Coronado, California

Coronado, California
City of Coronado
—  City  —
Coronado with Hotel del Coronado in foreground
Nickname(s): The Crown City
Location in San Diego County and the state of California
Coordinates: 32°40′41″N 117°10′21″W / 32.67806°N 117.1725°W / 32.67806; -117.1725Coordinates: 32°40′41″N 117°10′21″W / 32.67806°N 117.1725°W / 32.67806; -117.1725
Country USA
State  California
County San Diego
 – Total 32.666 sq mi (84.603 km2)
 – Land 7.931 sq mi (20.541 km2)
 – Water 24.735 sq mi (64.062 km2)  75.72%
Elevation 20 ft (6 m)
Population (2010)[2][3]
 – Total 24,697
 – Density 756/sq mi (291.9/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 – Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92118, 92178
Area code(s) 619
FIPS code 06-16378
GNIS feature ID 1660513

Coronado, also known as Coronado Island, is an affluent resort city located in San Diego County, California, 5.2 miles from downtown San Diego.[4] Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census,[5][6] up from 24,100 at the 2000 census. U.S. News and World Report lists Coronado as one of the most expensive places to reside in the United States. Coronado lies on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a 10-mile isthmus called the Silver Strand (locally, The Strand.) Locals sometimes call Coronado The Island or Coronado Island, and they denote the core living and business area as The Village. In 2011, Stephen Leatherman (Dr. Beach) ranked Coronado Beach as the second best beach in the United States.[7]

Coronado is Spanish for "the crowned one," and thus it is nicknamed The Crown City. There have been three ships of the United States Navy named after the city, including USS Coronado (LCS-4).



The city became a major resort destination in 1888 with the opening of the Hotel del Coronado. In 1900 a tourist/vacation area just south of the Hotel del Coronado was established by John D. Spreckels and named Tent City.[8] Over the years the tents gave way to cottages, the last of which was torn down in late 1940 or early 1941.

In the 1910s, Coronado was connected to San Diego by the Class 1 streetcars and an extensive, accompanying San Diego public transit system that was spurred by the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 and built by John D. Spreckels. These streetcars became a fixture of this city until their retirement in 1939.[9][unreliable source?]


Coronado bridge

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.7 square miles (85 km2); 20.5 km² (7.9 mi²) of the city is land and 24.7 square miles (64 km2) of it (75.72%) is water.

Originally Coronado was separated from North Island by a shallow channel called the Spanish Bight. The development of North Island by the United States Navy prior to World War II led to the filling of the Bight, combining the land areas into a single body. The Navy still operates Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI or "North Island") on Coronado. On the southern side of the town is Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, a training center for Navy SEALs. Both facilities are part of the larger Naval Base Coronado complex.

On New Year's Day 1937, during the Great Depression, the gambling ship SS Monte Carlo, known for "drinks, dice, and dolls," was shipwrecked on the beach about a quarter mile south of the Hotel del Coronado.[10]

In 1969, the San Diego-Coronado Bridge was opened, allowing much faster transit between the cities than bay ferries or driving via State Route 75 along the Silver Strand. The city is currently weighing the options of additional construction on Highway 75 to alleviate congestion as traffic flows to and from San Diego and North Island.

Coronado beach 2009


A cottage accommodation at the Hotel Del Coronado


The 2010 United States Census reported that Coronado city had a population of 24,697. The racial makeup of Coronado city was 20,074 (81.2%) White, 1,678 (6.8%) African American, 201 (0.8%) Native American, 925 (3.7%) Asian, 101 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 762 (3.1%) from other races, and 956 (3.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,354 persons (13.6%).[11][3]


As of the 2000 census,[12] there were 24,100 people, 7,734 households, and 4,934 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,121.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,205.3/km²). There were 9,494 housing units at an average density of 1,229.8 per square mile (474.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.40% White, 5.15% African American, 0.66% Native American, 3.72% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 3.14% from other races, and 2.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.83% of the population.

There were 7,734 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city the population was spread out with 16.0% under the age of 18, 20.2% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 139.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 149.1 males.

48.2% of those age 25 and over have a Bachelor's degree or higher. According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city is $91,748,[13] and the median income for a family is $119,205.[14] Males have a median income of $30,041 versus $33,828 for females. In 2008, the estimated per capita income for the city was $44,878.[4] 5.0% of the population and 3.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 5.0% of those under the age of 18 and 1.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Like many other locations in Southern California, real estate in the city of Coronado is very expensive. A small and very modest two bedroom home in the city can easily cost over $1,000,000. According to a recent County-Wide Zip Code chart published in the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper in August 2006, the median cost of a single-family home within the city's zip code of 92118 was $1,605,000. In 2010, found that the median home price in Coronado had risen to $1,840,665.[15] This makes it the third most expensive place to live in San Diego County and one of the most expensive in the country, as it holds a spot within the top 20 most expensive cities in the United States.


Coronado has long been a Republican-leaning community; in 2008, about 51% of voters were registered Republican, 25% Democrat and 21% nonpartisan. Many of its residents are retired Navy personnel. The district is also sheltered both politically and socially from the concerns of the wider San Diego metropolitan area, making its residents more connected to local issues and events[citation needed].

In the state legislature Coronado is located in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 79th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Mary Salas. Federally, Coronado is located in California's 53rd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +14[16] and is represented by Democrat Susan Davis.


Coronado Bay Bridge

Tourism is an essential component of Coronado's economy.[17] This city is home to three major resorts (Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado Island Marriott and Loews Coronado Bay Resort) as well as several other hotels and inns.[18] The downtown district along Orange Avenue with its many shops, restaurants and theaters is also a key part of the local economy. Many of the restaurants are highly rated and provide a wide variety of cuisine choices.[18]

In 2008, The Travel Channel rated Coronado Beach as the fifth best beach in America.

Coronado is home to two live theatre companies – Lamb's Players Theatre and the Coronado Playhouse. The latter being the oldest community theatre in San Diego County. It was first organized as the Coronado Players in February of 1946. Both theatres present a variety of performances throughout the year.[17]

Businesses based in Coronado include Benetrends and Cybernetics Leadership Center.[17]

Coronado was featured in the 1960–1961 syndicated television series COronado 9, starring Rod Cameron as a private detective, Dan Adams, who operated from the San Diego area. COronado 9 refers to Adams' telephone exchange.

Local festivals

The most popular annual event is the July 4 parade. Coronado Independence Day activities kick off with a 15k Run/Walk at dawn. The day includes a rough-water swim at North Beach, the famous two-hour parade along Orange Avenue, Art-in-the-Park, a concert in Spreckels Park, and culminates with spectacular fireworks over Glorietta Bay.

One of the most popular annual events in this city is the Coronado Flower Show, held usually on the third weekend in April. Since 1925 thousands of visitors have flocked here to see the largest flower show held under tents in the West. Exhibits are placed inside tents surrounding a central gazebo, which becomes the stage for continuous entertainment, announcements and trophy presentations.[19]

Coronado Island Sports Fiesta is sponsored by the local Optimist Club every year. Held in July this sports festival features a combination of competitive races, dives, rough-water swim and other events.[17]

Hotel del Coronado

Front view of the Hotel del Coronado.

Coronado is home to the famous Hotel del Coronado, built in 1888 and long considered one of the world's top resorts[citation needed]. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark and appeared in films such as Some Like It Hot and The Stunt Man. It was the setting of the Dashboard Confessional song Stolen. The historic hotel has had many notable American guests, including Charles Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Willie Mays, Magic Johnson, and Muhammad Ali.[citation needed] Many presidents have also visited, including William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush.

"The Del" was supposedly also the inspiration for the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. (However, other sources say Oz was inspired by the "White City" of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.[20][21]) Author L. Frank Baum would have been able to see the hotel from his front porch overlooking Star Park. Baum designed the crown chandeliers in the hotel's dining room.[22] Because of the reported association with Oz, Coronado is often associated with the color green and is sometimes referred to as "The Emerald City". The colors of Coronado High are green and white; the Coronado city flag is a tricolor of green-white-green with a crown in the middle; and a local surf/skate shop is named Emerald City. The hotel is said to be haunted, with room 3372 being visited by the ghost of Kate Morgan.

Once owned locally,[23] the Hotel Del is now owned by Blackstone Group LP (60%), Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. (34.5%), and KSL Resorts (5.5%). When Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. bought its stake in 2006, the hotel was valued at $745 million; currently, the hotel is valued at roughly $590 million.[24]


Coronado Unified School District includes Coronado Middle School (CMS), Coronado High School, Silver Strand Elementary, and Village Elementary. Coronado School of the Arts, a public school-within-a-school on the campus of Coronado High School, is also present on the island. Among the private schools are Sacred Heart Parish School and Christ Church Day School.


Top employers

According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[25] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 United States Navy (Naval Air Station North Island, et al.) 5,000–9,999
2 Hotel del Coronado 500–999
3 Sharp Coronado Hospital 500–999
4 Loews Coronado Bay Resort 500–999
5 Coronado Unified School District 250–600
6 Coronado Island Marriott Resort 250–499
7 City of Coronado 250–499
8 BAE Systems 100–249
9 Peohe's 100–249

Notable residents

Arts and entertainment

Film and television





Marine Corps


Politics and government

L. Frank Baum, circa 1901



  1. ^ "U.S. Census". Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  3. ^ a b "Census Bureau's acknowledgment or miscoding some of Coronado's & San Diego's census blocks" (PDF). Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Best places for the rich and single". CNN. July 13, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  6. ^ "Census Bureau's acknowledgment or miscoding some of Coronado's & San Diego's census blocks" (PDF). Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Best Beaches in America, 2011". Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  8. ^ University of San Diego
  9. ^ "The Home of the San Diego Historic Class 1Streetcars". Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  10. ^ Graham, David E (Jan. 2, 2007). "Busting the House: Casino Boat Drashed into Coronado 70 Years Ago". SignOnSanDiego (San Diego: Union Tribune). Retrieved Mar. 19, 2011. 
  11. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Site Map – Coronado Chamber of Commerce". June 21, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  14. ^ Posted by eCoronado on August 16, 2011 at 12:30 am View Blog (August 16, 2011). "CNNMoney Ranks Coronado #8: Best Places for the Rich & Single – Coronado Island". Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  15. ^ Ewalt, David (September 27, 2010). "Forbes Luxury Housing Index". Forbes. 
  16. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved February 10, 2008. 
  17. ^ a b c d "Coronado Chamber of Commerce". June 21, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "California Resort Life". California Resort Life. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  19. ^ Coronado Flower Show
  20. ^ Chicago Tribune, August 30, 2009[dead link]
  21. ^ Larson, Erik, The Devil in the White City, page 373, Vintage Books, New York, 2003, ISBN # 0-375-72560-1
  22. ^ "Crown Room". KSL Resorts (Hotel del Coronado). Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Historic Hotel del Coronado acquired by Travelers affiliate". (Business Wire). September 12, 1996. Retrieved October 20, 2008. 
  24. ^ Hudson, Kris (February 7, 2011). "Deal for Historic San Diego Hotel Adds Blackstone, Cashes Out KKR". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  25. ^ "City of Coronado CAFR" (PDF). Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  26. ^ San Diego Metropolitan – San Diego Scene – March 2002[dead link]
  27. ^ "Obituaries; William Witney, 86; B-Movie Action Director". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  28. ^ San Diego CityBeat – They fought the law[dead link]
  29. ^ Davis, Kristina; Littlefield, Dana; Repart, Pauline (September 2, 2011), "Shacknai, family speak out on mansion suicide ruling", San Diego Union-Tribune,, retrieved September 9, 2011 
  30. ^ "LEON A EDNEY – CORONADO, CA 92118 – Money, Government Contracts in 2004 – 1037 ENCINO ROW". January 13, 2004. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  31. ^ Hunter got break on taxes for home. San Diego Union Tribune, October 8, 2006.
  32. ^ Nagourney, Adam (May 3, 2007). "G.O.P. Contenders Ponder What to Say About Bush". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  33. ^ Turegano, Preston. "Cindy McCain – San Diego Magazine – August 2007 – San Diego, California". San Diego Magazine. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  34. ^ "DefenseLink News Transcript: Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Roger Hedgecock, Newsradio 600 KOGO". Retrieved September 2, 2011. 

External links

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