In 1602, Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino discovered islands off the coast of San Diego and name them Las Yslas Coronadas meaning “the crowned ones,” after the four martyred saints of ancient Rome who died on that day. This is why Coronado is often referred to as “Crown City” and a variety of crown memorabilia can be found in the many gifts shops on the island.
Coronado was uninhabited until 1885, when two men, Elisha S. Babcock, Jr. and Hampton L. Storey, rowed a boat from San Diego to barren Coronado Island to hunt rabbits. Upon arriving they decided they had discovered an ideal setting for a resort hotel. In 1888, the Hotel del Coronado opened and today continues to be a uniquely desirable destination for royalty, celebrities, and movie stars.