I like to think I’ve run a lot of cool places in San Diego, but of course, I’ve barely scratched the surface.
There are SO MANY great things for runners around here, it’s hard to know where to start. And sometimes you hear things like “the boardwalk” or “Harbor Island” or “AFC” and everyone around you nods and goes “oh yeah, I did that last week and…” and you’re like “the whaa?”
Or you’re like me and think one of the greatest parts about traveling to a new city is running around it, and you’re here for a weekend or business trip and want to do just that but have no idea where to start.
That’s what my San Diego Running Guides are for — a look at my favorite routes, trails, group runs, running stores, races, and refueling options in and around San Diego. I’m still learning my way around but what I do know, I love sharing with fellow runners!
First things first: Coronado Island isn’t *technically* an island, since it’s connected to the mainland by this narrow strip of land called Silver Strand.
Don’t run on that, unless you like endless, straight, out-and-back type runs. I guess it’s scenic and all, but I tried running that once and it was miserable. (Almost as miserable as running around Fiesta Island.)
Stick to the “island” part — the half that’s not a US Naval Base and open to the public.
I try to do a medium-to-long run on Coronado every couple months or so. Largely because it gives me an excuse to get a post-run cupcake at the Coronado Cupcakery. Because 1) cupcakes are a totally valid post-run refuel option (right up there with pizza and beer) and 2) their chai spice cupcakes are pretty much the best thing ever.
But also because Coronado is beautiful and pretty runner-friendly. And it’s flat, if your legs are thrashed because you’ve been running up and down hills all week, it’s great for an easy recovery run. Or if you want something appropriate for a tempo run or intervals and don’t want to run in ovals or on a treadmill — the route I’m going to outline for you is (mostly) traffic light-free. You may have to dodge people/bikers/strollers/dogs/people on those quad-bike things, especially on the Bayshore Bikeway.
So! The route!
This is a big loop, as you can see, that’s close enough to 6 miles. You can totally make it longer by running further down Silver Strand or Ocean Ave., doubling up somewhere, or running extra (or smaller) loops after you complete the first one.
I usually start either near the Ferry Landing or at the Tidelands Park off Glorietta Blvd. There’s usually tons of parking at Tidelands; near Ferry Landing you might be cruising around for street parking for a bit. Either way, just get to the bikeway (the nice wide sidewalk right along the bay, for pedestrians and bikes only) and start heading south/east/southeast.
Once you pass the park, you’ll go under the bridge and then you’re running along the Coronado Golf Course on Glorietta. You can run on the grass here (the footing isn’t always great), in the bike lane (not really recommended), or on the sidewalk on the other side of the street.
I like to check for homes along the course that are for sale and imagine what my life would be like if I could actually afford them.
Glorietta twists and turns around. Once you get to the edge of the golf course, a designated pedestrian/bike path picks up again. Stick to this path. Eventually the road will kinda split — you have two options in front of you, but both streets go straight. Stay left — don’t go up. Now you’re on Strand Way, where you’ll curve around Glorietta Bay and can continue down Silver Strand if you really hate yourself.
Or do what I do and turn right towards the Del.
Here’s where the sidewalk probably gets a little crowded and you’re going to encounter a few traffic lights. You’re on Orange Ave. now and the south corner of the island. Orange quickly curves to the north and becomes the main drag of sorts with all the cute boutiques and shops and restaurants. If you want a shorter/quicker run, head up Orange, but again — lights, pedestrians. Be prepared.
I like to hang a left on RH Dana Place, which turns into Ocean Blvd. You can run this north all the way to the dog beach, but eventually you’ll be stopped and turned around by super friendly military police.
Alameda Blvd. veers off to the right from Ocean Blvd. keeps winding north before turning northwest and running basically along the border of the naval base. It’s pretty easy to follow and eventually you see this big painted line on the street/sidewalk that says “US GOVERNMENT PROPERTY NO TRESPASSING” or something similar. I like to run just inside that line to give the goody-two-shoes in me a little rule-bending thrill. Also because by this point in the run, I’m hot and tired and will be amused by anything.
Alameda ends and you’ll turn right on 1st St., which takes you back to the Ferry Landing. If this is where you started, yay! you’re done. If not, meet back up with the bikeway and follow that along to Tidelands.
And then go to the Cupcakery and get yourself a cupcake.
Coronado Brewery is another excellent refueling option. They do great beer (lots of variety, from pilsners to wheat beers to stouts to, of course, IPAs and pale ales). The menu is also varied and everything I’ve had there has been pretty damn tasty.
Photo credits: Cupcakes photo via Coronado Cupcakery’s Facebook page | Scott Davenport via flickr cc edited with Canva | Rebeca Anchondo via flickr cc | Andy Shamoon via flickr cc | Alan English CPA via flickr cc | nicvder1 via flickr cc | Esteban via flickr cc | dolanh via photopin cc | Tiny House Brewing & Farmstead via flickr cc