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With perfect weather and a beach view outside almost every window, it's no wonder that residents of Coronado consider themselves to be living in paradise. The long, skinny peninsula at the south end of San Diego provides a home to a U.S. Navy aviation base, a world-famous historical resort and thousands of high-end houses, condos and apartments. Although technically a peninsula, many living in Coronado refer to it as an "island," perhaps stemming from the days in the recent past when the neighborhood was accessible only by ferry. Thanks to the Coronado Bay Bridge, which opened in 1969, this beautiful and family-friendly neighborhood can be a welcoming home for anyone who can afford the price tag.
As of October 2017, the average apartment rent in Coronado, CA is $1,757 for a studio, $2,220 for one bedroom, $2,920 for two bedrooms, and $2,737 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Coronado has decreased by -0.5% in the past year.
When most San Diegans think of dining in Coronado, they gravitate towards the 125-year-old Hotel del Coronado, affectionately known by locals as "The Del." This venerable institution, which has hosted kings and presidents, remains popular for Sunday brunch, weddings, and special occasions. Its signature restaurant, 1500 Ocean, lets those who love fine dining have it all in the same place. Choose a patio table to watch the sun set over the ocean while you feast on a four-course tasting menu replete with choices such as tuna sashimi, grilled baby octopus, rack of lamb and truffle mashed potatoes. Finish your evening with the chipotle chocolate cake. Residents of Coronado, however, know that traveling a little further provides an array other dining choices, many of them clustered along Orange Avenue.
If you love sushi, head to Saiko Sushi for the freshest local sushi and sashimi in town. Their tuna and salmon rolls use high-quality fish, or check out the house rolls that include such innovative ingredients as tempura shrimp, apple-mustard vinaigrette and macadamia nuts. The non-sushi lovers in your group have options from dirty fried rice with shrimp and bacon, green curry with green tea soba noodles and other intriguing dishes.
Saiko knows sushi like Brigantine Seafood Restaurant knows fish. For the best clam chowder and swordfish tacos in town, residents flock to the Brigantine. Locals also come to enjoy the lively atmosphere and an authentic sense of community. This San Diego staple serves up only the freshest catch of the day, so don't miss out.
Nightlife in Coronado takes you on a stroll to a series of bars and pubs, many with waterfront views. The Sunset Bar lets you relax on an outdoor sofa as you sip a margarita and watch the surf roll in. If a dive bar better suits your style, head to The Little Club on Orange Avenue to join the guys from the Navy base for an inexpensive beer and a game of pool or darts.
Coronado's history is tied up with the history of the Hotel Del Coronado, conceived and built in the late 1880s as the most opulent hotel on the West Coast. In the early 1900s, the U.S. Navy established a naval aviation base on the peninsula, which moved to the forefront of naval aviation. Thousands of people originally lived on Coronado in a giant tent city, which was demolished to build the highway in the 1940s. The opening of the Coronado Bay Bridge opened in 1969 made it possible for development to begin.
Coronado boasts its own resident theater company, the Lambs Players Theatre, which has an intimate stage with enormous talent on it. Once a year, the Hallowine Party at the Hotel Del Coronado lights up the night with a pricey but fun costume party for adults. The party starts with a wine tasting, then follows through with an amazing buffet dinner and dancing.
While most people coming to Coronado drive their own cars, the peninsula provides public transportation in the form of two bus lines, the MTS 904, which runs up and down the peninsula, and the MTS 901, which takes people "off island" to San Diego proper. The free public parking up and down Ocean Avenue disappears quickly on beach days, but you can find low-cost, metered street parking in downtown Coronado if you're lucky. Taxis can typically be found at Coronado's major hotels, or call an Uber to get you across the bridge to San Diego's Lindbergh Airport.
The streets of Coronado are typically filled with bicyclists — and even some golf carts — so traffic moves at a leisurely pace. Rent a bike at the Del or at one of the peninsula's many bike shops to take advantage of the 15 miles of bike paths that also welcome runners and in-line skaters. The laid-back beauty of Coronado makes it a walker's paradise, so get ready to lace up your walking shoes or to kick them off so you can stroll or jog along the beach.
While many residents of Coronado admit that they're living in paradise, the comfortable luxury of this neighborhood comes at a price. The cost of living in Coronado runs 44 percent higher than that of San Diego as a whole, though almost all of that relates to housing prices, with the cost of daily living essentially the same as in the rest of the city. You can see the high cost of housing reflected in real estate prices, including rentals, with the median apartment rental on the peninsula running at $5,000 per month and the rare one-bedroom apartment running around $4,080 per month.
Once you've gotten past the cost of housing, monthly costs fall into line with San Diego averages. You can take the bus to downtown San Diego for $2.25, or relax a bit and take the ferry for $4.25. Gas prices run about 11 percent higher than the national average. When you decide to go pub crawling down Orange Avenue, expect to pay $6 to $8 for beer on tap or $5 to $17 for bottled beer, depending on your tastes.
Coronado residents with significant shopping to do tend to head across the bay to downtown where Westfield Horton Plaza or the other major shopping destinations are located — especially when making high-end purchases. Coronado itself hosts many charming specialty shops that make an afternoon of retail therapy a delight.
Animation enthusiasts enjoy browsing the Chuck Jones Gallery on 5th Avenue. Not only can you see famous portraits from iconic animation cartoonists, you can also purchase pictures for your own collection.
Stroll down the boardwalk at the Coronado Ferry Landing to take a peek into the cute shops that line the area. Find perfect souvenirs for your out-of-town guests, including T-shirts, snow globes and Celtic specialty items.
Bay Books on Orange Avenue gives you everything you need for your restful day on the sand or by the pool. The friendly booksellers help you find what you seek and feature a huge children's section to keep the kids happy. With a coffee kiosk and tables to relax right outside, this establishment makes it simple to sit right down and start reading before you even make it home.
While Coronado hosts several major supermarkets, locals like to stop by Boney's Bayside Market for incredible sandwiches from the deli, fresh produce and a great selection of beers. The tiny Coronado Farmers Market opens near the ferry landing on Tuesday afternoons, and locals love the free parking and friendly vendors.
Lined with beaches on three sides, Coronado has something for every lover of surf and sand. Coronado Beach, outside the Hotel del Coronado, has incredibly soft, clean sand. With plenty of lifeguards, volleyball courts and places for snacks and drinks within easy walking distance, you could easily stay at this beach for days. With an off-leash dog beach nearby, everyone in your group should be happy.
Silver Strand State Beach, almost all the way down the peninsula, has camping hookups for RVs. Look for sand dollars or go for a run on this beach that seems to never end. You'll pay for parking here, since it's a state beach. Other beaches and parks in Coronado are all free to enter and use.
On the bay side of Coronado, head to Crown Island for secluded, pristine beaches. Tidelands Park, near the ferry landing, also faces the bay and features a huge skate park, picnic tables, playgrounds, softball diamonds and plenty of trails for walking or biking.
Every year the U.S. Navy comes out from its base at the south end of Coronado to host the Navy Bay Bridge Run/Walk. Starting at the San Diego Convention Center, this event draws thousands craving the opportunity to walk over the Coronado Bay Bridge, normally forbidden to pedestrians, with plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular views and take loads of selfies. The run/walk ends in Tidelands Park, and smart tourists take the ferry back to San Diego rather than waiting for a bus.
Apartments for Rent Under $1,000 in Coronado, CA
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