arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

A Walk Through Coronado’s History

Beginning in 1886

The modern history of Coronado began in 1886 with the formation of the Coronado Beach Company, which for many years was the driving force behind the development of the peninsula as a town and resort destination; before that, the land had been uninhabited for more than 10,000 years.

The Story of How it Began

Built in 1888, the Hotel del Coronado became one of California’s most beloved seaside destinations, with its Queen Anne architecture, wedding cake trim and famous red roof turrets. The resort community increased its popularity with the rise of Tent City, a large summertime campground that sprung up at the foot of The Del and grew to encompass over 1,000 tents. Recreation included swimming facilities, carnival booths, a Ferris Wheel, aquaplaning, sailing and numerous activities for the entire family. Tent City remains a fond memory for some residents of Coronado and vacationers worldwide who visited the peninsula between 1900 and 1939.

Treasured Traditions

Many of Coronado’s treasured traditions began in the first quarter of the 20th Century. The founding of the Horse Show, Annual Flower Show, the arrival of Prince Edward of Wales and the early experiments in aviation on Naval Air Station North Island, including the departure of Charles Lindbergh in 1927, have established Coronado as a premier city with legendary tales.

Prominent Personalities

Coronado has long been a haven for prominent personalities, including the Duke of Windsor, Thomas Edison, Charles Lindbergh, more than a dozen U.S. presidents and many celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Rita Hayworth, Douglas Fairbanks and more. Coronado has also hosted a score of movie productions, including Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon and The Stuntman with Peter O’Toole, Barbara Hershey and Steve Railsback.

Getting There

Until 1969, Coronado could only be reached by ferry or by driving along a narrow, seven-mile isthmus called the Silver Strand, which attaches Coronado to the mainland. Ferry service became more limited with the opening of the sweeping $50 million San Diego-Coronado Bridge. This graceful, five-lane, two-mile bridge is the only officially dedicated scenic highway of its kind, due to its unique beauty.


Learn more about the story of Coronado on a fascinating heritage walk through the Museum of History and Art. After exploring the museum, tour historic Orange Avenue, the neighborhoods of Coronado’s grand homes and Hotel del Coronado.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Plan Now, Pack Later Offer

The Dana on Mission Bay
Valid: Jan 13 - ongoing

Why not secure a San Diego getaway at one of the city's premier waterfront resorts in 2021? Enjoy special savings of up to 20% off our Best Flexible Rate when you book at least 60 days in advance. To...

Accommodation

Rise and Shine Package

The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Valid: Feb 19 - ongoing

Relax and unwind surrounded by the vintage vibes and modern charm in a spacious, plush guest room. Then wake up to a cozy breakfast for two, served to your room so you have more time to plan the day's...

Accommodation

Wine Wednesday

Bay Club Hotel & Marina
Valid: Aug 6, 2020 - ongoing

Wine Wednesday special at the Quarterdeck Restaurant and Bar. Half-priced bottles of all wines are available with the purchase of two lunch or dinner entrees. Cheers!

Events to check out

Event

$15 Swift Boat Naval History Tour w/Admission!

Maritime Museum of San Diego
May 29 - ongoing

Only $15 for this exciting and educational Maritime Museum Swift Boat Tour. Ride the only active passenger carrying Swift Boat in the country. Feel the power of the twin 12 cylinder 2-stroke Detroit...

Event

Pool & Cabanas

Hotel del Coronado
Mar 24 - ongoing

Discover The Del’s newly elevated pool experience open daily from 8am-8pm. Guests enjoy shaded private cabanas and chaise lounges surrounding an upgraded pool with direct access to the Sun Deck....

Event

Blue Whale Watching During Migration Summer/Fall

Davey's Locker Whale Watching & Sportsfishing
May 7 - ongoing

View the largest living creature on Earth. Giant blue whales reach lengths of 90 feet or more. More than 420 whales viewed summer/fall 2020.  Take advantage of $13 whale watching cruise special...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish