SECRETS OF CORONADO ISLAND
Updated: Dec 9, 2022
There's always more to something than meets the eye, and that couldn't be more true when talking about Coronado. Our little island may be a popular destination spot, but it still holds its fair share of lesser known traits!
I'm going to let you in on a few secrets about Coronado...
SECRET #1 - CORONADO SAND DUNES
How cool is this? Take a trip on down to Coronado Beach and you'll find yourself walking past some very large piles of sand. In passing, you wouldn't give these a second thought, but these lumps actually spell out Coronado from above! These came to be in 1988 when an employee for the City of Coronado named Armando Moreno had to find a way to clean up large amounts of kelp that awashed onto the shore because of high tides. After two years of work, the dunes were completed. They actually remained unknown to the public until google satellite images came into existence! The "dunes" are such a unique part of Coronado's history; and on a crowded beach day, you can always find a secluded spot here if you're just looking to lounge, or tan on the sand.
Image thanks to Hidden San Diego
SECRET #2 - UNDERGROUND TUNNEL
Right across from The Hotel Del Coronado is The Glorietta Bay Inn, originally built in the early 1900's as a home for John D. Spreckels. You can stay here during your vacation, but what you can't access is the once functioning underground tunnel that Spreckel's himself used to discreetly walk from The Glorietta Bay Inn to The Hotel Del! The secret passageway is now closed off, but it's super cool to know that you're sleeping right on top of it if you're staying here!
SECRET #3 - SS Monte Carlo
Consider yourself lucky if you ever get to catch a glimpse of this shipwreck! The SS Monte Carlo is rarely uncovered, but if you're in town while it is, you can (cautiously) explore the wreck of the once afloat gambling ship. There's quite a few rumors surrounding how the ship went down, but the truth is that a storm caused the ship to crash on our beach in 1937. No one claimed responsibility for the ship following the crash because of the illicit activities that this ship was famous for. At its peak in the early 1930's, the SS Monte Carlo provided 15,000 people weekly with a place to dine, drink, and gamble. The crash site is located on the strip of our beach that The Coronado Shores overlooks, and is almost always hidden underneath layers of sand. You might be able to see it for yourself during a low tide or after a storm, but if you do, please explore carefully!
SECRET #4 - Hollywood in coronado
It's no surprise a place as beautiful as Coronado has attracted countless movie stars and celebrities! The year-round clear skies and sunny weather make for not only an ideal vacation spot, but the perfect film location. One of the most notable stars that has stayed in Coronado is undoubtedly the talented Marilyn Monroe, who stayed in The Hotel Del while filming the 1959 comedy "Some Like It Hot". The exterior of The Del is also featured throughout the iconic film! Monroe's time spent in Coronado is said to have been 'one of the happiest times of her life'. Pretty awesome that you can stay at this historic hotel and enjoy a day in the sun on the same beach Marilyn enjoyed!
SECRET #5 - orange avenuE
Ever wondered where our main street got its name? Well, it's honestly pretty straightforward. There used to be orange trees lining the medians but native jackrabbits loved the fruit too much and managed to eat all of the fruits and roots! After this they were not replanted. I personally wouldn't mind these little guys running around at all (those big ears are adorable!); if you want to spot a rabbit take a bike ride down the Silver Strand bike path and you just might!