Local

April 5, 2013

San Diego: Five hours to sun fun

The theater at Balboa Park San Diego looks like much of the rest of the park. Its design was inspired by architecture found in churches in Europe. The park houses more than 15 museums, dining botanic gardens and the San Diego Zoo

About five hours from Luke Air Force Base is one of the most visited places on the West Coast. San Diego, if done right, can be an experience to remember.

The drive from Phoenix to San Diego takes one through Gila Bend, Yuma and from there it gets interesting. As the road leaves Yuma the austere landscape hits and in the distance is nothing but large sand dunes that are a sight to see. In some spots you can see the border fence that separates Mexico and the United States. Keep driving and the barren lands become a sight in the rearview mirror as the landscape turns to green rocky hills and the beauty Southern California is known for.

For military, there are two navy bases and a marine base with lodging. If you prefer to stay downtown, it’s filled with hotels of every price range. I recommend calling Navy Lodging at North Island at (619) 435-0191. The hotel is on Coronado Island on the beach and is better for families of those who want quick beach access. There is also lodging at Naval Station San Diego. They are closer to downtown and one can walk from lodging to the San Diego trolley, which can get you to many of the activities San Diego offers for single Airmen and families.

Balboa Park is a good stop for those looking for museums, natural gardens, music and good food. Access to the park is free to and is home to 17 museums, nine performing arts centers, 19 gardens, restaurants, dog parks and play areas. Things to currently see would include the Instruments of Torture exhibit, which is not for young children, at the Museum of Man. It also houses mummies and ancient Mayan artifacts for younger attendees.

Killer whales leap from their tank during a show at SeaWorld San Diego. The whales welcomed a new addition to the family in February when Baby Shamu was born. SeaWorld is free to military members and three dependents once a year.

Also located in Balboa is the San Diego Zoo. Active-duty military members get free admission when they show their identification and can purchase tickets at a discounted rate for family members. However, the least expensive way to obtain zoo tickets is by getting them before leaving Luke at the Information Tickets and Travel office. The zoo pass includes a free 40 minute bus tour. If you only have one day this is the place to start. Taking the tour also gets you a hand stamp to use the parks bus system all day.

After having fun at the zoo seeing animals that live on land, military members can head to SeaWorld. Military members get in into the park free with an ID plus up to three dependents. But beware, it’s a once a year deal so it can’t be used at the San Diego SeaWorld again for a year, but you are free to visit other parks under the same deal. This is the smallest of the SeaWorld parks but it has a lot to offer like the original Shamu. For families with smaller children be prepared to ride a limited number of rides, but you still get a good theme park and ride combo for the little ones.

Just a 20-minute ride north of San Diego in Carlsbad, Calif., is LegoLand. This park is geared for the smaller ones. My 7-year-old was able to ride everything but two rides and there only four my 4-year-old couldn’t ride. This park is a little cheesy for adults but it’s a big win for children and Lego lovers.

For single Airmen there is still plenty to do. The Gaslamp Quarter is downtown and is only minutes from both Navy lodgings. It is the spot for shopping, nightlife and entertainment. The events and activities are to numerous to mention here, but they are listed on the website at www.gaslamplocal.com.

A view of downtown San Francisco is much like the scale model made of Legos. Legoland, in Carlsbad, Calif., has models of many U.S. cities and also a few models of locations from movies such as “Star




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Luke 1 holds first commander’s call

Courtesy Photo Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, begins his first commander’s call at Luke Air Force Base Monday. Pleus took command of the fighter wing June 20. Brig. Gen Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing com...
 
 

Balance, key to successful AF life

I believe proper balance is the key to a successful life in the Air Force. Over the years I’ve come to realize that it takes a concentrated effort to maintain balance between a professional life as an Air Force member and personal or family life. Both require constant learning, adjustments, development and attention. It’s easy...
 
 

Avoid claustrophobic career

I have heard many times that education is the great equalizer. The Air Force takes in people of all races, cultures and backgrounds and unifies them under simple beliefs and values. The enlisted force structure serves as the common language for force development, and education plays a major role. We all know education creates opportunity,...
 

 
James Hensley

No one flies until flight med gives OK

James Hensley Airman 1st Class Shawn Martinez, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight medicine technician, checks over the ambulance Aug. 19 with Staff Sgt. Jovanny Reyes, 56th AMDS medical technician, at Luke Air Force Base. ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2014

Gate hours change The South Gate Visitor Registration Center hours have changed. They are 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Effective Tuesday, the North Gate is open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also on Tuesday, the Kachina Gate will open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 10...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Senior Airman Brian Comia 56th Force Support Squadron Services journeyman Hometown: San Lorenzo, California Years in service: Three Family: Wife, Phoebe; daughters, Sophia and Isabella Inspirations: My family Goals: My short-term goal is to make staff sergeant next year Greatest feat: Becoming a U.S. citizen and having the pleasure and honor of serving this country...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin