Hotel Del Coronado is a must-see historical tourist attraction when visiting San Diego. The concept of this grand hotel was created in the mid-1880s. Three wealthy businessmen got together to purchase Coronado and the North Island. They saw the potential real estate boom in San Diego during this time and joined forces to put up a combined total of $110,000 to purchase this land. The idea was to build a grand hotel as a way of luring others to this otherwise barren landscape.
The Hotel Del was finally opened in 1888, manifesting their extravagant vision and becoming the world’s largest resort hotel. Hotel Del Coronado is one of the few remaining examples of authentic American architecture and was listed as a designated California and National Historic Landmark in 1977. It remains the second biggest wooden structure in the world to this day, featured in a multitude of books and movies, as well as visited by numerous celebrities, royalty, and presidents.
You can learn about the storied past of this majestic Victorian beach resort by partaking in a Hotel Del Coronado walking tour. This ninety-minute tour is given by the Coronado Museum of History and Art docents. During the tour you will be enthralled by the rich history, and captivated by the stories of presidential visits, the multitude of movies and television shows filmed there starting in 1901 and continuing to today. While being thoroughly entertained by its colorful past, enjoy in the beautiful architecture and magnificent decor, and maybe even take a ride on the old fashioned elevator.
The reasonably priced Hotel Del Coronado tour is a great way to spend an afternoon. Once the tour is over, shop the upscale, boutique shops of the Hotel Del for apparel, jewelry, or home decor. Luxuriate with an ocean inspired massage at Spa at the Del. Enjoy a cocktail at the 46-foot mahogany ocean view bar that is the pride of the Babcock & Story Bar, or dine beachside at 1500 Ocean, the Del’s outdoor restaurant named “Best Outdoor Dining” by San Diego Magazine.
Don’t leave Coronado Island without checking out the little shops on Orange Street and grabbing something sweet from the array of delicious eateries. Visit the Coronado Museum of History and Art to learn even more about this great city. If you’re all shopped out, grab a bike rental and cruise around this gorgeous island instead, or sign up for some surf or paddleboard lessons. It’s not everyday that you can visit a national historic landmark that was once listed as one of the top ten resorts in the world.