CORON­ADO’S COASTAL CHARMS

Los Angeles Times - - ROAD TRIPS PLACES TO GO - By He­len Truszkowski

The route: Los Angeles to Coron­ado on In­ter­state 5. Miles: About 260 miles round trip Best time: With an abun­dance of sunny days, there’s no bad time to visit. You’ll beat the throngs out­side of school breaks, es­pe­cially March through May and Septem­ber through Novem­ber.

Why: Coron­ado is­land is a beach get­away con­nected to San Diego by a dra­mat­i­cally arch­ing, two-mile-long bridge. Coron­ado vil­lage epit­o­mizes small-town Amer­ica, a re­minder of a time when va­ca­tions meant stripped­down plea­sures — sea­side walks, bike rides, gum­drops and jaw­break­ers.

High­lights: Coron­ado has played host to Clark Gable, Er­rol Flynn, Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, Steven Spiel­berg and Oprah Win­frey, to name a few. But it’s that laid-back lifestyle that is the draw­ing card. Stroll into town and take in a play at the Lamb’s Play­ers Theatre (lambs

play­ers.org), gorge on vin­tage candy at Fuzzi­wig’s Candy Fac­tory (coron­ado.fuzzi wigs.com) and hand-crafted ice cream at MooTime Cream­ery

(www.mootime.com). The Coron­ado Mu­seum of His­tory & Art

(coro­n­ado­his­tory.org) tells the story of this en­chant­ing is­land through mem­o­ra­bilia, his­toric black-and-white photos and unique art­work. Mem­o­rable stay: The Ho­tel del Coron­ado (hoteldel.com), on one of the best-in-the-U.S. white-sand beaches. The sprawl­ing re­sort rentals, a toy store and the Spreck­els candy store. Fam­ily S’mores Night and beach and pool movie night gets a thumbs-up. As does the Crown Room Sun­day Brunch. Mem­o­rable meal: Hip­ster cen­tral, Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge (leroyskitchenand­lounge.com )is com­mit­ted to a sus­tain­able menu with in­ven­tive farm-to-ta­ble eats and lo­cal craft beers.

Tourist trap or treat: Treat. Rent a bike at Wheel Fun Rentals at the Ho­tel del Coron­ado. There are 15 miles of pris­tine coast to pedal, with the paved Bayshore Bike­way lead­ing to the Coron­ado Ferry Land­ing, a dock for more than 125 years. The spec­tac­u­lar view you’ll get of the San Diego sky­line alone is worth the trek. To re­ally get un­der the skin of the place, take a 90-minute guided Coron­ado Walk­ing Tour (coro­n­ad­owalk­ing­tour

.com). It starts at the Glo­ri­etta Bay Inn (www.glo­ri­et­tabayinn

.com), a 1908 man­sion built by a sugar baron, and of­fers a stroll past cas­tles and cot­tages. A three­hour Culi­nary Walk­ing Tour (www.coro­n­ad­o­food­tour.com) serves up sam­ples from some of Coron­ado’s best restau­rants. Plan to spend: Enough time to see more. As you head south (or on the re­turn trip) con­sider stop­ping at Hunt­ing­ton Beach In­ter­na­tional Surf­ing Mu­seum (www.surf­in­gmu

seum.org) and at La­guna Art Mu­seum (la­gu­naart­mu­seum.org), the only mu­seum in the state to fea­ture art ex­clu­sively by Cal­i­for­nia artists. Mis­sion San Juan Capis­trano (www.mis­sion­sjc

.com) draws ar­chi­tec­ture buffs.

The route: From Santa Fe, N.M., north on U.S. 84 to New Mex­ico 68. (Al­ter­nate route: the “High Road” from Santa Fe: north on U.S. 84 to New Mex­ico 503, 76 and 518.) Miles: About 150 miles round trip. You’ll log ad­di­tional miles for side trips to Ban­de­lier Na­tional Mon­u­ment, Chi­mayó and Abiquiú. Best times: June to March. Why: Na­tive Amer­i­can his­tory and cul­ture, artists and art gal­leries, red rocks and river raft­ing High­lights: Ban­de­lier Na­tional Mon­u­ment (www.nps.gov/band), about 50 miles north­west of Santa Fe, is an easy, fam­ily-friendly des­ti­na­tion. The paved 1.2-mile Main Loop Trail takes vis­i­tors past An­ces­tral Pue­blo pet­ro­glyphs and cliff dwellings. Dare­dev­ils can walk about half a mile far­ther to Al­cove House, reached by a white-knuckle climb up steep wooden lad­ders. Art lovers can gaze at the gray cliffs and cot­ton­woods Ge­or­gia O’Ke­effe painted from her serene home and stu­dio (reser­va­tions re­quired,

www.oke­ef­fe­mu­seum.org )in Abiquiú, 60 miles north­west of Santa Fe. Taos Pue­blo (taos

pue­blo.com), and its ceme­tery filled with weath­ered crosses and the lone bell tower in the ru­ins of the orig­i­nal St. Jerome Church, are par­tic­u­larly mov­ing. Mem­o­rable stay: It’s an easy walk from the His­toric Taos Inn

(www.taosinn.com) to gal­leries, restau­rants and shops. Our court­yard room was clean and com­fort­able, but the dé­cor needed up­dat­ing and the bath­room was tiny. The Adobe Bar in the lobby draws vis­i­tors and lo­cals who stop by in the evening to en­joy the live mu­sic. Mem­o­rable meal: Bode’s Gen­eral Store (www.bodes.com )in Abiquiú and its gi­gan­tic green chile cheese­burger. My side­kick, the col­lege kid, man­aged to de­vour the half-pound slab of ground sir­loin while I checked out the enam­el­ware, fish­ing tackle and wild bird seed. The re­lax­ing Rio Chama steak­house (www.rio chamas­teak­house.com), near the state capi­tol in Santa Fe, fit the bill when we wanted some­thing more so­phis­ti­cated.

Tourist trap or treat: Tru­jillo’s Weav­ing Shop ([505] 351-4457,

www.lat.ms/tru­jil­los) in Chi­mayó is more than a treat; it’s a trea­sure where you can watch weavers at work on 13 hand looms. The col­lege kid chose a small weav­ing for his dorm room, more mean­ing­ful than any snow globe or re­frig­er­a­tor mag­net. Also: The gift shop at the Santa Fe School of Cook­ing (santafeschoolof­cook­ing.com), where I scored sal­sas, tins of chile pow­der and blue corn waf­fle mix. Plan to spend: At least four or five days, be­cause wan­der­ing here is half the fun.

Stu­art West­mor­land Getty Images / Per­spec­tives

HO­TEL DEL CORON­ADO on Coron­ado Is­land near San Diego is a sprawl­ing re­sort on a white-sand beach that has spe­cial ac­tiv­i­ties for young chil­dren and teens.

Lou Spir­ito Los Angeles Times

of­fers a Kid­topia ac­tiv­ity camp (for ages 4 to 12) and the Vibz hang­out for teens. There are surf lessons, bike and boo­gie board

PHAS UIG via Getty Images

TAOS PUE­BLO, north of Taos, N.M., is a UN­ESCO World Her­itage site by the San­gre de Cristo Moun­tains. Wit­ness­ing its ceme­tery is a mov­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Lou Spir­ito Los Angeles Times

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