at Stephen Clayton Galleries

The whimsical “Secret Art of Dr. Seuss” at Stephen Clayton Galleries

Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat greets kids at Stephen Clayton Gallery

Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat greets guests at Stephen Clayton Gallery

Another famous children’s author who lived in San Diego was Dr. Seuss. Discover the “Secret Art of Dr. Seuss” – including sculptures of magical creatures and other-worldly paintings – at the Stephen Clayton Galleries at the Coronado Ferry Landing.

And don’t forget Coronado’s Kids Free month participants and special deals, including:

Coronado’s fun and free playground of activities awaits! 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply
Robert Arends

Coronado: Fun for All this Fall!

Coronado 1887 on the Bay Restaurant

Ah, sun-kissed Coronado, located a bridge away from downtown San Diego. Fall is one of the best times of year to visit the “Crown City,” as the beach crowds diminish, hotel rates dip ever so slightly and the days continue to be nice and warm, with an average autumn temp of 74!

If you’re headed to Coronado this season, following are some fun new things to see and do around the island:

Fine Dines

1887 on the Bay

Coronado 1887 on the Bay Restaurant

Coronado’s new 1887 on the Bay restaurant

The redesigned 1887 on The Bay – formerly the Coronado Boathouse, an iconic landmark on Glorietta Bay that looks just like the Hotel del Coronado’s main turret – introduces new Chef Jess Le Desma who instills a rich Asian/Hawaiian ethnicity into his Pacific Rim menu.

Mistral

Just down the road, the elegant Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort – featuring spectacular panoramic views of San Diego Bay – introduces an eclectic global-fusion menu by new Chef de Cuisine Adam Cho that highlights his penchant for tapas-style small plates, Mediterranean flavors and passion for seafood.

Joy in the Journey

Kayaking Tour

Kayak Under the Coronado Bridge

Coronado Kayaking Tour, San Diego’s only urban kayaking tour

If you’re ready for adventure, go on a guided Coronado Kayaking Tour around the island – San Diego’s only urban kayaking tour – with the new Bike & Kayak Tours – Coronado, based at the Coronado Ferry Landing.

Beach Buggy Tour

[iframe src=”//player.vimeo.com/video/72207376?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”640″ height=”359″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen]

For landlubbers, hop aboard the new Coronado Beach Buggy for a fun 40-minute tour that uncovers all the treasures that make Coronado so special, including America’s Best Beach, historic homes, the charming Village and Naval Air Station North Island. The buggys makes daily stops at the Glorietta Bay Inn; cost is only $10.

Ahoy!

100+ Years of Coronado Yachting

Sail along with “100+ Years of Coronado yachting”

Set sail for the Coronado Museum of History & Art (1100 Orange Ave.) to check out their popular new exhibit, “100+ Years of Coronado Yachting,” spotlighting the island’s rich nautical past as a yachting hub. Admission is free.

> Discover more of 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…

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply
Robert Arends

Neighborhood Spotlight: Coronado

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.

photo credit: www.CorporateHelicopters.com

Coronado is a gorgeous island getaway where worries seem to melt away once guests cross over the iconic blue span of the San Diego Coronado Bridge. Situated between San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the “Crown City” is a paradise of relaxation and recreation that boasts a unique combination of small-town charm and sophisticated luxury. Let’s explore this enchanted isle! Continue reading

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 – Coronado’s Hidden Gems, Part II

A few months ago I revealed some little known places around the “Crown City” of Coronado that many folks hadn’t heard of. During a recent media tour I discovered a few more secret and not so obvious spots around the island worth checking out.

Following are my five hidden gems:

Glorietta Bay Inn's...

  1. Stare down… The stately Glorietta Bay Inn is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes areas that guests rarely – or never – see. In addition to a basement and sub-basement (how low can you go?), there’s an inconspicuous door leading to a hidden passageway on the first floor. Within the secret alcove a three-story staircase spirals down from the top-floor Penthouse Suite. If these stairs could talk!
  2. ...secret spiral staircase.

  3. Safe bet… What’s better than a safe to stash your valuables? How about two safes! Last time I spotted Mrs. Spreckels personal safe in her former bedroom at the Glorietta Bay Inn, I thought that was the only one. But there’s another, much grander vault tucked inside a closet near the top of the grand staircase. No telling what’s inside, as nobody knows the combination.
  4. Kate "checks out" (of) The Del.

  5. Room with a boo… Many folks have heard of Kate Morgan, the Hotel del Coronado’s famous ghost who supposedly haunts the resort. But do you know the exact room she stayed in before her untimely demise? Room # 3327 on the third floor, where narrow hallways only add to the spine-tingling feeling you get when exploring the recesses of this Victorian marvel.

    Walk this way to...

  6. Follow the yellow brick road… Actually, follow Star Park Circle to a humble abode hiding in plain sight (see photo below), the home of acclaimed author L. Frank Baum. He wrote two of his famous children’s’ books here, The Road to Oz (1909) and The Emerald City of Oz (1910). It’s easy to see why he was so inspired by the “enchanted island” and The Del nearby.

    Historic home of L. Frank Baum, 1101 Star Park Circle.

  7. Fly boys… Did you know Coronado is an enclave for military retirees and home to some of San Diego’s original Navy heroes? This Sunday (11:00 am – 4:00 pm), in conjunction with the “Centennial of Naval Aviation”, the Coronado Historical Association spotlights six legendary naval aviators’ houses during the Annual Historic Home Tour. Decked out domiciles include Vice Admiral James Stockdale’s – one of the most highly decorated officers. Go Navy!
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply
Robert Arends

5 to Try: Coronado’s Hidden Historic Gems

I thought I knew the “Crown City” of Coronado. I pretty much do – its postcard-perfect beach, charming main street, The Del and iconic bridge.  But during a walkabout with Coronado Touring I found a few historic jewels in the island crown that I had never heard of before. Only two of these I haven’t seen (yet). But if you’re lucky, you just might find them all!

The Glorietta Bay Inn keeps a secret (or two).

  1. Tubular… The stately Glorietta Bay Inn – former mansion home of sugar baron John D. Spreckels located across the street from the Hotel del Coronado – has a few cool secrets up its historic sleeve. One is the supposed tunnel leading from the hotel basement, going underneath Orange Avenue and connecting at the Shops at the Del. They say this was how Spreckels, an early owner of the Del, could get (secretly) to and from his beachfront investment.
  2. Mrs. Spreckels’ safe at Glorietta Bay Inn.

    Play it safe… Also at GBI is a small (nonworking) personal safe built into the wall of Room 102 – the Sugar Baron Room. Back in the day this was Mrs. Spreckels’ private bedroom. If these walls could talk…one can only imagine what the well-to-do matriarch stashed away. Overnight guests still try their darndest to crack the safe, but to no avail.

  3. Rock bottom… Located in the lower level of the Hotel del Coronado among its labyrinth of shops is a rocky cavernous storefront (now home to a real estate company) that was once a massive water cistern for the hotel in the early days. Though tempting, no spelunking or rock climbing allowed!

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

  4. Under a spell… I’ve seen them, flip-flopped over them a million times, but I had NO idea the sand dunes on Coronado Beach are actually made of heaps of kelp scooped up from the beach and buried under tons of sand. The big reveal: from the air (those lucky North Island naval pilots!), the ice plant covered dunes spell the word “Coronado.” Now that’s civic pride!

    Remains of S.S. Monte Carlo at Coronado Shores.

  5. Mast from the past… Buried beneath the sands of Coronado Shores (just south of The Del) is a ship! The S.S. Monte Carlo – a gambling ship that touted “drinks, dice and dolls” back in 1936. That is until tragedy struck that New Year’s Eve. A mighty gale caused the ship to break from its anchors, pushing it to its shoreline demise. Occasionally, at low tide, you can see the ghostly outline of the ship exposed. What watery secrets wait to be revealed? I’m keeping my eyes on the tide charts.
Posted in Uncategorized