Coronado, also known as Coronado Island, is a city located in San Diego County, California, 5.2 miles from downtown San Diego. Its population was 24,100 at the 2000 census. U.S. News and World Report lists Coronado as one of the most expensive places to reside in the United States. Coronado lies on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a 10-mile isthmus called the Silver Strand (locally, The Strand.) Locals call Coronado The Island or Coronado Island, and they denote the core living and business area as The Village. Another nickname, mostly used by younger residents, is "The Rock".
Coronado is Spanish for "the crowned one," and thus it is nicknamed The Crown City. In the early days a tourist/vacation area just south of the Hotel del Coronado was established and named Tent City. Over the years the tents gave way to cottages, the last of which was torn down at the end of 1940, or early 1941. The city is a very popular destination for both tourists and local residents. It prides itself on its small-town atmosphere and uptown social environment. However, over the years, tensions between the Coronado Police and residents have continued to rise.
Coronado was featured in the 1960-1961 syndicated television series COronado 9, starring Rod Cameron as a private detective, Dan Adams, who operated from the San Diego area. COronado 9 refers to Adams' telephone exchange.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 84.6 km² (32.7 mi²); 20 km² (7.7 mi²) of the city is land and 64.6 km² (24.9 mi²) of it (76.36%) is water.
Originally Coronado was separated from North Island by a shallow channel called the Spanish Bight. The development of North Island by the United States Navy prior to World War II led to the filling of the Bight, combining the land areas into a single body. The Navy still operates Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI or "North Island") on Coronado. On the southern side of the town is Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, famous as a training center for Navy SEALs. Both facilities are part of the larger Naval Base Coronado complex.
In 1969, the San Diego-Coronado Bridge was opened, allowing much faster transit between the cities than bay ferries or driving via State Route 75 along the Silver Strand. The city is currently weighing the options of additional construction on Highway 75 to alleviate congestion as traffic flows to and from San Diego and North Island.
As of the 2000 census, there were 24,100 people, 7,734 households, and 4,934 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,205.3/km² (3,121.9/mi²). There were 9,494 housing units at an average density of 474.8/km² (1,229.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.40% White, 5.15% African American, 0.66% Native American, 3.72% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 3.14% from other races, and 2.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.83% of the population.
There were 7,734 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the city the population was spread out with 16.0% under the age of 18, 20.2% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 139.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 149.1 males.
48.2% of those age 25 and over have a Bachelor's degree or higher. According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city is $80,132, and the median income for a family is $105,901. Males have a median income of $30,041 versus $33,828 for females. The per capita income for the city is $34,656. 5.0% of the population and 3.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 5.0% of those under the age of 18 and 1.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Like many other premiere locations in Southern California, real estate in the city of Coronado is very expensive. A small and very modest two bedroom home in the city can easily cost over $1,000,000. According to a recent County-Wide Zip Code chart published in the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper in August 2006, the median cost of a single-family home within the city's zip code of 92118 was $1,605,000, as of July 2006. This makes it the third most expensive place to live in San Diego County and one of the most expensive in the country, as it holds a spot within the top 20 most expensive cities in the United States.
Coronado has long been a Republican-leaning community; in 2008, about 51% of voters were registered Republican, 25% Democrat and 21% nonpartisan, although the Republican lead is dropping. Many of its residents are retired Navy personnel. The district is also sheltered both politically and socially from the concerns of the wider San Diego metropolitan area, making its residents more connected to local issues and events.
In the state legislature Coronado is located in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 79th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Mary Salas. Federally, Coronado is located in California's 53rd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +12 and is represented by Democrat Susan Davis.
Tourism is an essential component of Coronado's economy. This city is home to three famous resorts (Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado Island Marriott and Loews Coronado Bay Resort as well as several other hotels and inns. The downtown district along Orange Avenue with its many shops, restaurants and theaters is also a key part of the local economy. Many of the restaurants are highly rated and provide a wide variety of cuisine choices. In 2008, The Travel Channel rated Coronado Beach as the fifth best beach in America. Coronado is also home to two major live theaters - the Lambs Players and Coronado Playhouse. They present a variety of great performances during the year.
There are several major businesses based in Coronado including Benetrends, Cybernetics Leadership Center and California American Water Company.
One of the most popular annual events in this city is the Coronado Flower Show, held usually on the third weekend in April. Since 1925 thousands of visitors flock here to see the largest flower show held under tents in the West. Exhibits are placed inside tents surrounding a central gazebo, which becomes the stage for continuous entertainment, announcements and trophy presentations.
Coronado Island Sports Fiesta is sponsored by the local Optimist Club every year. Held in July this sports festival features a combination of competitative races, dives, rough-water swim and other events.
Coronado is home to the famous Hotel del Coronado, built in 1888 and long considered one of the world's top resorts. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark and appeared in films such as Some Like It Hot and The Stunt Man, and was the setting of the Dashboard Confessional song Stolen. The historic hotel has had many American heroes come to visit, such as Charles Lindbergh, Thomas Edison and legendary sports figures such as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Willie Mays, Magic Johnson, and Muhammad Ali. Many presidents have also visited, including Taft, Franklin Roosevelt, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton and First Lady Laura Bush.
"The Del" was supposedly also the inspiration for Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. Frank L. Baum would have been able to see the hotel from his front porch overlooking Star Park. Because of that, Coronado is often associated with the color green and is often referenced as "The Emerald City". The colors of Coronado High were changed to green and white, the Coronado city flag is a tricolor of green-white-green with a crown in the middle, a local surf/skate shop is named Emerald City.