California might not have a “real” winter, but that means for just over one month of the year, we get the unique experience of skating on the ice beneath the sunshine. And, if you’re up for a little weekend trip, you can even do it with the waves crashing onto the sandy shores, just a few feet away at Hotel del Coronado’s legendary Skate By The Sea. Where else can you glide over the ice with palm trees swaying in a fresh, salty breeze? This spectacular experience also benefits Make-A-Wish® San Diego.
Every year, the hotel turns up the holiday cheer with the annual “Home for the Holidays,” turning the shoreline into a shiny wonderland filled with magical activities. The historic palm trees are draped with millions of twinkling lights, with themed shows and live music, ensuring guests are completely enveloped in the spirit of the season. You can spend afternoons at a gingerbread home workshop, having a Victorian high-tea before working it all off with a sunset skate. There are rink-side lounges with plush sofas and roaring fire pits where you can sip on festive libations as the sun sinks into the Pacific.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, you can immerse your feet in the soft sand and gather around a bonfire to toast S’mores. Or, enjoy holiday-themed bites or head to Sun Deck, Babcock & Story Bar, Sheerwater and Serẽa for a meal with gorgeous views. There are also movie nights on the beach where you can catch holiday hits like How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), A Christmas Story (1983), or Elf (2003) under the stars.
December also happens to be the few months when Santa leaves the frosty North Pole behind and settles down for a little sun and sand, so naturally, he’ll be roaming around for those mandatory holiday snaps. If you’re like the big guy in the red suit and you’ve been seduced by the relaxing charm of this oceanside haven, you can always skip the shopping frenzy and allow the Elf Deliveries to take care of everything with personalized gifts.
Skate By The Sea runs from November 17 through January 1 and tickets are $40 per person. Each ticket includes 90 minutes of skating and skate rentals.Find out more here.
Location: 1500 Orange Ave. Coronado, CA 92118