Big City Family Fun

Smores for the Luxe Mom at San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado

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The legendary Hotel del Coronado offers exceptional service to its overnight guests and for day visitors wanting to enjoy the ambience without spending the night.

Looking for a Wow moment for your next trip to San Diego with the kids? I enjoyed the afternoon at the Hotel del Coronado, the legendary historic hotel on Coronado Island, without spending the night. A full-on family vacation at the Del (what the locals call the Hotel del Coronado) might be out-of-reach for most families. But how about enjoying its legendary beach, a fabulous pizza with the kids and topping it off with luxury s’mores on the beach.

Perfect Day for Families

Along the largest stretch of beach in San Diego, the Hotel del Coronado offers families an escape at one of the top 10 beaches in southern California. Behind the Victorian Queen Anne landmark, I found an amazing beach open to everyone with rentable beach chairs and some unbelievable food.

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I can’t say no to champagne and champagne on the beach is divine.

A perfect afternoon starts with a little sand time for the kids while Mom sits in one of the Del’s beach chairs and escapes in a book. Add a glass of champagne and make the day divine and don’t forget the $1 kites for the kids.

The champagne and indulgent reading work their magic. I give the kids what they want and order pizza. But this pizza doesn’t come in a box. The Eno Pizzeria, located steps from the beach along the Del’sboardwalk, offers delectable pizza with an amazing wine list. Grab a table on the patio and enjoy the view.

Top off the perfect beach day with s’mores. What kid doesn’t love roasting a marshmallow?

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My s’mores plate before the campfire. I want to try it all, four types of marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate, fresh raspberries and gingersnap cookies.

The chefs at the Del, whip up house-made marshmallows in vanilla, raspberry, chocolate and mint to pair with fresh-baked cookies, like gingersnaps (my favorite) and mint-chocolate chip. Everything is provided, from the roasting sticks, assorted beverages, four types of Hershey’s chocolate and fruit toppings.

I enjoyed a bottomless glass of champagne to toast the setting sun as the sky catches fire and drenches itself in the Pacific Ocean. Kids love the novelty of a fire on the beach. It’s beach bliss.

Dining at Hotel del Coronado

As a Mom of three, I get it. Mom and Dad would like something nice and the kids want pizza. The Hotel del Coronado had me swooning the other day as I sampled several of their pizzas from Eno Pizzeria.

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The In-N-Out Cheeseburger Pizza offers all the taste of its namesake, just without the bun. This speciality doesn’t appear on the regular menu and is part of their secret menu.

Located outside on the patio, I got the ambience I love along with a glass of wine while the kids got the pizza they craved. With an outdoor wood-fired oven, Eno bakes up a selection of artisan Neopolitian-style pizzas, like Margherita, Funghi, Pepperoni and Giardino Fresco. During my visit, I ordered the secret menu item, the In-N-Out Cheeseburger Pizza and it was unbelievable.

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Is there anything better than a perfect slice a pizza? A perfect slice with a glass of wine while watching the sun set over the Pacific is pizza bliss.

For the brunchers, the Hotel del Coronado features a legendary Sunday brunch that’s become a local institution. Served in the historic Crown Room, the Del brunch showcases the best of the West Coast with a chilled seafood bar, Mexican specialties, carving station and regionally-inspired dishes along with made-to-order Mimosas and delectable Bloody Mary’s. Adults are $93, kids (6 to 12) are $29 with kids 5 and under for free.

Holiday Events at the Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado offers special events for the holidays, catered just for families. Each year the Del features oceanfront ice skating on their expansive lawn. This year, families can skate from November 24 until January 2. Skating is $25 per person and skate rental is included.

For families wanting a dressy event to share, afternoon tea brings old world charm to the table. With a classic selection of tea sandwiches and petite desserts, tea is served from December 17 until December 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adults are $56, kids (6 to 10) are $29 with kids 5 and under for free.

Kids want S'mores but you're a Luxe Mom that doesn't camp. The Hotel del Coronado has you covered with house-made marshmallows and champagne on their legendary beach.
Kids love S’mores. And kids love the beach. At the Hotel del Coronado you can get both along with breathtaking sunset.

A special afternoon tea for families, Polar Bear Tea, is scheduled for December 22 at noon. Adults are $59, kids (6 to 10) are $30 with kids 5 and under for free.

Walking around the Hotel del Coronadoand enjoying the holiday lights and decorations offers families a picturesque way to spend an evening as well.

History of Hotel del Coronado

Offering legendary service since 1888, the Hotel del Coronado features 757 guest rooms in an iconic Victorian building with a signature red roof along with the contemporary Ocean Towers, the California Cabana buildings or the luxurious Beach Village. Just 15 minutes from the San Diego airport and right across the San Diego-Coronado Bridge; the Del isin the center of the quaint, small town charm of Coronado.

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The Hotel del Coronado endures as a destination for travelers as well as a place for locals to celebrate.

Founders, Elisha Babcock and H.L. Story, wanted a legendary seaside resort similar to the ones on the East Coast. The Hotel del Coronado is a National Historic Landmark and sits along one of the most scenic beaches on the entire West Coast.

Getting to the Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado is located at 1500 Orange Avenue in the heart of Coronado Island. A quick drive over the San Diego-Coronado Bridge (though the locals call it the Coronado Bridge) or use a taxi or shuttle service from the airport.

Coronado Island offers quaint shopping and unique dining, morning through night. Want a memorable trip back to San Diego? Take the San Diego-Coronado Ferry, for $4.75 per person, each way; it offers amazing views of the San Diego Bay. Departs from the Coronado Ferry Landing twice an hour and stops attwo downtown San Diego locations.

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Ride the ferry to San Diego from Coronado, it’s $4.75 per person, each way and kids 3 and under are free.

What You Need to Know:

Parking is not free on Coronado Island. For self-parking at the Hotel del Coronado, it’s $30 for the first two hours and $10 for each additional hour.

If you are eating during your visit at the Del,you can validate your parking ticket for a $5 flat rate for three hours of parking if you spend $50 during your visit.

During my visit I used Uber to get around or walked. I found pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and it’s pleasant way to enjoy Coronado at a slower pace.

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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