San Diego consistently ranks as one of America’s most livable cities. This is of course if you can afford the insane cost of housing. Otherwise you might be living in a card board box, albeit a fairly centrally located one. San Diego’s harbor is packed with lavish boats, but there is also no shortage of people living out of tents and shopping carts close by. San Diego boasts a plethora of sunshine and great weather, making outdoor activities one of the highlights of visiting this lovely city. A very short distance across the bay from San Diego lies one of America’s most premium pieces of real estate, Coronado island. By car, you can get to the island over the San Diego-Coronado bridge. But the island is also very accessible without a car as renting a bike on Coronado Island is easy.
From San Diego harbor, pedestrian only ferries leave for Coronado island every hour and the boat ride only takes about 20 minutes, with a cost of $4.50 each way. The ferry ride offers fantastic views of downtown San Diego and the entire surrounding bay area. Upon arrival in Coronado you are dropped off in plastic touristy land, consisting of several small strip malls containing many overpriced eats and tacky trinkets. We wouldn’t suggest going to Coronado hungry. I happened to grab a fish gyro sandwich from one of the fast food restaurants and it was actually quite terrible.
But Coronado is very worthwhile to visit. There is a fantastic boardwalk to stroll and admire San Diego’s lovely sky line. And for the cost of a lousy fish gyro you can rent a bicycle for 1 hour and see even more of the island. Bikes and Beyond offers rentals for just $7 an hour or $25 for the day (both prices include a helmet) and they are conveniently located near the ferry landing. They just ask to swipe a credit card to be sure you return their bike.
Renting a bicycle is really worthwhile because the island is too big to navigate by foot. We also drove the island in a rental car but I preferred it via bicycle. Aside from some stunning and relaxing vistas, you can get up close and personal with some interesting real estate. Homes in Coronado range from lavish to the most opulent of mansions and there are some creative architectural styles, with some homes resembling Mexican style pueblos (at 100 times the cost of an authentic one!).
Ferries leave every hour on the hour from 9am-9pm from downtown San Diego’s Broadway pier, and every hour on the half hour back from Coronado island starting at 9:30am and finishing at 9:30pm. And again, you’re probably better off eating in San Diego, or at least somewhere other than the tacky ferry landing area. If you had a good food experience in Coronado please let us know!
Bikes and Beyond
1201 1st St
(between Orange Ave & C Ave)
Coronado, CA 92118