Sunday, August 21, 2011
San Diego - Coronado Beach
What is it:
Coronado is an affluent resort town 5.2 miles from San Diego. Although often referred to as an island, it is actually connected to the mainland by a 10 mile long isthmus called the silver strand. There is a bridge to the 'island' from San Diego, or you can travel by water via ferry or water taxi. It is one of the most expensive places to live and was named the second best beach in the USA by Stephan Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach).
After a long meandering walk in search of the fifth street pier (you wouldn't think it'd be so hard to find, but it's fairly unassuming and tucked behind hotels and the convention center) we took a water taxi to the 'island' ($7 a person, Hannah was free). The taxi was a small boat skippered by a man named Rusty. It was so cliche it was laughable. Bikes were allowed on and I'm sure he would have allowed the stroller inboard, but we were carrying H in the Ergo.
On the way back we took the ferry which was a large two story ferry that could easily handle bikes and strollers (but not cars). It was $8.50 for an adult oneway ticket, and free for those under 3. we rode on the top deck, and the breeze and views were very enjoyable, although I did keep a sweater handy in case Hannah got chilly.
What to do:
Both the water taxi and ferry drop you off at the Ferry Landing. If you want to go to the Hotel de Coronado and see the actual beach, here is a city bus that leaves every hour on the Half Hour. Of course, we found this out 5 minute too late and werent interested in waiting 55 inured for the next one. there is the option of taking a cab (we were quoted about $10 one way) but let's tally that up: $14 for the water taxi to the ferry landing, $20 cab ride round trip to the beach, and $8.50 for the ferry back to San Diego. $42.50 for two adults to get to the beach. Stupid.
I have to admit that I hated the ferry landing on Coronado. I thought it was an absolute tourist trap with tiny crowded shops full of tcochkies and over priced nick nacks.
We took the ferry back to San Diego, got our car and drove to Coronado. Hannah napped while we drove and Chris and I were able to enjoy the sights. We parked for free right by the beach access on Ocean drive by the hotel del Coronado. We were able to walk right down to the beach and take lots of pictures of Hannah's first splash in the Pacific.
We walked onto the grounds of the Hotel del Coronado, where you can eat at the restaurants browse the shops and try to hide your jealousy of the families enjoying the private pools of the villas. We stopped in at moo time creamery and spent way to much on two sundaes when we could have easily shared one - the only problem would have been trying to decide on just one (or two) flavors because they all sounded delish.
Drive, don't ferry, to the 'island' and spend your time at the ocean, not in the shops.