266 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 619-435-4121

Best Free Activities in Coronado

Posted 7 years, 11 months ago

Can you recall the first time you heard the old adage “The best things in life are free”? Most likely a parent or grandparent recounted the saying to you when you were asking for an expensive gift. While it might not have been your favorite saying growing up, over the years you have most likely grown to appreciate the value in the intangibles in your life.

What you might not know is that this saying made a public showing in a 1927 song and debuted in a 1956 film. Both were titled "The Best Things in Life Are Free." Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson even did a duet remake in the early 90s.

Needless to say this phrase has enjoyed a flavored history. 

Whether the saying or the song came along first, the principle still applies today. It’s especially true for families vacationing in Coronado. Our slice of paradise offers countless free memory-making activities for you and your family to enjoy.

Below are some of our favorites.


Beach Time 

Families have been relishing the beach since the dawn of time! This classic family outing brings a lot of good to your clan. First, you can soak up the beneficial vitamin D. Second, the calming sound of waves crashing into the shore makes everyone more relaxed. Third, it’s hard to create a better day than sitting by the beach getting lost in your most recent book, catching up on a few Zs, or building a sand castle the king of England would be envious of.

While building up sand castles can be done by hand, a few affordable buckets and shovels go a long way in helping your fortress reach the sky. They’re also extremely helpful for speeding up the process of burying a slumbering member of your group. 


Scenic Hotel Del Sighting

One of the most historic hotels on the island, the Hotel Del is a must-see for anyone vacationing to Coronado. Luckily, you can take in the splendor while simultaneously splashing in the waves. In fact, one of the best vantage points to take in all the splendor of our historical monument is from the beach out in front of the hotel. The mile-long stretch of golden sand from Dog Beach up north past the Del to the military base down south is all open public beach. Guests and passersby alike can all enjoy the hotel.


Spreckels Park

Pack a Frisbee for a memorable afternoon enjoying our quaint little park. Filled with over a hundred different types of trees, including palm trees, this park will charm your entire family. Taking over an entire city block, Spreckels Park provides plenty of room to roam, shaded areas, and a playground. As one of the safest areas you’ll visit, you can easily let the kids explore different areas of the park. 

On Sundays in the summer time, the little gazebo in the middle fills with music, and the community gathers around to test out their dance moves. The concert series runs from the end of May to mid-September. With the exception of the Frisbee, which you’ll need to pack, the park and summer concerts are all free! 

Coronado frequently has special events throughout the year. Check out our guide to summer favorites here


Tide Pooling & Shell Hunting

While high tide delights swimmers and surfers, it’s low tide that reveals the mysteries and magic of the ocean. Once the ocean slips back along the southern part of the beach, you can start discovering the different life in the tide pools popping up along the beach. Scurrying around you may discover crabs, fish, muscles, and more. If you’re really lucky, a starfish might be hiding in the next rock bed.

Look for the rocks nearby where the Hotel Del resides. Low tide varies throughout the year. Check the surf forecast to know when the best times to go on your scavenger hunt are.

If you come out in the morning in hunt of tide pools only to discover high tide, don’t despair. Beach goers in the morning often discover shells and even the occasional sand dollar down the southern part of Coronado Beach.


Art in the Park

Two days a month, we transform our cherished Spreckles Park from your typical green retreat to a canvas of creativity with Art in the Park. The first and third Sunday every month sees more than fifty artists bringing the park to life with their cherished and stunning work. From oil to acrylic to photography to metalworking to stained glass and more, our art community brings all mediums out for your enjoyment.


Creating Your Coronado Adventure

While the best things in life are free, it doesn’t hurt to add a few low cost options to the mix. Check out our low cost island options for ways to keep to the budget and maximize the adventure. Sometimes something as simple as packing a picnic or exploring the island by bike can be the icing on an excellent day.

For your best budget accommodation on the island, stay with us at Coronado Inn. We provide all the amenities of home at a price that keeps everything more enjoyable. Added perks include free Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, a community BBQ, and a pool.

If you’ve been thinking about the best place for your family this summer, book your room today! As the premier destination in Southern California, lodging on the island books up quickly.