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Road Trip: Tucson to Coronado Island

Coronado California Guide

Shhh! Coronado Island is one of California's best-kept secrets...and it's only 6 to 6.5 hours from Tucson by car!

Once you arrive in San Diego, you'll drive across a large bridge and enter Coronado, which is a charming beach town that will undoubtedly capture your heart. It's the kind of city that keeps whispering your name long after you leave.

Resplendent with excellent beaches (some say they are the best in the USA!), an absolutely delightful main street, and pleasant outdoor eateries, Coronado Island is an unforgettable beach vacation destination.

Below we have provided a list of the best hotels, attractions, restaurants, and activities in Coronado. Are you wondering where to stay and what to do on your next trip? This guide will keep you in-the-know. We will edit this page regularly with new finds and fun places. Happy road-tripping!

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CORONADO

If you are booking accommodations in Coronado, note that there are 16 hotels/inns to choose from due to the size of the island.

They are (listed in alphabetical order):

  • 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach
  • Best Western Suites
  • Cherokee Lodge
  • Coronado Beach Resort
  • Coronado Inn
  • Coronado Island Inn
  • Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa
  • Crown City Inn & Bistro
  • El Cordova Hotel
  • El Rancho
  • Glorietta Bay Inn
  • Hotel Del Coronado
  • Hotel Marisol of Coronado
  • La Avenida Inn
  • Loews Coronado Bay Resort
  • Villa Capri By The Sea

There are also vacation homes available for weekly and monthly rentals.

Keep reading for the inside scoop on Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa - which offers spacious cottages, wonderful walkability around the island, and convenient access to the ferry (which will take you across to San Diego).

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa is a beautiful and pristine property on unmatchable Coronado Island. Situated immediately adjacent to the sparkling sea, you'll love to take daily walks, bike rides, or runs along the wide path that you'll be able to access from your guest room or cottage.

If you are familiar with the area, this resort is on the Ferry Landing site of the island - meaning that you'll be able to walk easily to the dock where you can hop aboard a ferry to and from San Diego. Rest assured, however, you are still only 5 minutes from the beach (Coronado Island is not very big). You can also walk to a large oceanside park, numerous shops and restaurants, and Orange Avenue from your room.

While this resort opened its doors in 1998, it feels completely new - thanks to very recent renovations and additions. During your stay, you can enjoy three outdoor swimming pools and numerous recreational sports (tennis, fitness center, etc) - along with a full-service spa.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Book a Cottage for memories that will last a lifetime! Your private cottage offers plenty of room for the whole family - plus a kitchenette and dining table.
  • Pack your walking shoes. You'll want to bike, walk, jog, or skate around the island. In fact, you can have a mostly car-free vacation after you check-in. If you don't mind walking a bit, you can get to Orange Avenue, Ferry Landing, and the beach without driving.
  • ALBACA offers a continental breakfast every day for $17/person. This includes fruit, pastries, cereal, oatmeal, and non-alcoholic breakfast beverages.
  • Get the Marriott Bonvoy App to learn about special deals and promotions. This hotel is included in various Marriott Bonvoy membership emails.

CORONADO ISLAND MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA AT A GLANCE

  • Address: Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, 2000 Second Street, Coronado CA
  • Check-In: 4:00pm
  • Check-Out: 11:00am
  • Parking: Parking is $38.00 per night for doorstep parking. A parking pass will be provided at check-in. 
  • Resort Fee: Yes.
  • Peak Season: Spring & Summer
  • Off-Season: Fall & Winter
  • Social Media: Follow Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa on Facebook and Instagram.
  • BOOK A ROOM | call 619-435-3000

Coronado Beach

One of the best beaches in the area is the Coronado Central Beach. White sands, tame waves, and unbeatable weather. Street parking is free and can be easy to find if you arrive early and/or on weekdays. Don't forget sunscreen, hats, buckets + pails, boogie boards, beach towels, water, and snacks.

Orange Avenue

We dare you to walk along Orange Avenue and not want to move to Coronado immediately. This is Coronado's Main Street - with restaurants, bookstores, coffeeshops, a charming park with gazebo, and a lovely library.

If you have any questions about area attractions, you can swing by the Visitor Center at 1100 Orange Avenue.

Coronado Library

If you enjoy reading, you will find a warm and cozy nook to enjoy your hobby at Coronado Library (on Orange Avenue). In addition to a spacious and welcoming children's area with a robust collection of books, there is also a sophisticated adults-only reading room. Vacationers to the island can purchase a $10 out-of-state library card, which will allow them to check out as many books as they like during their stay. Hours are: Monday-Thursday 9:30am-9:00pm, Friday 9:30am-6:00pm, Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm, and Sunday 1:00pm-5:00pm.

Coronado Ferry Landing

Coronado San Diego Ferry

Coronado Ferry Landing is a charming collection of waterfront restaurants and shops.

There are ten restaurants at Ferry Landing:

  1. Burger King: fast food hamburger chain
  2. Cold Stone Creamery: ice cream with mix-ins
  3. Coronado Coffee Company: coffee, lattes, espresso
  4. Coronado Cupcakery: cakes, cupcakes, cookies
  5. Crown Town Deli: sandwiches, wraps, and salads built to order and kombucha on tap
  6. Il Fornaio: Italian food, wine, cocktails
  7. Lil’ Piggy’s Bar-B-Cue: Memphis style barbecue, 100 beers
  8. Peohe’s: tropical seafood dishes, sushi bar
  9. Spiro's Greek Cafe: gyros, fish specials, wine, local craft beer
  10. Village Pizzeria Bayside: pizza, calzones, pasta, hoagie sandwiches

The eight local shops at Ferry Landing are:

  1. Art for Wildlife Gallery: nature-themed paintings and sculptures
  2. Casa De Surf
  3. House of Soles and Shades: beach footwear and designer sunglasses
  4. La Camisa: beach-themed souvenir shop
  5. Lisa's Boutique: women's clothing
  6. Miss Match: women's clothing, handbags, and accessories
  7. San Diego Trading Co: tees and accessories for the whole family
  8. The French Room: women's resort wear and shoes

You can also rent bikes, kayaks, paddle-boards, yachts, and surreys from three different shops at Ferry Landing: Bike & Kayak Tours, Holland's Bikes & Beyond, and Flagship Cruises & Events.

Spiro's Greek Cafe

In the mood for a warm pita filled with strips of tender lamb & beef and topped with tzatziki sauce? Spiro's Greek Cafe on Ferry Landing has you covered.

This adorable eatery has indoor seating, but we can almost guarantee that you will want to sit outside on the comfortable patio, which offers inspiring views of the Pacific Ocean and the San Diego skyline.

The Spa at Coronado Island Marriott Resort

Seeking a bit of luxury on your upcoming trip? Book an appointment at the brand new 5,500 square foot spa at The Spa at Coronado Island (part of Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa). The sophisticated space offers massages, facials, body scrubs, manicures, and pedicures performed by beauty professionals - as well as group fitness classes and lap pool sessions. Plan a relaxing getaway with your spouse or a group of friends at this elegant and upscale spa.

Hotel Del Coronado

Don't be shy about visiting Hotel Del Coronado if you are not staying as a guest. The iconic hotel, which was built in 1888, is open to the public and is a fun place to wander. Browse the gift shops, dine at one of the property restaurants, walk on the beach, make a reservation for Sunday Brunch, or stop at Moo Time Creamery for an ice cream treat.

All in All

Coronado is a fabulous "secret" vacation destination - with inviting beaches, great patio restaurants, and close-to-perfect weather. The ideal season to visit is ANY season.

Also - remember that San Diego is just across the bridge! San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park are only 15 minutes away and SeaWorld San Diego is only 5 minutes further than that.

Other Ideas

Stay tuned for future posts about other drivable cities from Tucson. Road trips make for fun memories without the steep cost of airline tickets!

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What are your favorite things to do in Coronado?

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