Centennial Park on Coronado Island is a lovely stretch of green space cradled between two condominium complexes on the bay side of the island. Visitors can access the park on First Street at the end of Orange Avenue, or from the northwest side of Ferry Landing, if arriving by ferry. The park was once the location for loading and unloading cars ferrying to the island before the Coronado Bridge was built in 1969. A historic ferry tollbooth sits at the Orange Avenue end of the park in remembrance of bygone days. Visitors will also find a rose garden, nearly 20 weathered wood benches, a large white gazebo, expansive grassy areas, and a spectacular view of the San Diego skyline. The park includes two small sandy beaches.
What to at Centennial Park
Above all else, Centennial Park is the best place to photograph the downtown San Diego skyline. Photographers will love the unobstructed views, perfect for panoramic shots. There is plenty of space to set up a tripod on firm, even ground, and move it around as needed. Of course, sunset makes for some unbeatable shots.
Centennial Park is meant for relaxing and lounging. On weekends and especially summer holidays, the park fills up as people spread out across the grass, many with their own lawn chairs and umbrellas. It’s a nice place to kick back and people-watch, read a book, or take in the view of San Diego Bay. Evenings, the park is also a good place for quiet conversation or a romantic stroll.
Visitors who prefer a little more action have options too. The two small beaches on both sides of the park are great for swimming. At nearby Ferry Landing Marketplace, visitors can rent kayaking and SUP boarding equipment and get out on the bay. Cycling enthusiasts can rent bikes and hop on the Bayshore Bikeway that passes through the park.
Centennial Park Essentials
Centennial Park has no parking lot or public restrooms of its own, but guests can use both at nearby Ferry Landing. There is also street parking. Dogs are only allowed on the sidewalks and must be leashed – no throwing the Frisbee to Fido at this park. Alcohol is not allowed at Centennial Park. The park may be reserved for groups of 25+ people for wedding ceremonies (no receptions), company picnics, and other gatherings, but by permit only.
Near Centennial Park
Ferry Landing Marketplace is an obvious dining and entertainment choice close to Centennial Park. There are nautical-style clothing shops, upscale souvenirs and tchotchkes, a couple art galleries, casual eateries, and sweet treat shops. Visitors can rent everything from surreys to kayaks here. Candelas is a fine dining restaurant serving Mexican fare with a view.
Across 1st Street, Orange Avenue runs the width of the island to Central Beach. Within the first block from Centennial Park, visitors will find Nicky Rottens Bar & Burger Joint, a fun sports bar with locally famous burgers, and Saiko Sushi, a trendy sushi and sake bar next door. Tartine is a cozy European café across the street. Coronado Brewing Company, at the end of the block, is a casual brewpub and restaurant that is kid-friendly.
Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa is the closest resort to Centennial Park. It’s located along the bay at Second Street and Glorietta Bay Boulevard. El Rancho Motel is three blocks from the park on Orange Avenue, and offers guests cozy, bungalow-style accommodations that are budget-friendly.