Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Bicycles have unique history on Coronado Island

CORONADO – In Coronado, bicycles and history go together like “love and marriage,” and “horse and carriage.” The little island that has won so many accolades for its beautiful beaches and historic hotel is also the perfect place to bring a friend or the family for a little time travel. Back in the late 1800s, when the Hotel del Coronado was built, many enjoyed the taste of freedom that bicycling brought them.

A good way for visitors to Coronado to enjoy this type of old-fashioned fun is to park their car and ride the San Diego Harbor Excursion Ferry across the bay. It is then only a one block walk to the metro bus stop in order to ride down Orange Avenue to the Coronado Museum of History and Art, also home of the Coronado Visitor Center.

As visitors gaze out the bus windows, they may think they’ve arrived in River City. American flags are flying and flowers bloom in abundance over the tops of picket fences. There’s a bandstand in the park and mom and pop stores line both sides of the main street. Families are frequently seen strolling together, eating ice cream. And there are bicycles everywhere. No wonder. The mostly-flat terrain makes it a perfect place to ride.

If one disembarks the bus at the Tenth Street stop, it’s a half-block walk to the Visitor’s Center and the Coronado Museum of History and Art, both operated by the Coronado Historical Association (CHA) at 1100 Orange Avenue. Knowledgeable volunteers are on hand to help visitors plan their itinerary. Before heading out again, it is advised to spend some time in the museum where one can learn about the island’s colorful history in a short time. Don’t miss the very special exhibit in one of the galleries entitled, “Bicycles and Bloomers: Women’s Emancipation and the Bicycle.” It creates a whole new appreciation for the development of the riding machine known today and the important role it played in helping women shed their constrictive clothing and roles, and even in advancing their right to vote. In fact, the two-wheeled contraptions that rocked women’s worlds in the U.S. and Europe were just coming into common usage around the same time Coronado was being developed.

To learn even more, one can take time for one of the Historical Association’s docent-led Coronado Heritage Walks of the historic downtown, Star Park Circle and oceanfront mansions built by turn-of-the century residents, or sign up for the Hotel Del Coronado tour to learn about the creation of the famous hotel. Walking Tours are also available from the Glorietta Bay Inn just up the street. Reservations for the tours are recommended.

Bike rental shops are located near the visitor’s center if one is interested. A 6.5 mile, two-and-a-half hour historical bicycle tour will be offered on Sunday mornings in July by the Coronado Historical Association, with bike rentals available.

Visit or call (619) 437-8788 for more information.


Reader Comments(0)