Tips for Visiting the Coronado Sand Dunes in San Diego

Coronado Sand Dunes in San Diego
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The beach at Coronado is often said to be one of the best beaches in San Diego. This is despite Coronado Beach not being that great for surfing or cruising the boardwalk (since it doesn't really have one).

It makes up for it though with pure beauty thanks to a light sand beach that stretches both wide and long. It's also in close proximity to some of the most high-end neighborhoods in San Diego as well as the famous Hotel Del Coronado, giving it an air of exclusivity -- except anyone can visit. 

From the drive across the San Diego-Coronado Bridge to the charm of the city to the majestic backdrop of the Hotel Del Coronado to the beach, it's hard to find anything else to compare it to in San Diego County. Especially once you add in the fact that it is home to some very interesting sand dunes, aptly called the Coronado Sand Dunes. 

These San Diego sand dunes are located in front of the central beach area just north of the Hotel Del Coronado. The dunes are quite high, topped with ice plant (or pickleweed as some call it) and they form a maze-like barrier to the wide, sandy beach. Not that many of San Diego's beaches have sand dunes so it's a special sight to see and explore them while walking along the coastline. 

A Special Message

Apparently, sometime back in the 1980s, a city maintenance fellow who cleans up the beach sand with heavy equipment was trying to get rid of tons of seaweed washed on shore after a big storm. Having no place to dispose of it, he started piling sand over the seaweed, creating the dunes.

However, in a fun twist, he decided to be creative and formed the dunes into his own inside joke: he formed the dunes to spell out the word "Coronado." Yep, not only are the sand dunes man-made, they contain a message.

You don't really notice the secret message at ground level because the dunes are too large, but if you have your own aircraft, you can see clearly the extra-large sand sculpture.