What if we told you the famously idyllic city of Coronado wasn’t an island? Don’t be fooled by the drive over the Coronado Bridge, Coronado actually connects to the mainland. It’s true!
When it was announced in the 1880’s that the railroad would be heading west to the coast of California, it attracted travelers in droves to the sunny city of San Diego where the wealthy started to buy property left and right, and the area of Coronado just across the peninsula looked ripe for development too. The land was soon purchased by businessmen, Hampton Story and Elisha Babcock, who had dreams of building the best resort in the world, and that’s exactly what they set out to do! The two men put forth a plan to construct the famous Hotel Del Coronado, which resides across the street from the beautiful Coronado Beach Resort today.
With the fluctuation of the real estate market and the shifts in railroad construction in 1887 they soon gained support from a man synonymous with San Diego history, John D. Spreckles, who gladly helped fund the completion of the hotel and continued to help the area thrive. Spreckles purchased not only the city in 1890 but also the water and electric rights, and the trolley and ferry systems. He became so entrenched in the development of the area that he eventually made Coronado his permanent residence in 1906 and lived there until his passing in 1927.
Before the city got its official name in the late 1890’s residents and guests would often look across the bay to see the high tide wash over and isolate the peninsula, making it seem like Coronado was separate from the main land, so much so that many referred to the area as “South Island” even though it wasn’t an island at all.
Coronado actually connects to San Diego by something called a tombolo, which in the 1890’s was a shallow sand bank linking Coronado to the mainland, but you probably know it as the ‘Silver Strand’. It’s much larger today due to the Navy in the area that has dredged a lot of the bay to help form many of the pristine beaches in Coronado for public, and private military use.
So although the city of Coronado still receives their property tax bills addressed to “The South Island”, it’s in fact not an island at all. You might want to add this fun fact to your next trivia night!
Enjoy Coronado’s vintage feel and charming atmosphere when you stay at Coronado Beach Resort. Simply book online or call (877) 681-4170.