Travels with Hian

photos courtesy of Howard Hian
photos courtesy of Howard Hian

Our guest post and monthly column comes from Howard Hian who was recently awarded a Gold Medal/First Place Award from the North American Travel Journalists Association’s annual international writing contest.  

Coronado, California – The town is a walker’s delight: beachfront paths, Spreckel’s Park, the Village itself, the Ferry Landing and cozy cottages, mansions and fascinating homes.  Coronado Beach is ranked among the top 10 beaches in the country.  The Coronado Museum of History and Art traces the town’s growth from its establishment in 1885 to today, including its prominent military presence.  Catch a movie at the refurbished Art Deco-style Village Theatre or attend a play at the highly acclaimed Lamb’s Players Theatre.

Spend time at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort; start by pampering yourself at their Sea Spa.  Around sunset, walk to the Marina for a taste of Venice, cruising through the Coronado Cays’ canals with the Gondola Company.  For the finale, dine at the award-winning Mistral restaurant overlooking San Diego Bay; it is romantic and classy. Try two locals’ favorites: Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge and Lil’ Piggy’s BBQ.  Visit the Del Coronado Hotel and don’t miss their award-winning Sunday brunch extravaganza.  The champagne flows Glorietta Bay Marinafreely as one grazes between food stations featuring tables laden with every food group and ethnicity imaginable.  Where to stay?  I highly recommend the delightful 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach. It is a lovingly restored 17 room inn that started its life as a boarding house.  The rate includes a gourmet breakfast, secure underground parking, afternoon wine and snacks, plus evening turn down with chocolates.  Its location is perfect, one block off the main street and two from the beach. Logon to for a Coronado Visitors Guide.

Summerlin, Nevada – The JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, voted a “Top Five Las Vegas Resort” by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, is a respite from the hustle of the Las Vegas Strip (15 minutes away).

Calico CanyonSet on 50 acres, it features a great spa (Aqua Sulis), fitness center with complimentary classes, 11 restaurants, the Rampart Casino, a pool and easy access to nearby golf courses.  The rooms are spacious and comfortable.  A sumptuous breakfast at the open-air Ceres Restaurant, overlooking the resort’s gardens and waterfalls, is a wonderful way to start each morning.  Don’t miss JC Wooloughans Irish Pub’s happy hour and Irish specialties.

A trip to the nearby Red Rock Canyon is a must.  It is one of the National Conservation Areas run by the Bureau of Land Management.  When you arrive, spend time at the visitor center/book store and pick up a map, canyon guide and other brochures.  Then enjoy the interpretive stations and look for Mohave Max, the desert tortoise mascot, before you head out for the 13 mile scenic loop drive.  Plan to stop at the various view areas; they are spectacular.  Rock climbing, hiking, jogging and biking are other options in this national conservation area.  It is now on my “do not miss” list.  For information go to and

Safe travels and enjoy the journey…

Howard Hian