You invest precious resources into charting your ideal Southern California adventure. Especially if you are flying in from another part of the country—or the world—you’re counting on spending your treasured vacation days soaking in the sun on the beach, trying your hand at our water sports, or treating your palate to our incredible cuisine. Ultimately it’s a positive investment in you and your family.
We know that those costs add up, as well as involve a lot of logistics to create the trip of your dreams. Many families debate on whether or not they need to add the cost of a car rental to their adventure.
To help you discover if a car makes sense for your Coronado or San Diego adventure, we’ve compiled a breakdown of car needs by area.
Coronado: The Perfect Car-Free Adventure
For the ultimate car-free adventure, set your sights on the charming Coronado Island. Here you can easily meander streets, walk to the beach, and enjoy the ultimate car-free vacation. In fact, most residents leave their cars stationary to explore our slice of paradise via cruiser bike.
Staying with us at the Coronado Inn puts you right in the heart of the island. Embrace the island’s favorite mode of transportation by biking to the beach. We provide bike rentals at the hotel, making a seamless experience for you. On the island we also have a vibrant shopping district, a plethora of delicious restaurants, a renowned golf course, and our own theater. What else could you need in a vacation?
We are within easy walking distance to Ferry Landing. Not only does this delightful area give you a plethora of shops and quaint dining experiences, you can easily catch the most breathtaking downtown San Diego transportation available: the Coronado Ferry. Take in the curved arch of the Coronado Bridge while passing by sea lions or the occasional dolphin as you complete the 15-minute ride directly to either the San Diego Convention Center, which puts you right into the meat of Gaslamp, or up to the stop adjacent the USS Midway.
Yes, minus your initial ride from the airport, you could enjoy your entire Coronado experience without a rental car. Even though we provide free parking for all of our guests, rest assured that skipping out on the car rental won’t mean missing a beat in your SoCal adventure.
Car Needs in Downtown San Diego
While a close second to the enchanting island of Coronado, Gaslamp San Diego also gives you a lot of options without adding a rental car to your itinerary. Gaslamp’s 16-block radius is chock full of a diverse restaurant scene, the area’s best clubbing, and a vibrant music scene. Here you can easily walk to sights such as the USS Midway and even the San Diego Zoo, although an Uber might be a good addition for visiting our famous wildlife abode.
You’re also nestled right next to Little Italy, opening up an additional vibrant food scene. Don’t be fooled: while Little Italy’s Italian is the best in the city, they also are home to other cuisines, all fantastic in their own right.
Taking into account that the parking costs will be exorbitant in most downtown accommodations, in order to visit the beach or hit a golf course, you may want to have access to a vehicle. That is unless you chose to ferry to Coronado Island and enjoy our walkable paradise.
Car Needs at the San Diego Beach Areas
Each beach area in San Diego is different, with different transportation options. Unfortunately the trolley system in San Diego doesn’t serve the beaches, leaving the lengthy bus option or one of the ride-sharing apps.
Depending on what you are looking for in your vacation, one of the beach communities might offer everything you need right there. For example, Mission Beach or Pacific Beach will have easy walking distance to beaches, the bay, bars, restaurants, and a few attractions right along the water. While a popular biking area, it is also more trafficked than Coronado, which means being vigilant especially with little ones.
A community like La Jolla will be a little more secluded, with more challenging beach access depending on where you chose your accommodations. Many times guests staying in La Jolla will also want to see the Torrey Pines area or venture downtown, for which they would need a vehicle.
When a Car Comes in Handy
To truly answer this question, it all boils down to what you are looking for from your SoCal vacation. As we mentioned, beachgoers staying on Coronado Island will be completely content without a vehicle. Visitors looking to venture to neighboring areas will find it beneficial to rent a car.
Most likely you don’t need a car for your entire trip. Should you find yourself only needing a vehicle a few times, consider utilizing one of the ride-sharing apps such as Uber or even Car2Go. These give you the freedom and flexibility you’ve been craving without the added cost. Even though the trolley system may be limited, the bus system does serve most of the area. You can explore public transportation access here.
Booking the Best Walkability Accommodations in Coronado
As we mentioned, guests who enjoy our slice of paradise on the island can enjoy an entire vacation without needing a rental car to get around. At the Coronado Inn, we pride ourselves on giving guests easy access to all the top activities. From easily walking around our quaint community to taking bikes for a longer spin down the coast, so many of our greatest assets don’t require a vehicle.
Because you are the type of vacationer eager to enjoy the luxuries of paradise, without overpaying, consider a stay at Coronado Inn. We provide all the amenities of home at a budget-friendly price. You can also use those savings on a car rental to treat everyone to ice cream at our local favorite, Moo Time Creamery.