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Military Museums, Memorials & More

Discover San Diego's rich military history

Through a tour of the decommissioned USS Midway aircraft carrier, a visit to the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center or a walking tour of the "Greatest Generation Collection" of artwork along San Diego's Embarcadero, visitors can discover the victories, tragedies, and sacrifices of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, past and present.

USS Midway Museum

Museums

USS Midway Museum

Where: 910 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
The USS Midway Museum aboard the decommissioned USS Midway aircraft carrier is the most-visited of the 100-plus historic naval ship museums in the continental United States. Berthed at Navy Pier along San Diego Bay, the Midway is a floating tribute to the hundreds of thousands of men who served their country aboard the ship for nearly 50 years. Highlights include self-guided audio tours; more than 40 exhibits and displays, including many restored aircraft; access to the mess deck, berthing spaces, hangar deck, flight deck, island superstructure and more; Mach Combat F-8 and F-4 phantom flight simulators and flight stations; a Flight Avionics motion simulator; and interactive, story-telling docents, many of whom are Midway veterans. Active duty and reservist personnel receive free admission; retired military receive discounted admission.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

Where: 2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
The San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park is home to a massive collection of classic military aircraft ranging from the dawn of flight through WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the jet age and beyond. The Museum also features an International Aerospace Hall of Fame, honoring the inventors, engineers, pilots and industrialists who created and built airplanes. Active military admission is free.

Cabrillo National Monument

Where: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
Along the paths of Cabrillo National Monument sit the remains of coastal defenses built to protect the approaches to San Diego Bay. While visiting the park, you will find base-end stations, fire control stations, searchlight bunkers, and other remains of troubled times; lonely sentinels that now serve to guard our memories of the past. Housed in an old radio station, the exhibit, "They Stood the Watch," shares the story behind these remains, and ranger talks are often given on weekends. For those who wish to learn more, the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation bookstore, located in the Visitor Center, offers several titles about Fort Rosecrans and the military history of Point Loma.

Liberty Station

Where: 2701 Lytton St, San Diego, CA 92106
Hundreds of thousands of civilian and military passed through the gates of San Diego Naval Training Center in the course of its history. This decommissioned base has now been transformed into Liberty Station part residential community, part arts district and part retail center. With many of the businesses housed in the historic structures that date back to the 1920s, just walking around Liberty Station can bring back proud memories for the more than a million military personnel who were trained there. The base's former command center and parade ground are included in what is now called the ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station, a cultural district with galleries, artist studios, dance studios, restaurants and retail stores. The command center contains historic displays of the Naval Training Center and Point Loma. Admission is free.

Mt. Soledad Memorial

Memorials

Veterans Museum and Memorial Center

Where: 2115 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
The Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park honors all men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. On display are a variety of historical artifacts, documents, memorabilia and artwork from the Civil War era through Desert Storm in Iraq. Admission is free.

Mt Soledad Veterans Memorial

Where: 6905 La Jolla Scenic Dr S, La Jolla, CA 92037
Located high atop Soledad Mountain in La Jolla, the Mt Soledad Veterans Memorial honors war veterans from all branches of the military. Features include a 43-foot cross originally dedicated to veterans of the Korean War and black granite plaques dedicated to individual veterans. Visitors can also enjoy awe-inspiring panoramic views of San Diego County from the Pacific Ocean to the mountains.

"Greatest Generation Collection"

The Port of San Diego showcases an inspiring collection of military heritage artworks dubbed the "Greatest Generation Collection" along its Embarcadero. For example, the "USS San Diego (CL-53) Memorial" is a striking monument commemorating the distinguished World War II service of San Diego's namesake cruiser. The "Homecoming" sculpture depicts the happy return of a sailor from the sea, reunited with wife and child. The black obelisk and bronze sculptures of the "Aircraft Carrier Memorial" honor all who've served on the Navy's aircraft carriers. The Admiral Sprague bust presides from its pedestal over the "Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial," a fitting remembrance of one of the most desperate and heroic naval actions in U.S. history. Lastly, the "Military Tribute to Bob Hope" honors the famed entertainer's efforts. All artwork is located in a beautiful waterfront park on Harbor Drive at the G Street Mole in downtown San Diego.

MCAS Miramar Air Show

Events

Fleet Week San Diego

San Diego proudly salutes its armed forces each fall during Fleet Week San Diego, the largest military appreciation celebration in the nation. Interested folk have an opportunity to attend a number of special events.

MCAS Miramar Air Show

Every year, MCAS Miramar is honored to host an amazing lineup of military and civilian performers. MCAS Miramar's flight line will be transformed to accommodate more than 100 military and civilian aircraft, simulation rides, fun for the kids, ride and drives, and a variety of delicious food and beverage offerings.

Veterans Day

During November, take the time to honor and thank those who have served in the United States armed forces at one of the many Veterans Day events, parades, special offers and more.

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