Coronado Beach (photo: Diamond Resorts)
It’s official. Southern California’s Coronado Beach is one of the best. The wide, sandy beach that beckons sun worshipers and sunset addicts to its shore has placed 2nd on the Top Ten Beaches in America list for 2011. It’s the only California beach to make the list and deservedly so. Coronado Beach is a scenic, impeccably clean, family-friendly beach with bike paths, fire pits, shower/restroom facilities and ideal conditions for swimming, surfing and sailing. Million dollar homes line the streets surrounding the beach and the historic Hotel Del Coronado graces the shoreline in all her grandeur, providing the perfect backdrop for photo memories of your day at the seashore. Visit January through March and you’ll see whales migrating to Baja California. Any other time of the year, you might see a seal or two – Navy SEALS, that is. The Naval Air Station is located north of Coronado Beach and the SEALS are often seen making their morning run along the water’s edge. Lifeguards are posted year-round. Plenty of dining facilities, shops and boutiques are within walking distance of the beach.
Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Beach
To reach Coronado Beach from I-5, take the Coronado Bridge exit just south of downtown San Diego. You’ll enter Coronado Island on 3rd Street. Turn left on Orange Avenue and proceed toward the Hotel Del Coronado. Making a right turn on almost any street intersecting Orange Avenue will lead you to the beach. Parking along Ocean Blvd. fills up quickly during summer months. Get there early to avoid the crowds. Alcohol is not allowed on the beach.
The Top Ten Beaches list is published annually by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman and released each Memorial Day weekend. Dr. Leatherman, a 30-year veteran of coastal science, uses 50 different criteria to evaluate more than 650 public beach facilities in the United States. Factors such as beach access, water temperature, views, sand softness and number of sunny days are rated to determine which beaches make the cut. Since 1991, Dr. Leatherman has released his list and destinations landing at #1 can easily expect a 10 to 20 percent surge in visitors. This year’s top beach is Siesta Beach in Florida. The complete list is featured below.
Top Ten Beaches in America 2011
1. Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida
2. Coronado Beach in San Diego, California
3. Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
4. Main Beach in East Hampton, New York
5. Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
6. St. George Island State Park, Florida panhandle
7. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina
8. Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
9. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on Oahu, Hawaii
10. Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida