Continuing the day’s San Diego exploration aboard the Old Town Trolley Tours buses, we next crossed over the magnificent San Diego-Coronado Bridge and headed into the small resort city of Coronado, literally a stone’s throw across the bay from San Diego. Our goal? To catch a glimpse of the iconic Hotel del Coronado!
Opened in 1888, the Hotel del Coronado (otherwise known as The Del or Hotel Del) is one of the few surviving examples of an American architectural genre: the wooden Victorian beach resort. When it originally opened it was the largest resort hotel in the world, and is in fact still the second largest wooden structure in the United States.
The hotel has received many awards and sparking ratings over its lifetime, and as such has hosted presidents, royalty, and celebrities, not to mention feature in numerous movies and books.
(Interestingly enough, it also introduced the world’s first electrically lit, outdoor living Christmas tree in 1904, having been one of the earliest buildings in the San Diego area to adopt the newly introduced technology of electricity).
The hotel is then very much as what you would expect it to be – very grand indeed. There is beautiful intricate woodwork everywhere, the place is awash with visitors and tourists alike, there is indoor shopping to be had, lawn and gardens to enjoy, the brilliant white sandy beach right out in front, and of course a sense of history that completely permeates the venue.
As such, given the hot weather, Johann and I naturally opted to grab a refreshingly cold beer from the sun deck, catch our breath and people watch.
Honestly, it is pretty easy to see just why this getaway is as popular as what it is.
Hopping back on the bus, we got to learn a bit more about Coronado itself thanks to our knowledgeable guide, before heading back over the bridge and on towards our final stop, San Diego’s brilliant Balboa Park.