Backed by historic mansions and a Victorian hotel, Coronado Central Beach recalls a bygone era. Park for free on Ocean Boulevard and make your way past purple-tinged beach grass to the soft sand, which is full of mica that shimmers in the light. The shoreline stretches about a mile and a half from the Hotel del Coronado to a dog-friendly area, providing plenty of room to play or relax. Surf, boogie board, and search the pools that form at low tide, or simply channel your inner Marilyn Monroe while sunning—Some Like It Hot was filmed at the Hotel del Coronado.

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Run the Dunes

Coronado, California is a runner’s paradise. There are many options for long or short courses, but the beach route is by far the best. I was lucky to attend high school in this little town and one of the highlights of my teenage experiences was Monday afternoon Cross Country practice at the beach. Our team had a habit of winning many medals, and much of our prowess could be attributed to the gorgeous trails we traversed on a weekly basis. If you are looking for a jog with million dollar views, lace up your shoes and cruise across the packed sand at the ocean’s edge or take to the dunes that cuddle up against the rocks. Those little hills of cactus covered sand move beneath your feet and before long you can feel the burn! Coronado Beach is accessible from San Diego via the Coronado Bay Bridge or the Silver Strand Highway.

The Best Beach in Southern California

Coronado, California is an idyllic beach community famous for many things (the presence of a massive Naval Air Station, a glamorous hotel, and decades of famous visitors) but one of its most accessible claims to fame is one long stretch of golden sand that kisses the Pacific Ocean. The entire beach is free and open to the public. Even the area just in front of the lauded Hotel Del Coronado can be occupied by anyone who wants to dive into the waves or relax on a simple towel. If surfing is your thing, grab a board and head to “North Beach” or walk down to the surfer-friendly spot just in front of the high rise buildings known as The Shores. Coronado’s friendly waves are great for beginners and they tend to offer up just enough height to keep the experts happy too. If you are a fan of the high-flying skills of pilots who know how to land on the short runways of Navy Carriers, just look to the skies and watch some of the world’s best flyers practice their techniques. For those of you with canine companions, don’t leave them at home! There’s a patch of territory cordoned off for dogs to romp and swim with the same enthusiasm as their human counterparts. And of course, everyone should stick around for the sun’s dramatic descent at the close of day.

Coronado Beach

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