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 graphic

Fitness center gets Xtreme makeover

Courtesy graphic Above is an architectural rendering of the changes to the outside of the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Renovations also include a remodel of most of the interior. The project will take place over t...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

History gets paint job

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY James Bridges and Hayden Yager, civilian contractors, prepare the F-104C Starfighter static display for painting Aug. 12 in the Luke Air Force Base Airpark. The static displays in the airpark will be ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2015

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will begin an active-shooter exercise between 8 and 10 a.m. Thursday. It is expected to continue throughout the day. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruption of...
 

 
AFD-131209-015

SARC receive annual training

The sexual assault prevention and response coordinators and sexual assault victim advocates attend annual training as a commitment to remain resilient and up to date on all current strategies for victims of sexual assault. The ...
 
 
DT_Pronghorn-Fawns-in-the-pen-2011

Pronghorn home on range

John Kulberg Two-month old twin Sonoran pronghorn fawns remain vigilant while resting within the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge semi-captive breeding facility. The Goldwater Range is home to the Sonoran pronghorn antelo...
 
 

Shopping Exchange pays Q-O-L dividends

Airmen and their families shopping and dining at Army & Air Force Exchange Service stores and restaurants on Luke Air Force Base generated $522,974 last year for Air Force quality-of-life programs. Over the past 10 years, the Exchange has provided more than $2.4 billion in dividends to military programs including Club Five Six, Bryant Fitness...
 




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>