Saturday, November 16, 2013


Coronado is built on land that was once two low islands, possibly overwash deposits, at the northern tip of the long sand spit that forms San Diego Harbor. Now, consolidated into a single island, Coronado is home to a Navy base, a residential community, and a grand old hotel.

The Hotel del Coronado has been hosting the rich and famous since the late 1800s. It's built in a classic Victorian style and is reportedly the second largest wood structure in the U.S.


Old photos show waves eroding the shoreline right up to the resort's western edge. Starting more than 100 years ago, numerous attempts were made to protect it, and some of the big pile of rock on the beach out front is what's left behind. But in the end, it's been saved by the same thing that has saved most of the other shoreline development in San Diego County - beach nourishment.

The (currently) wide beaches at Imperial Beach, the Silver Strand, and Coronado, right up to the large Zuniga Jetty at the very north end, all have benefited from sand dredged from the harbor or brought in from offshore.  More on this in subsequent posts.

In hindsight, I realize that the beer I enjoyed at the Hotel's pricey bar that evening was a fitting celebration of this becoming the 600th post to Gravel Beach!  It began back in December 2005, and some of the earliest posts were from Southern California.

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