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Coronado Island (which isn't an island actually and instead is a peninsula) is one of San Diego's beautiful, coastal neighborhoods. One of its most notable bragging points is that author Frank Baum used to vacation here and gathered much inspiration from his stays for the Wizard of Oz.

There is plenty to do and we have definitely found some unique (and controversial) hidden gems in Coronado along the way that I would love to share with you.  Check it out!

1. Coronado’s Wizard of Oz Secrets


Almost everyone has either read the books or seen the classic film The Wizard of Oz.  What less people know is that the inspiration behind Oz is right in our very own backyard!  Author L. Frank Baum spent much of his time vacationing from his home in Chicago while writing the Oz series.

To this day, tiny secrets of the book/film and fragments of his past connections to this town can be found scattered around.  Let's learn some of them, shall we?


2. Coronado Sand Dune's Secret Message


If you've ever visited the Hotel Del Coronado before and walked along the shoreline, you have probably noticed the immense sand dunes that reside just north of the hotel. These dunes are like their own little land when you're inside.

Kids like to create mazes out of them and joggers use them for endurance. What you may not know is that they actually spell out a secret message!


3.  Coronado Dog Beach 


It’s pretty dog-gone adorable at Coronado’s dog beach. Watching all the pups play in the ocean, get sandy faces, attempt to swim, etc. This is a clean and friendly dog beach and free! Even if you don’t have a dog it’s still quite amusing here.


4. Hotel Del Coronado


The Hotel del Coronado is definitely one of San Diego's most notable and historical landmarks.  Far more people visit the hotel each day than actually staying at it. And that works out fine, because there is plenty to see and do here.

The hotel has a history of over 130 years and it has packed both stories and notable guests in that time.  Movies such as Marilyn Monroe's 'Some Like it Hot' was partially filmed here and a ton of presidents and celebrities have stayed here over the years.


5. Neighborhood Walk


We absolutely love doing neighborhoods walks in each town then writing about our findings.  Coronado is brimming with interesting architecture and so much love and beauty all around!

6. SS Monte Carlo


This ship is a concrete oil tanker launched in 1921 under a few different names, eventually taking the mantle “SS Monte Carlo” when it became a gambling and prostitution ship off the coast of Coronado in 1932. The ship was anchored 3 miles off Coronado in international waters outside the jurisdiction of local and federal laws. During a storm in  1937, its anchor lost its hold and drifted onto the beach where nobody claimed ownership of the vessel due to the ship itself being illegal.

Photo by Pacificyo Ortiz

TIP: If you're enjoying this article, make sure to check out our list of Hidden Gems in San Luis Obispo next!

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7. Swastika Building


When one thinks of Coronado, sandy beaches, cookie-cut houses and the Hotel Del may come to mind.  One would most likely not think about swastika-shaped buildings on the naval base being a thing, but alas, this is not a myth! We've been able to gather a decent amount of information on this highly controversial building. Please note, I am highly against anything anti-Semitism. My mission with this brand is to reveal the history of San Diego though, which is oftentimes dark.


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