Hotel at a Glance: El Cordova Hotel
El Cordova Hotel feels like a hacienda, with a red-clay roof and hand-painted ceramic tiles throughout. There's even a Spanish courtyard with terra cotta tiles, tropical flowers, and an outdoor pool. A TripAdvisor 2013 Certificate of Excellence winner, the hotel sits right on Coronado Village's main drag, within easy walking distance of the town's restaurants, shops, art galleries, and beaches.
- Distance from the beach: 0.5 miles
- Historic hotel: El Cordova was originally built in 1902 as a retirement home for a wealthy industrialist, but was converted into a Spanish-style hotel in 1930.
- Spacious accommodations: One-bedroom suites feature full kitchens and separate living rooms with sleeper sofas, and deluxe rooms have flat-screen TVs.
- On-site dining: Three restaurants serve a variety of seafood, Spanish dishes, and French crepes.
Coronado, California: Silvery Sands Across San Diego Bay
Coronado Beach's silvery sands sparkle both literally—they contain an opalescent mineral called mica—and figuratively: it was ranked #1 in the nation by Dr. Beach. Located a short walk from downtown, the beach has lifeguards and smaller waves that make it ideal for swimming and paddleboarding. Silver Strand State Beach is also worth checking out, especially the pedestrian-only beachfront along San Diego Bay. This is dotted with moon snail shells, cockle shells, and sand dollars, and there are nice views of the city skyline.
Coronado—the name means "the crowned one" in Spanish—lies just across the bay from San Diego. Visitors can get here from the mainland by taking a ferry or driving across the toll-free San Diego-Coronado Bridge; both bring you right into downtown Coronado. You'll find tons of restaurants, art galleries, and shops lining Orange Avenue, the town's main drag. The Museum of History and Art is here, too, with exhibits that range from Coronado's early Spanish settlers to its transformation into a beach destination with the construction of the historic Hotel del Coronado.