Last summer, our family was on our way to eat at a local hot spot (think yummy white sauce) and as we came around the corner, we were hit with...a LONG line! What? Seriously? A line at one of my favorite eateries? After a few 'adult beverages' and some FREE chips and salsa, we were able to recover, finish waiting about 30 minutes and then enjoy a great dinner (with yummy white sauce). We blurred out the faces above to protect the "frustrated line waiters".
If you are a Coronado local, hopefully this guide will help you brave another crowded, hot and yes, amazing Summer on the island.
1. You Live in Paradise - People Are Going to Want to Come Here
During the summer months in Coronado, there are going to be lines, traffic, crowds and even people that tend to walk slowly in front of you because they are new to this town or just visiting...yes, tourists. The reason that Coronado is so packed in the summer is that we live in the most amazing city on the planet. Let us unpack that for you a bit.
If you just entered the Universe and were looking for the best place to live, you might follow this path:
- I want to live on a great planet, so, I'll choose Earth.
- I want to live on a great continent, so I'll choose North America
- I want to live in a great country, so I'll choose the United States of America
- I want to live in a great state, so I'll choose California
- I want to live in a great part of California, so I'll choose Southern California
- I want to live in a great county, so I'll choose San Diego County
- I want to live in a great city (near the ocean), so I'll choose Coronado
(we can go even further by naming different Coronado neighborhoods, but we'll stop right here)
Look at that - look how amazing we have it being locals to Coronado - we could have ended up "off island" (gulp!)! So, be prepared for lines, traffic, a backup on Orange Avenue, people crowding 'your' beach spots, taking 'your' street parking and even sitting at your table with 'white sauce'. When you start the day with this attitude, it sure makes it more fun to live here!
2. Walk, Ride Your Bike - Leave Your Car at Home
If you are able, start walking and riding your bike more often around town. It is so liberating to leave the house to do errands, dining or just catch a movie in town. Many times, we ride our bikes faster than the cars going down Orange Avenue because of the traffic. Just remember to follow the rules of the road and lock up your bike - with a really strong lock. You know the bike thieves won't be taking the summer off.
3. Embrace the Zonie-Invasion
People in Coronado know that folks from Arizona, aka Zonies, love Coronado. Many of them own second homes here in town and love enjoying our cooler weather for months at a time. This has been going on for decades in Coronado and they have every right to be here as much as you do. Yep, we said it. It's ok to share Coronado with Zonies. It's actually good for the local economy and if you ever spend time talking to them, you'll see they aren't much different that we are. Just don't let them eat your brain.
4. Escape to the Coronado Library
Need some free entertainment and perhaps a little air-conditioning? Take a break and visit the Coronado Library at 640 Orange Avenue. Comfy seats, helpful librarians to get you to the right book and best of all, peace and quiet. If you want more than books, they also offer magazines, CDs, talking books and DVD rentals (.50 for a week).
5. Make Time to Enjoy Concert-in-the-Park
Every Summer, locals and visitors stroll or bike over the Spreckels Park to enjoy food, drink and some fantastic live music on Sunday afternoons. It's been a tradition since 1970 and everyone loves this special time of year in Coronado. It's already started and the last concert is September 7th. See the lineup and schedule here. Be sure to get there early as 'grass space' does fill up quickly. Also, remember that no dogs are allowed in the park, but you can bring and consume alcohol if you are 21+ (only during the concert season).
6. Ditch the Crowds
If you want to escape the crowds, but still stay on the island, check out the following local spots:
Stingray Point Beach - Use the footpath to walk across the Coronado Municipal Golf and turn right at the bay. Walk about another 500 yards to get to a small beach with access to the bay, great views and most of all, a lot less people. See the photo below:
If you are looking for beach parking, try heading down to the public beach parking lots near the Coronado Shores. Everyone knows about the main entrance parking lot off of Avenue De Las Arenas, but if you drive past that entrance going South, there is another lot off of Avenida Lunar that usually have open spots. Photo below:
At the corner of First Street and I Avenue is Bayview Park. This is a great place to take a picnic lunch and enjoy the views of downtown from across the water. It's a small park and there are no bathrooms/play equipment, but it's one of our favorite spots to enjoy.
7. Don't Get "Hangry"
Do you get angry when you get too hungry...if so, here is a tip to avoid becoming "hangry". If you are getting ready to dine out in Coronado, be sure to make a reservation. If they don't take reservations, then give yourself enough time to put your name in, before you get too hungry. This advice sounds simple enough, but as the day gets busy, it's hard to always stay ahead of your hunger. When you see a long line or are told there will be a 45 minute wait, don't take out your anger on the staff or visitors to Coronado.
8. Stop Complaining - Avoid the Phrase: "Before the Bridge..."
Many Coronado locals have been here for generations and many can recall a much 'different' Coronado prior to the bridge opening in 1969. Less traffic, less people, less cars, less tourists and the list goes on. There is actually a very cool Facebook group called Coronado Past that reflects upon old photos and memories of Coronado. There is a difference of reflecting upon the change in the times and just plain being bitter. Yes, Coronado has changed over the years and the bridge added a much easier path to "paradise", but if you can restrain yourself from going down that rabbit hole, it would sure make the day better.
We don't anticipate the bridge being removed anytime soon or Coronado being less of a destination location for visitors.
9. Wear Sunscreen
This seems like a no-brainer, but people still forget to apply sunscreen. Trust us, it will be a much more enjoyable Summer in Coronado if you can avoid getting burned.
10. Still Can't Take It? Rent Out Your Home (26 Days or More)
If you just have to get away from it all you can always rent out your home (assuming you own it). Some homes in Coronado can fetch over $20,000 for a single month. Please keep in mind there are City of Coronado municipal codes that need to be obeyed when renting out your property. In this case, if you own your home, you cannot rent it out for less than 26 consecutive days. Read more here. Residents who want to report a short-term rental violation can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a local to Coronado, you should pinch yourself that you get to live here. It's easy to find something to complain about, but hopefully you can step back and get excited for another amazing summer in Coronado.
Did we miss a local tip? Add yours in the comments below.