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.


 
 

 
NEW_1

Luke F-35s visit Columbus AFB

Airman 1st Class Daniel Lile A T-6 Texan II roars overhead as the pilots of two Luke Air Force Base F-35 Lightning IIs prepare to exit their aircraft July 23 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The pilots are Capt. Nichola...
 
 
Courtesy photo

In plain sight, but where?

Senior Airman Marcy Copeland The “Honor Roll” memorial sits silently behind the command post July 21 at Luke Air Force Base. The memorial contains the names of men who attended pilot training at Luke Field from 1941 to 1943...
 
 
Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota

FSS cog in 56th FW wheel

Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota Kim Caley, 56th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts operation manager, works on a project at Luke Air Force Base. The arts and crafts center helps Airman moral with arts, crafts or wood projects. ...
 

 
18_150717-F-VY794-012

PROTOCOL: Master planners Emily Post of AF

Tech. Sgt. Douglas Teutsch, 56th FW protocol NCO in charge, sweeps up after the change of command ceremony. Special occasions often require seemingly mundane yet important tasks, such as organizing proper seating arrangements a...
 
 

Lightning II debrief …

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Senior Airman Roger Combs, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, downloads information from an F-35 Lightning II engine at Luke Air Force Base. Since 2010, more than 1,800 maintainers have been trained on the F-35. The first production F-35A rolled out of assembly in February 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas. Later...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Commons provides ‘crib’ for Airmen

Courtesy graphic The Community Commons concept design. Renovation has begun and will be completed in May 2016. The Luke Air Force Base Community Center, Bldg. 700, where the 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Wellness Center resi...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>