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-style courtyard with terra-cotta tiles, tropical flowers, and an outdoor pool. A 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner, the hotel sits right on Coronado's main drag. It's 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 built in 1902 as a retirement home for a wealthy industrialist and was converted into a Spanish-style hotel in 1930.
- Like home: One-bedroom suites feature full kitchens and separate living rooms with sleeper sofas, and deluxe rooms have flat-screen TVs.
- Eat up: Three onsite restaurants serve a variety of seafood, Mexican dishes, and french crepes.
Coronado, California: Silvery Sands Across San Diego Bay
Coronado Beach sparkles both literally—its silvery sands contain an opalescent mineral called mica—and figuratively: it was ranked No. 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 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 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.