Exploring San Diego


Your own Oz-venture: Visit these 'Wizard of Oz' links to San Diego

Posted at 4:00 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 19:01:24-04

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) — You may not find a cowardly lion, brainless scarecrow, or heartless Tin Man on Coronado, but the city's connection to one of history's most famed stories runs deep.

"Wizard of Oz" author L. Frank Baum has several connections to the scenic beach city. Between 1904 to 1910, Baum and his family vacationed in the city often, according to San Diego's tourism website.

Baum was reportedly such a fan of Coronado's beauty, he wrote a portion of the "Oz" series there.

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And his links can still be found around town:

Baum's Coronado home
The Coronado home L. Frank Baum rented on Star Park Circle still stands today. While it's not open to the public (it's a private residence, so view from the sidewalk), the property is the sight where Baum wrote "Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz," "The Emerald City of Oz," "The Road to Oz," and portions of "The Marvelous Land of Oz."

The home's owners haven't shied away from the notoriety either. A small "wicked witch" can be seen from the side of the house and a "ding dong" witch doormat.

The Hotel Del Coronado
Baum and his family were known to visit the Hotel Del often in the early 1900s. Hotel officials say the author would reside at the Del for months at a time.

The Crown Room
The hotel's links run even deeper with Baum. The regal chandeliers in the hotel's "Crown Room" were designed by Baum.

Rare "Wizard of Oz" first editions
Coronado's Museum of History and Art have three rare first editions of Baum's "Oz" series on display. Admission to the museum is free, making it even easier to take in literary history.

"Oz" art exhibit
Inside the Coronado Public Library, an elaborate work of "Wizard of Oz" characters and scenes on nine glass panels are on display. The artwork shows Dorothy, the cowardly lion, scarecrow, and Tin Man as an ode to Baum's stories.

Baum-inspired "Author's Study"
Another nod to Baum can be found at the 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach. The bed and breakfast's "Author's Study" is decorated with art prints of the "ruby slippers," characters from the "Oz" series, a writing desk, and autobiaography on Baum.

"The Queen of Fairyland"
A poem by Baum submitted to the San Diego Union in 1905 speaks of the author's love and inspiration for Coronado. The poem, titled "Coronado: The Queen of Fairyland," speaks of "enjoyment stranger and grand" and "dreams are sweet and moments fleet."

This year, the San Diego County Fair celebrates Baum and his stories under the exciting theme of "Oz-some," putting foods, exhibits, and experiences themed after the author's works on full display.