Coronado is a gem, and one that I’ve been enjoying for many years now. Whether you stay at Hotel Del Coronado or use other lodging on Coronado, or just come for a day from San Diego, there’s a lot to explore. If you like to walk or bike, or just want to know more about what to see/do in Coronado, you’ll like Shelli’s Coronado Loop! The whole loop takes you by the ocean, through town, to the bay side, along the Coronado Golf Course and back to the ocean. The whole loop is just under 7 miles, but of course it can be done in parts, too. It can be enjoyed both riding a bike and walking. It works in either direction.
Part 1 takes you through what might be called downtown Coronado, from the beach side to the Bay side. Head south from the Hotel Del Coronado. Orange Ave is the main street and is considered downtown Coronado. Depending on where you’re from, this might either seem like a charming definition of a downtown, or you’ll walk the whole avenue and still wonder if you’ve seen downtown!
I’m writing as if you’ll be walking on your left hand side of the street as you head away from The Del. In a few blocks on Orange and C Street, you’ll come to the Lamb’s Players Theater. They showcase musical theater and change their plays often, so this could be a fun night out. Two stores down, you’ll find 1134 Cafe. This is primarily a coffee house that’s been in Coronado for many years. They use Lavazza for their espresso. I have no idea why they don’t use one of our local San Diego roasters. They do have a small but cute patio out back, and as many of the eateries on Orange Ave do, there is street side seating too.
Across Orange Ave, you’ll see Bay Books Coronado. They’ve been in business for 25 years and in this day of brick and mortar bookstores disappearing, this is a great one to know about. Clayton’s Restaurant Coffee Shop, on 10th and Orange, always has lines out the door. This breakfast/lunch/dinner spot hasn’t changed much since the 1950’s and that’s a good thing. If you like this type of old fashioned diner, you’ll love this place.
As you continue along Orange Ave on 9th and Orange, you’ll see Burger Lounge. This is a San Diego chain that’s been around since 2007. They call themselves the “Original Grass-Fed Burger” joint. I like Burger Lounge and take people here when I’m in Coronado. The salads and milk shakes are also quite good! If you’re in the mood for a movie when you’re in Coronado, on 8th and Orange, you’ll find the Village Movie Theater. It’s a one-off theater with only a few screens, and they do get the new releases. As you keep walking towards the bay side, you’ll actually start to catch a glimpse of the San Diego skyline. At this point if you’ve started from The Del, you’ve walked or biked about 1.5 miles! The walk gets less commercial now.
As you approach 7th and Orange, you’ll see the City of Coronado Police Station and then the library. It’s a gorgeous library, so have a look. Outside the library, is a great coffee kiosk, Amalo Brew, but it’s only open until 2:30 PM. Amalo Brew does, however, use a locally roasted coffee (Cafe Virtuoso). Across from the library, you’ll see a local park and more often than not, especially on the weekends, there’s usually an art fair or some kind of craft fair happening in the park.
A few blocks more and you’ll come to Boney’s Bayside Market, on 2nd Street and Orange Ave. Boney’s seems like it’s been around forever even though it’s only been here since 2004. It’s a family run market that has great produce, a wonderful selection of fish and meat, great baked goods, and a delicious deli. It’s a great place for snacks, sandwiches, or to stop in for food to create a beach or bay picnic. I stop in here often, and always find the people who work here to be helpful and friendly. And I like supporting a local market!
Before you cross over 1st Street and head to the bay park, if you look to your right you’ll see Tartine. It’s a European style cafe and it’s very popular with the locals. The food is creative and the pastries are good, especially the scones. It has nice outdoor seating, though the condos across the street block your view of the bay.
As you cross 1st Street, you’ll walk through a grassy area with benches and a small rose garden, and you’re half way around Shelli’s Coronado Loop! You’ve come upon what I consider to be the BEST views of the city: beautiful bay, airplane spotting galore, and the whole of San Diego’s skyline. Be sure to stop and take it all in!
Next up, the second part of the loop that is very UNcommercial and all about scenery!
If you have any questions, let me know! If you enjoyed Part 1, please check out Part 2.
Check out all the Coronado / San Diego Week posts here: