People have been telling me for years that I needed to plan a trip to the fabulous Hotel Del Coronado. Last month, after living in San Diego for twelve years, I finally took their advice.
I was not disappointed. Just driving over the bridge is an adventure your kids won’t soon forget.
I went with a good friend and her daughter for a little mommy and kid time with a sprinkle of girl time. I left my teens at home with my husband and didn’t tell my five year old son where we were going. Instead I said it was a surprise and that I would give him a clue every five minutes on the drive. This served two purposes. It helped alleviate the, “Are we there yets,” and it got him excited about the fun that awaited us.
He watched the clock studiously and at the first five minute mark, while rubbing his hands together in excited anticipation, cheeks bright pink, belted out, “It’s time for a clue.”
Clue Number One: You will see lots of boats and planes.
Lots was not an exaggeration. With every plane above and boat at sea he squealed with delight, “Mama a jet fighter.” Or. “Mama a patrol boat.” And. “Mama a battleship.” On Tuesday morning as we walked the beach, we were greeted with the Navy Seals in a training session swimming across the ocean with boats as their escort. It was quite a site.
Clue Number Two: There will be crafts.
We dropped the kids off in the Hotel Del’s Kidtopia. They were there just over an hour and had a fabulous time playing games and filling bottles with multi colored sand. When we arrived to pick them up, they didn’t want to leave. We solved that problem by mentioning the pool.
Clue Number Three: We will be swimming.
The kids swam in the perfectly heated pool and then when they could resist no longer, rushed to the hot tub. Back and forth they went for hours. By the time we forced them to get out of the pool they were so exhausted they begged us to not make them go to dinner. No chance. The Brigantine is within walking distance and their fish tacos and margarita shakers are not to be missed. We walked across the street and enjoyed a fabulous dinner.
Clue Number Four: There will be s’mores.
After dinner the kids were back to their energy filled selves and we headed back to the Hotel Del for our pre-arranged S’mores on the beach. Call in advance and book your s’mores. You will love it. The fire pit is ready and waiting for you and a bucket filled with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate is inviting for both adults and kids. As the sun was setting, with boats passing by, we all gobbled those yummy delights. The expanse of beach is not only beautiful, but a great place for the kids to run off the sugar, occasionally dropping down to make a sand angel.
Clue Number Five: We will be taking a ride and it won’t be in a car.
The following morning we awoke, had room service for breakfast, and then headed down to rent our “bikes.”
We had the bikes for just over two hours. We took them up the Strand to have lunch and then back. The ride was beautiful. The homes on Coronado Island are so quaint and beautiful we found ourselves stopping often to admire them. As an added bonus it is one heck of a workout.
One of the greatest things about your trip to the Hotel Del Coronado is that you park your car upon arrival and will not need to get in it again until you depart. The shopping and restaurants in the hotel are incredible and many more restaurants and shops surround the property. Everything is within walking distance.
Though we were only there 24 hours, our adventure was filled with so many fun events, if felt like we had been there for days.
Do yourself a favor and don’t wait twelve years. Get there soon. You won’t be disappointed.
Contact the Hotel Del Coronado to book your room, Kidtopia, smores, bike rides and much more.
Hotel del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118
Stefanie Mullen is the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Girlfriend’s Soul. She is the founder of Ooph.com and Editor-in-Chief for the online publication, SDMOMfia.com, a site built by moms for moms in San Diego.
Stefanie co-hosts the weekly radio show Your Family Matters. She has appeared on NPR, many local and national news programs and occasionally even her teenagers listen to what she has to say.