Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A Plethora of Holiday Gifts Can Be Found in Coronado

The businesses mentioned here are by no means an exhaustive list of everything offered in Coronado. It's a sampling of the many wonderful establishments that make Coronado a great place to shop and dine. Let's get our holiday shopping done locally!

Unique gifts can be found all over Coronado. These items are at Fair Trade Decor.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, even with the cost of goods skyrocketing and the port fiasco causing shortages. It’s time to come together and support our local businesses, which have taken an unprecedented hit as the pandemic continues, and whose shelves are stocked with amazing finds. You might be surprised at the wide array of offerings that can be found in both the usual, and the unexpected, places in town. Take a few extra minutes to find the perfect local gift to share joy with those you care about.

Coronado Cupcakery has more than just cupcakes with a fun line of cards for all occasions.

Most of us probably only think of the decadent carbs that can be devoured at Coronado Cupcakery, but they have an array of poignant cards and unique gifts that are sure to brighten someone’s day. The Curly Girl cards, in particular, often reflect the perfect sentiment or clever design, whether it be for the holidays or just because. Also, check Seaside Papery for an amazing selection of cards and stationery items, and did you know they offer free gift wrapping?

Village Ace Hardware’s row of vintage candy machines can distract the kids while you get shopping done.

The Coronado Hardware Store, at 140 Orange Avenue, has tons of coastal themed gifts as well as unique décor items and needed household items. And at the other end of town, Village Ace Hardware, at 949 Orange Avenue, has some unique things like kids’ tricycles, wagons, bird feeders, and flashlights. Make a mental note that they have an entire row of retro gum and candy machines that are perfect if you can’t get a sitter and need a distraction for your kids while doing your holiday shopping.

Flatyz flat candles, for Christmas, or anytime, at Fair Trade Décor.

From the clever and eco-conscious Christmas tree in the window made out of repurposed water bottles, Fair Trade Décor is filled to the brim with treasures from around the world. In particular, their colorful Flatyz candles from Lithuania are very popular and easy to mail. I  also picked up the coolest water-activated luminaries that I can’t wait to display on my porch and share with others.

Why not gift someone a historic walking tour of Coronado?

Promoting local artists and Coronado-themed items, the Coronado Historical Association has a surprisingly well stocked array of posters, books, and more in the Museum Store. I think a certificate for a Historic Walking Tour would be a great surprise, even for locals who just might learn something new about our town.

Bay Books has much more than just books.

More than just reading material, Bay Books offers an assortment of gift items. Some interesting finds include the small, mailable “Build your own Christmas Tree,” stacked book ornaments, puzzles, and so much more. For books, I especially like the local author section to read and share with friends.

Fun finds abound at the Sand Dollar gift shop on base.

If you have base access, then a visit to the Sand Dollar gift shop is a must. With all proceeds going to support military families, the shop is chocked full of Navy, coastal and holiday themed merchandise. I recently picked up an array of Coronado themed dish towels and a helicopter ornament.

No need to drive to Little Italy when Coronado’s Buona Forchetta has its own Italian market.

Grab a bag or basket and head to Buona Forchetta to fill up on a variety of Italian pastas, sauces, seasonings, and more and then say Buon Natale as you gift it to someone you love.

Some vintage, some new, all with a vintage vibe, at Coronado Vintage.

A recent survey suggested that more than 77 percent of Americans will buy a holiday gift from a thrift store, and we are lucky that here in Coronado we have three amazing options that offer a treasure hunt every time you shop. Christ Church Thrift Shop on 9th Street has been transformed into a holiday boutique with festive clothing and gifts for the season; Thrift Cottage on 10th Street offers a wide range of clothing, shoes, décor, housewares, and gifts; and Sharp’s Second Best Shop on 3rd Street offers many choices to cross names off your list. And while not a thrift shop per se, Coronado Vintage at 859 Orange Ave also offers pre-loved, vintage, and new treasures.

I went into Business Products Express for basic envelopes and came out with a few fun items like notepads and college- and team-themed tape, perfect for the sports fanatics in your life. Calling all surfers ~ Emerald City Surf Shop has something for the water loving hip, old and young alike – from surfboards to stylish clothing and shoes. For the littles on your list, check out Geppetto’s Toys, where they will gift wrap your toy or book purchase.

Discover Sea La Vie, which started as a pop-up shop next to Tartine, but has now extended and offers coastal and Coronado themed gifts and décor, along with local artists’ creations. Wandering through Adorn, several things caught my eye like the license plate letter key chains, clever signs, and cute bags, with my personal favorite ~ “Lover of cancelled plans.” Crown Meets Sea, formerly Charisma, offers a full range of Nora Fleming customizable ceramic and melamine dishes, as well as many local artist creations, and Coronado themed candles, as well as children’s clothing and religious gifts.

For those favoring a neutral palate, stop in and peruse the home décor and gifts at Française. Don’t forget about the adorable unique kids’ clothing at Fiveloaves Twofish, with new fabrics always arriving. You are sure to find something for the women on your list with a host of boutiques along Orange Avenue and at The Ferry Landing featuring clothing and accessories – and gift cards are always a hit as the receiver gets to go shopping! Sweet Soles has shoes for every occasion, from casual to dressy to boots. Latin American clothing and accessory finds are featured at Raguna Boutique. Good news for the men on your list – Brady’s Menswear is now reopened at The Del and offers an outstanding collection of quality items. While you’re there, check out the many other specialty shops at The Del.

Surprise a friend with a sweet treat like the scrumptious Lemon Tart from Tartine, Cranberry Orange Muffin from Villa Nueva, or a bakery delicacy, think croissant or snickerdoodle, from Clayton’s Bakery & Bistro. A gift certificate to one of the 80 familiar eating establishments in town is also sure to be a hit.

A movie-themed basket is welcome again, as lots of blockbusters are hitting the big screens after being delayed. Don’t forget to throw in a bag of popcorn and yummy candy, with the best sweet selection found at Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory.

For unique alcohol, olive oil, or balsamic flavors, VomFass at The Ferry Landing offers unique liqueurs, like Honey Pear or Caipirinha, and you can take a break from shopping to sit and savor a glass of wine. You can also find a wide array of oils, vinegars, and gifts at Coronado Taste of Oils. And let’s not forget our local liquor stores which carry some unique finds like the San Diego Limoncello which has a Coronado family connection. The well-known beers, seltzers, and ciders from Coronado Brewing Company are also legendary.

Treat your special someone to a free musical evening in the Emerald C Gallery parking lot on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, then stroll through the gallery of incredible art creations by local artisans. Bringing snacks will win you brownie points!

If you take a moment to think about it, Coronado has a plethora of great gift options that  can be found just a walk or short bike ride away. Let’s go shopping!

The businesses mentioned are by no means an exhaustive list of everything offered in Coronado. It’s just a sampling of the many wonderful establishments that make Coronado a great place to shop and dine.


Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]