The Coronado Ferry: Touristy, But Locals Like it, Too

The ferry is a scenic way to traverse San Diego Bay

Pulling up to the Coronado Ferry Landing.
A sailboat on San Diego Bay.

The Coronado Ferry. It’s a perfect summer experience for anybody in San Diego who is considering taking a cruise, but: Only wants to spend 18 minutes at a time on the water. Just hopes to spend $10 for a round-trip. Would like to be able to see land the entire time.

The Coronado Ferry, without jest, is one of the best touristy seafaring things to do in San Diego. Even we locals will own it. The double-deck ferry boats operate between downtown’s Broadway Pier and the Coronado Ferry Landing. Taking the ferry is an affordable and scenic way to get back and forth, see the city from a fresh angle, or just spend some quality time with family or friends.

The ferry runs every day of the week. It leaves downtown San Diego on the hour, starting at 9 a.m., with the last ferry leaving at 9 p.m.

Conversely, the ferry leaves Coronado on the half hour, starting at 9:30 a.m., and service wraps up at 9:30 p.m.

One extra ferry departs downtown at 10 p.m. and returns from Coronado at 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Enjoying the Coronado Ferry

Cheers from Peohe’s on Coronado.

There’s mainstream fun to be had riding the Coronado Ferry. On a recent Sunday ferry date with my wife, we enjoyed the sun-soaked, casual ride along the San Diego Bay. We waved to passing sail boaters. Sighed at the sight/plight of tired-looking paddleboarders.  And, we made a bet on whether four guys in a tiny dingy would be upended by the wake of a speed boat. (They survived.)

Then, we disembarked at the Coronado Ferry Landing. We had a better-than-expected al fresco brunch at bayside Peohe’s. New chef, new menu, a little bit of experimentation going on.  

After lunch we grabbed a cool dessert from Cold Stone Creamery. While coffee ice cream with M&M’s melted in my mouth, I sat down at the “Sit A Spell and Play a Tune” public piano.

The Piano Man-gler, on Coronado.

Note: I’ve never had a lesson. But if you slow play a couple chords, you can fake it for about two minutes.

Know that bikes are also allowed on the ferry. In the past, my wife and I have pedaled over to downtown’s Broadway Pier, pushed our bikes aboard, got out at the landing and cycled over to the beachside Hotel del Coronado.

The historic, red-domed Hotel Del is almost always at full capacity. If you want to be a looky-loo, and have a bike, check it out.

The Coronado beach fills up, too. This sandy expanse often places in national Best Beaches lists. Yup, I’ve been guilty—more than once—of adding one more blanket to sea of humanity.  J&J

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