Tourist Review: San Diego's Coronado Beach
San Diego's Coronado Beach is a must see when visiting San Diego
by Paul Diamond Blow
We stayed at the Marriot Pulse Hotel in downtown San Diego, and getting to the waterfront was an easy 15 minute walk, about ten blocks. The waterfront is also accessible via bus or trolley, but since the weather was nice -- sunny and 77 degrees -- I preferred to walk so I could see the sights along the way. I must say, the coolest thing about San Diego's waterfront is that they have an aircraft carrier -- the U.S.S. Midway -- right there on the waterfront, open to tourists as a museum (You can board and tour the aircraft carrier museum for $20). However, my favorite part of my visit to San Diego was visiting Coronado Beach. I really wanted to check out the California ocean beaches, and Coronado Beach is the closest ocean beach from downtown San Diego and is accessible via the MTS 901 bus (which is actually a one hour bus ride to the beach from downtown) or ferry. I love boat rides, so I chose the ferry to get to Coronado.
The ferry to Coronado has two ferry terminals in San Diego -- one by the convention center, which is about a ten minute ferry ride to Coronado, and one on the waterfront by the USS Midway museum, which is a longer, 15-20 minute ferry ride. The cost of the ferry is $4.75 each way, and well worth it. The Coronado ferry is a walk-aboard ferry (no cars allowed), and features a large outdoor deck with benches to sit on.
The ferry lands at the Coronado dock, where there is a small sandy beach and many nice tourist shops and restaurants. You could spend the afternoon or evening right there by the dock and have a good time, but I needed to see the ocean beach, so I trekked through town for the 1.5 mile walk straight through the town of Coronado to the Coronado Beach. You can also take the MTS 904 bus there (which travels along Orange Avenue to the beach), but again, it was warm and sunny and I enjoy walking. (It is about a 30-40 minute walk from the ferry dock to Coronado Beach)
Once I got to Coronado Beach, I was not disappointed. Coronado Beach is about 1.5 miles long of nice, sandy beach, with plenty of wide open beach space. About a mile south is the historic Hotel del Coronado, which resembles a huge Disneyland type castle. I didn't bother checking out the hotel, I was happy enough just to get a spot on the beach and check out the water. I am from Washington State, and the ocean beaches in Washington are also large sandy beaches, but the water is cold! The ocean water at Coronado Beach was actually warm enough for me to put on my swim trunks and do the back float in the surf. It was awesome! I just wish I had my boogie board with me so I could have rocked some waves, but floating around in the surf was good enough, and just what I needed. I was surprised the water was so warm, considering it was in early October.
All in all, I would say that checking out the San Diego waterfront and taking the ferry to Coronado, and making the trek to the ocean beach was the highlight of my trip to San Diego, and would highly recommend checking those out to any tourists visiting San Diego. Surf's up, dudes!
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