They say that only tourists ride the gondolas in Venice Italy and I've met many folks who have visited Italy and wanted to ride the gondola, but didn't want to be pegged for a tourist. Well, here in San Diego, the locals ride the gondolas!
The Gondola Company on Coronado island rents out gondolas by the hour- you can choose a basic cruise, sunset cruise, wine tasting cruise and you can even have a violinist or mandolin player provide the live music.
This was one of the most relaxing times I've been on a boat. The gondolas are purchased as damaged goods from Italy and then brought over here where they are restored by the Gondola company. With the ride, you get a blanket, complimentary anti pasto plate or chocolate dipped strawberries and you can bring any drink you like, including wine.
Some of the gondoliers sing and we were fortunate to have one who did- he sang a beautiful Italian aria.
I highly recommend this experience for anyone who enjoys a relaxing experience on the water.
Tip: The ride takes you mostly facing the sun, so I recommend the sunset cruise, so the sunlight glare won't bother your eyes.