California / Domestic Travel / San Diego

Coronado Island {San Diego, CA}

Coronado Island is a really lovely place to spend a day in during a visit to San Diego.  It’s conveniently located just outside of Downtown San Diego.  First, how to get to Coronado Island:

Transportation.  Coronado Ferry Landing is a pier where a lot of the food and shopping is at.  There are two ways to get to Coronado – by ferry or by car.  I opted to drive but here are the deets:

  • Ferry is $8.50 round trip (used to be only $7 a year or two ago!!) and it stops running at around 10:30pm.  Bikes are no extra charge.  No pets.  For me, this price is prohibitive.
  • The drive is short, but you may experience traffic during peak hours.  Coronado Ferry Landing Shops have plenty of FREE parking.

Coronado Ferry
Yelp / Official Schedule
Price $8.50 Round Trip
Buy Tickets at Broadway Pier or Fifth Avenue Landing

Eats.  Candelas at Ferry Landing and it was an amazing deal and I highly recommend it for happy hour.  To know my knowledge, it’s the only EVERYDAY happy hour on Coronado Island and it runs from 4pm-6pm and 10pm-midnight!  I love weekend happy hours, especially when they involve half off drinks and bar food.

Ambiance.  Classy and nice.  This is a happy hour that requires you to sit in the bar area.  In the bar area, there’s an actual bar and also 4 or 5 booths.  I almost never sit at the bar (I like to face the company I’m with), so I opted for a booth.  My sister was 20 at the time, so I asked if underage kids can sit in the booth too.  They said yes, as long as she doesn’t drink (duh).

Alcohol.  We ordered 3 signature drinks, which were $5.50 during happy hour.  The 3 drinks were all strong (martinis will do that) and all very tasty!  I generally prefer martinis, but even their margarita was good (not overtly sweet).  Here’s what we got:

  • Mango Chili Martini (bottom right pic)
  • Mango Chili Margarita (sweeter than its martini version) (top left pic)
  • Guava Martini (bottom right pic)

Food.  I really enjoyed the appetizers here!  Prices were fair and the food was tasty, fresh and interesting.  Here’s what I ordered:

  • Ensalada Veracruz ($5): mixed greens with baked, sliced chicken breast, mango, bleu cheese, hearts of palm, topped with balsalmic vinaigrette, decorated with tortilla and walnuts.  Most salads during happy hour are only $4, but this is is $5 and it’s gooood.  Recommended.  The chicken was really moist and soaked up just the right amt of dressing.
  • Crema Fabiola soup ($7.50): Poblano chile cream soup topped with half a lobster tail.  The soup is really good, but as cheap as it may sound, I still think $7.50 is a lot for soup.  FYI, the lobster tail is super tiny.
  • Estructura de Aguacate ($6): Haas avocado stuffed with scallops, shrimp and crab, marinated in lime juice and tossed with parsley, tomato, and onion. Served with basil and mango vinagrettes. This was my favorite because it is something I’ve never had before and it was SOOOO good. Ceviche fresh with some richness from the abundance avocado throughout.

The Damage.  The bill was under $40 for 2 people and I felt buzzed and happy.  I love upscale happy hours and this one had creative, fun ‘tinis and dishes.  Highly recommended for happy hour.

Candelas on the Bay
Yelp Happy Hour Reviews
Menu with prices

1201 1st St
(between B Ave & C Ave)
Coronado, CA 92118Df

Beach.  If you’re looking for some sand, head over to the Hotel del Coronado.  It’s a little less convenient because it’s not in the Ferry Landing area, but so worth it!  The beach is GORGEOUS.  Just walk around the hotel and you’ll find a spacious, not too crowded, impeccably clean beach.

How to get there.  I drove over and reparked my car down Orange (main road in Coronado) at around 10th street. The parking is metered, but SUPER CHEAP.  I believe it was only a quarter per hour.

Hotel del Coronado
Yelp /
1501 Orange Ave
(between Adella Ave & Glorietta Blvd)
Coronado, CA 92118

Do.  One activity to enjoy on Coronado Island is bike riding; however, beware the biking restrictions here.  There are lots of places you can’t bike.  I rented this ridiculous surrey from a nice shop called Bikes & Beyond on Ferry Landing.   The Bikes & Beyond staff will give you a map with a recommended path.  The path will take at least an hour, more if you stop to take photos.

Prices and rental options:

  • Beach cruiser ($7 per hour)
  • Surrey (2 person $18 per hour)
  • Surrey (4 person $30 per hour)

FYI, we rented a 4 person surrey because we had my dog with me.  DO NOT do this to yourself.  We had four adults & my dog – and that thing was SOO heavy and hard to pedal with even the slightest incline.  Opt for cruisers or a 2 person surrey (if someone in your party doesn’t know how to bike).

Bikes & Beyond
Yelp / Official
1201 1st St
Ste 122
(between Orange Ave & C Ave)
Coronado, CA 92118

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