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Coronado, California
City of Coronado
The Hotel del Coronado in December 2008
The Hotel del Coronado in December 2008
Flag of Coronado, California
Official seal of Coronado, California
"The Crown City"
Location in San Diego County and the U.S. state of California
Location in San Diego County and the U.S. state of California
Coronado, California is located in the United States
Coronado, California
Coronado, California
Location in the United States
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Flag of San Diego County, California.png San Diego
Incorporated December 11, 1890
 • Type Mayor-council
 • 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%
16 ft (5 m)
 • Total 24,697
 • Estimate 
 • Density 756.046/sq mi (291.916/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
92118, 92178
Area code 619
FIPS code 06-16378
GNIS feature IDs 1660513, 2410233

Coronado, since the 1980s also mistakenly known as Coronado Island, is a resort city located in San Diego County, California, across and around San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census, up from 24,100 at the 2000 census. It is part of the San Diego County, California.

Coronado lies on the geographic combination of an island and a tombolo connected to the mainland called the Silver Strand. Coronado is a tied island, connected by a tombolo. In 2012, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research, ranked Coronado Beach as the best beach in the United States.

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


Coronado was incorporated as a town on December 11, 1890. The land was purchased by Elisha Spurr Babcock, along with Hampton L. Story, and Jacob Gruendike. Their intention was to create a resort community, and in 1886, the Coronado Beach Company was organized. By 1888, they had built the Hotel del Coronado, and the city became a major resort destination. They also built a schoolhouse, and formed athletic, boating, and baseball clubs.

In 1900, a tourist/vacation area just south of the Hotel del Coronado was established by John D. Spreckels and named Tent City. 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 the city until their retirement in 1939.


US Navy 071023-N-5491S-001 The sun rises over the Coronado Bay Bridge with smoke from the Harris fire looming overhead
The sun rises over the San Diego–Coronado Bridge with smoke from the Harris Fire looming overhead

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.

Geographically, Cornado is not an "island". It is a tied island, connected to the mainland by a strip of land called the Silver Strand. This tombolo, along with Coronado and North Island, forms San Diego Bay. Originally, Coronado was mostly separated from North Island by a shallow inlet of water called the Spanish Bight, but just like Coronado, North Island was never completely surrounded by water. The development of North Island by the United States Navy prior to and during World War II led to the filling of the bight by July 1944, 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 and Special warfare combatant-craft crewmen (SWCC). Both facilities are part of the larger Naval Base Coronado complex. Though there has been localized development of the coastline, including some minor landfill, Coronado retains largely the same area that it had in 1857.

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.

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.


According to the Köppen climate classification system, Coronado has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 276
1870 229 −17.0%
1900 935
1910 1,477 58.0%
1920 3,289 122.7%
1930 5,425 64.9%
1940 6,932 27.8%
1950 12,700 83.2%
1960 18,039 42.0%
1970 20,020 11.0%
1980 18,790 −6.1%
1990 26,540 41.2%
2000 24,100 −9.2%
2010 24,697 2.5%
Est. 2015 24,812 0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
Coronado bridge
Coronado beach 2009


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%).


As of the 2000 census, 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, and the median income for a family is $119,205.

Real estate in the city of Coronado is very expensive. According to a recent county-wide zip code chart published in The San Diego Union-Tribune 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.


Coronado Ferry Landing
The Coronado Ferry Landing

Tourism is an essential component of Coronado's economy. 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. 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.

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

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