Friday, August 1, 2014

USS Midway in San Diego

The USS Midway Museum is an unforgettable adventure for the entire family. Recently, Ashley and I had the chance to visit and explore the USS Midway on one of our weekend excursions. When you visit the USS Midway in San Diego, you can spend the entire day exploring more than 60 exhibits with a collection of 29 restored aircraft. The USS Midway is truly a fun Southern California excursion and has something for the entire family. For more more pictures of our visit to the USS Midway, make sure to check out our Facebook Page.

Directions to USS Midway: The USS Midway Museum is located at 910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California, 92101, alongside Navy Pier. It is a short drive for almost anyone in Southern California. You also have the option of taking the Pacific Surfliner to the Downtown San Diego Train Station, which is only a short 5 minute walk from the USS Midway. There are more than 300 parking spaces alongside the USS Midway on Navy Pier (owned and operated by the Port of San Diego). Parking rates are: $5.00 for one hour Midway vendor parking, $10.00 for up to twelve hour general parking, and $20.00 for special events such as America's Cup, Fourth of July, Comic Con and other special events not specific to the USS Midway. For directions via Google Maps to the USS Midway, click Here

Description of Tour of USS Midway: This is obviously a different type of write-up than a typical hiking trail write-up on our website and thus our review will be slightly modified. The USS Midway tour is well organized and you can spend an entire day exploring the USS Midway. The tours throughout the USS Midway are well mapped out and you can explore the flight deck, the hanger decks, as well as decks 2, 3, and 4 below the hanger deck (the sick bay is pretty neat as well as the galley). Exhibits range from the crew's sleeping quarters to a massive galley, engine room, the ship's jail, officer's country, post office, machine shops, and pilots' ready rooms, as well as primary flight control and the bridge high in the island over the flight deck. For a map of the entire ship with a detailed list of exhibits click Here.  The USS Midway Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Last admission is at 4 p.m. General Admission is $20 for Adults, $17 for Seniors (62+), $15 for Students (13-17 or w/ college ID), $10 for Retired Military (with valid ID), and $10 for Youth (ages 6-12). Admission is complementary for Active-Duty military with ID and children 5 years or younger. Please note that prices are cheaper if you purchase them online by clicking Here. Occasionally, Groupon or Costco also sell cheaper group tickets as well.

Further Thoughts: Ashley and I really enjoyed our visit to the USS Midway in San Diego. We made a day trip out of our visit to the USS Midway and took the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner from the Irvine Train Station to the Downtown San Diego Train Station. We would highly recommend taking the train down to visit the USS Midway. It is a nice relaxing trip that allows you to avoid beach traffic as well as save on the cost of parking at the USS Midway. The Train Station in Downtown San Diego is only a short walk from the USS Midway and you will likely find other USS Midway visitors taking the train as well.

The USS Midway is an amazing experience and Ashley and I would highly recommend talking with the docent volunteers on the ship. Many of the volunteers are veterans and some of them even served on the USS Midway. Ashley and I got to talk with one of the docents who was the head cook on the USS Midway from 1970 to 1971. We got a behind the scenes tour of the area and truly got to experience what it was like feeding the sailors on the USS Midway. The galley on the ship for the enlisted men was open for 23 hours a day and was closed one hour for cleaning. The USS Midway even had its own bakery for fresh bread and we got an in-depth crash course on the logistics of feeding thousands of people on a daily basis.

One of the docents we talked with was a veteran who served on one of the United States nuclear ballistic missile submarines. He provided Ashley and I with a wealth of knowledge of what life was like on the USS Midway and gave a tour of lower decks of the ship. One of the neat things that we would highly recommend is a tour of the flight deck. The flight deck has a number of aircraft for exploration as well as a separate tour of the bridge. The tour of the bridge is a separate behind the scenes excursion that you need to get in line for while on the flight deck. The tour is limited because of the tight quarters climbing the stairwells between decks on the bridge.

The USS Midway also has the fantail cafe located at the stern of the ship with several nice eating options and a nice little seating area at the end of the ship. Ashley and I ate lunch while visiting the USS Midway and because it was a weekend got to enjoy the music from the street musicians that play on the boardwalk by the end of the street. When visiting the USS Midway it is important to keep in mind that the ship was made for war, not comfort. You will have to climb stairways and travel through tight quarters in locations.

Ashley and I love these type of historical adventures and would highly recommend it to others! Another fun historical adventure in Southern California is the USS Iowa in Los Angeles.  

Rating: When visiting the USS Midway it is important to keep in mind that the ship was made for war, not comfort. You will have to climb stairways and travel through tight quarters in locations. Anticipate walking a lot while on the ship. 

Time to Explore USS Midway: To fully explore all the USS Midway has to offer it will take you at least half a day, if not a full day.


View USS Midway in a larger map
 

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