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

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!


Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes: Perfect 5 Day Itinerary Part 2

Our Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes is in full swing. We are giving away a 5 night stay at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel and round-trip airfare for two! Contest ends May 13, 2011, so be sure to enter today. How would you spend your five days in San Diego? Last week I highlighted our amazing beaches and outdoors. Sure we have an average year-round temperature of 70 degrees and over 70 miles of beaches, but there is so much more to explore. Today I’m highlighting the perfect Urban Escape.

The Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel is the perfect setting for your Urban Escape. Located downtown, with a new pedestrian bridge connecting you to the Gaslamp Quarter, the hotel is an urban oasis with a spectacular waterfront setting.

Little Italy

1. One of my favorite areas of downtown is Little Italy. Once home to San Diego’s flourishing tuna fishing industry and generations of Italian families who made their living on the sea, Little Italy is a quaint and lively neighborhood filled with patio cafes, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, shops, hotels, and the beautiful Amici Park.

Urban Solace

2. One evening, head to the neighborhood of North Park for a night of bar-hopping. North Park’s nightlife comes alive at the intersection of University and 30th Street. My go to spot in North Park is usually Urban Solace. The menu features a unique combination of American dishes, both classic and cutting edge, and an intriguing wine and crafted beer and cocktail list.

Gaslamp Quarter

3. Learn how the now trendy Gaslamp Quarter once flourished as a red-light district on the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation’s walking tour. You can either do a self-guided walking tour or join one of the guides as they take you back to the 1800’s and discover the haunts of famous former resident, Wyatt Earp.


4. If you love live music, then Anthology should be on your hit list. Located in Little Italy, Anthology embraces the spirit of classic supper clubs from the 1940’s with a decidedly modern spin. Anthology draws renowned local and international musicians of jazz, classic rock, blues, Latin and more.

GoCars Tour

5. One of the most unique ways of seeing downtown is with GoCars. These cool yellow GPS guided scooters deliver an informative tour, pointing out places of interest along the way. I recently tried the downtown tour that takes you through Gaslamp Quarter and Balboa Park. We learned a lot and are blast to drive!

Enter here to win!


This Bay Was Made For Walkin’

Free Historic Walking Tours? Yes, sir!

Starting tomorrow, the Maritime Museum is offering free, guided Historic Walking Tours along San Diego Bay.

The tours will last 45 minutes to an hour and be offered twice a day on weekends at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sponsored by the Port, they’ll cover about one mile of the waterfront beginning in front of the USS San Diego Memorial at the foot of G Street and Harbor Drive, just south of the USS Midway Museum.

Along the way, tour guides will point out and share the history of gems like Seaport Village, the Midway, our Urban Trees – you know I’m a fan of them – and all the military heritage art at Tuna Harbor Park – which we’ve also shared with you here before.

If you’re out and about you can spot tour guides on Saturday by looking for a blue and white Maritime Museum flag.  Tours are first come, first serve and will be held through the end of June.