San Diego’s Military Attractions Honoring the Past and Present

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San Diego has a proud military history and continues to have a strong military presence as the home of military installations including the MCAS Miramar and NAS North Island. For visitors staying at the Marina Inn in downtown who are interested in the history of San Diego, there are numerous nearby attractions that highlight the influence the military has had on the city.

The Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, located just north of downtown San Diego is largest Marine training facility on the west coast. Each year, hundreds of new Marines graduate from MCRD’s strenuous program. The Marina Inn San Diego is the preferred MCRD lodging option for proud families who come to celebrate their Marine’s achievement.

If you want to experience San Diego’s military past, a visit to the iconic USS Midway Museum is a must. This San Diego naval history museum is on the retired aircraft carrier, the USS Midway. Here, visitors can take a self-guided audio tour throughout 60 areas of the ship. The tour ends on the top of the carrier’s runway on which visitors can climb aboard renovated airplanes, jets and helicopters and view other great USS Midway exhibits.

Other locations along the Embarcadero and in Liberty Station are other great places to enjoy a bit of the city’s military history. What are your favorite military attractions? Share them with us!

Celebrate the Traditions of San Diego

A couple weeks ago, we celebrated the traditions of America with the Fourth of July. On Independence Day, we remembered our nation’s founding and the sacrifice paid for our freedoms. While the Fourth of July is a single day where we observe the nation’s past, the city of San Diego is also home to many traditions that can be celebrated any day of the year.

There is no greater place to observe San Diego’s Spanish and Old Western heritage than in Old Town. The area which was first discovered by Spanish explorers later become a home to settlers and now is a historic piece of San Diego. From museums chronicling San Diego’s early beginnings to Mexican restaurants offering the best tortillas, visitors can get a firsthand look into this city’s colorful past.

San Diego is also a military town and is proud to be home to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. The history of MCRD is a large part of what the military installation stands for today. Most families visit for Marine graduation as the MCRD is responsible for the recruitment and training of thousands of new Marines each year. In addition to the MCRD, other San Diego military sights to see include the USS Midway Museum, the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, and the Cabrillo National Monument.

Another great way to explore a bit of San Diego’s history is by staying at the Marina Inn hotel in downtown San Diego. Guests of the Marina Inn are in close proximity to the historic Gaslamp Quarter. While the Gaslamp has undergone revitalization efforts and is home to newly constructed high rises and condos, much of the downtown district has been preserved to pay tribute to its past. The streets are lined with buildings from the Victorian era and the infamous archway still marks the entrance of downtown, signifying the continued efforts toward redeveloping the area.

Do you know of any other historic sites in San Diego? Share them with us!

Experience San Diego’s Military Influence

The military is embedded into San Diego’s history. Old San Diego originally started as a Spanish military outpost. Since then, military presence around the hub has increased to include the Naval Base of San Diego, the largest west coast Navy base and Camp Pendleton, the largest west coast expeditionary training facility for Marines and one of the oldest recruiting centers. Visitors who are interested in experiencing the military influence of San Diego can do so by visiting the following destinations:

  • Marine Corps Recruit Depot – The MCRD has a Command Museum on base which is open to the public to visit and tour. Training about 17,000 recruits each year, the MCRD also brings hundreds of families to San Diego for the Graduation Ceremony. If you are planning a trip to see your Recruit graduate, stay at the affordable Marina Inn by the MCRD and enjoy our close proximity to the depot and prime downtown location.
  • Liberty Station – A formal Naval training center, the area has been preserved to maintain its appearance from when it was a Navy base. Liberty station consists of a retail and commercial district with a promenade, a few hotels and a park. Known as one of the largest historical preservation projects in San Diego, visitors can still view anti-aircraft guns and other memorabilia throughout the base.
  • USS Midway Museum – Situated on the San Diego Harbor, visitors enjoy a great view and are transported into the past with a visit to the famous USS Midway. Aboard the aircraft carrier, visitors can participate in a guided audio tour or explore the exhibits on their own. Located within blocks of the Midway Museum, the Marina Inn on the San Diego Harbor is ideally located for experiencing San Diego’s military influence.

The Marina Inn & Suites is a preferred hotel by many military families, within minutes of the above destinations, San Diego beaches and the lively downtown district. We are also located near many cultural attractions including Little Italy and Balboa Park. Enjoy the rich history of this one of a kind city and reserve a spacious room at the Marina Inn today.

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