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Vandenberg AFB: In-Depth Welcome Center (2021 Edition)
Vandenberg AFB: In-Depth Welcome CenterVandenberg AFB: In-Depth Welcome Center

Vandenberg AFB: In-Depth Welcome Center (2021 Edition)

Introduction

Welcome to Vandenberg AFB in the heart of sunny California. The one thing you will certainly not have to worry about here is the weather. It’s extremely comfortable on base all year round. The sun is out the majority of the time and the skies are blue. The base itself covers 22 square miles. Almost 4,000 people live on base and over 15,000 servicemen and civilians work here. And there’s plenty to do around Vandenberg, so don’t expect to get bored at all while you’re here. There are countless possibilities for entertainment or quiet contemplation just outside of the base. This is truly a place that has it all.

Find out all you need to know about what you’ll be in for by reading our Vandenberg AFB in-depth welcome center guide.

  1. Where Is Vandenberg AFB?
  2. Google Map View
  3. Getting There – Directions to the Base
  4. Entering Vandenberg AFB and Base Amenities
  5. Where Should I Live Near Vandenberg AFB?
  6. What Schools are Near Vandenberg AFB?
  7. What’s the Weather Like in Vandenberg AFB?
  8. Things to Do Around Vandenberg AFB

Where is Vandenberg AFB?

Vandenberg AFB
747 Nebraska Ave
Vandenberg AFB, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 606-1110

Vandenberg AFB Map

Vandenberg AFB Map

Vandenberg AFB Directions

Santa Maria Airport

The closest airport to Vandenberg is the Santa Maria Airport. From here, it’s under a 20-minute drive to post. So take a cab or pick up your rental and take an easy drive in. Santa Barbara Airport is a little over a half an hour away if you need to consider another option.

Lompoc-Surf Amtrak

The Lompoc-Surf Amtrak station is located on the grounds of Vandenberg AFB. It makes getting here by train an exceptionally convenient way to travel, if you’re coming from somewhere convenient to a railway.

Greyhound

Greyhound stops in Santa Maria, which again, is under 20 minutes away from the base. So if you aren’t far enough away to fly or you just don’t want to get on a plane, taking the bus in is pretty convenient, too.

Driving Directions

From the North

1. Take I-280 S
2. Take the ramp onto US 101 S
3. Take exit 166 for Union Valley Parkway
4. Turn left onto Orcutt Expressway
5. Turn left onto CA-1 S
6. Take the ramp on the right to Lompoc/Vandenberg AFB
7. Follow the signs to Vandenberg

From the South

1. Take US 101 N
2. Take the exit toward Ventura/Ventura Fairway
3. Take exit 132 for CA-1 toward Lompoc/Vandenberg AFB
4. Continue on CA-1 and follow signs to Vandenberg

Vandenberg Transportation Office

The very best way to make sure you’re planning correctly for your trip is to reach out to the transportation office on base. They’ll help you sort through your options and figure out the best way to get to Vandenberg and assist with a number of other details as well.

Vandenberg Transportation Office
1221 California Blvd
Building #11777
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 606-1848

Entering Vandenberg AFB and Base Amenities

Entering Vandenberg AFB and Base Amenities

Make sure to have your ID ready at the gate, and your vehicle registration. If you’re arriving in a rental, then the rental agreement will suffice. Your family members will need their IDs or military dependent ID cards if they have them. If not, they’ll need to get those as soon as possible.

Check-in Procedures for Incoming Personnel

Make sure to report to your unit and get familiar with the people you’ll be working for. Make appointments if necessary. There’s a 10-day program at Vandenberg for first-term airmen just out of basic or technical school that will cover everything you need to know to live and work successfully on base. You’ll go through physical fitness training, site tours, personal development, and more.

Vandenberg AFB Visitor Center

The visitor center at Vandenberg is where family and friends will check in to see you, or where civilians will come first before site-seeing on base.

Vandenberg Visitor Center
6 California Blvd.
Building #17595
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 606-7662

DEERS Office Vandenberg AFB

You’ll need to make sure your military ID is up to date. If you’ve never had a military ID, this is the place to get one or renew it. Family members will need to apply for their dependent ID cards here as well.

Vandenberg AFB DEERS
1031 California Blvd.
Building #11777
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 606-2276

Vandenberg AFB Gate Hours

Gate hours are subject to change at a moment’s notice, so make sure you’re planning your trip with the most up-to-date information possible.

  • Main Gate: 24/7
  • South Gate: 24/7
  • Solvang Gate: 24/7
  • Utah Gate: Monday to Friday 0600-2200
  • Lompoc Gate: Monday to Friday 0600-0700

Vandenberg Commissary

Vandenberg Commissary

The commissary at Vandenberg AFB is where you’re going to find the closest and most affordable groceries and goods to keep your pantries full. There’s a great selection to choose from, with knowledgeable workers who can help you find ingredients for holiday recipes or Tuesday dinner. And you can’t beat the convenience.

Vandenberg AFB Commissary
135 Wyoming Avenue
Building #14300
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 734-3354

Vandenberg AFB Commissary Hours

  • Monday to Friday: 0930 – 1900
  • Saturday and Sunday: 0930 – 1800

Vandenberg AFB Exchange

Stop by the exchange to get a number of your needs met. Come for the shopping and stay for the food court. Make sure your haircut is in regulation while you’re at it.

Vandenberg BX
10400 Community Loop
Vandenberg AFB, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 734-5521

Vandenberg BX Hours

  • Monday to Friday: 0900-1800
  • Saturday and Sunday: 1030-1800

Vandenberg AFB Barber Shops

Vandenberg AFB Barber Shops

Main Exchange
10400 Community Loop
Vandenberg AFB, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 734-0400
Hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 1000-1700
  • Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Village Barber Shop
3734 Constellation Rd #H
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: 1 (805) 733-2559
Hours:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 0800-1700
  • Wednesday to Friday: 0800-1730
  • Saturday: 0800-1300
  • Sunday: Closed

Oaks Barber and Beauty
3865 Constellation Rd #D
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: 1 (805) 733-2644
Hours:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday to Friday: 1000-1800
  • Saturday: 0800-1700
  • Sunday: Closed

King’s Barber Shop
115 E College Ave
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: 1 (805) 743-4392
Hours:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday to Friday: 1000-1800
  • Saturday: 0900-1600
  • Sunday: Closed

Vandenberg AFB Post Office

The post office at Vandenberg has everything you’ll need to send and receive mail. They also sell supplies and can help you with whatever will get your post speedily to its destination.

Vandenberg AFB Post Office
100 Community Loop #10373
Vandenberg AFB, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 734-2336
Hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 0900-1230, 1330-1600
  • Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Vandenberg AFB Finance

Vandenberg AFB Finance

The finance office at Vandenberg is a key resource for military personnel. Take advantage of the vast knowledge and resources at your disposal in order to successfully plan for your financial future. Get help on making a monthly budget, a long-term plan for retirement, and figuring out how to safely invest your money. Make sure that you and your dependents will be safe and secure for the long haul.

Vandenberg AFB Finance Office
1031 California Avenue
Building #11777
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 606-4606

Vandenberg AFB Finance Office Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 0830 to 1530
  • Wednesday: 1000 to 1530

There are a number of reasons the everyday airmen might need to secure legal services. And the staff here at Vandenberg’s legal office are here to help you navigate through the obstacles you have encountered. This is a safe place where there are people who advocate on your behalf. Make sure to schedule an appointment before stopping in.

Vandenberg AFB Legal Office
747 Nebraska Ave
Building #10577
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 605-6200

Vandenberg AFB Legal Office Walk in Hours

  • Monday and Wednesday: 0800 to 1600
  • Tuesday and Friday: 0900 to 1600
  • Thursday: 1200 to 1600

Vandenberg AFB Library

Vandenberg Library has a large collection of books, movies, and other resources to check out for 7-day periods, and 28 days total. They also offer resources for homework help and other school-related programs. Stop in for a read or a quiet place to think and study.

Vandenberg AFB Library
Bldg 10343 A
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA 93437
Phone: 1 (805) 606-6414
Hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 1000-1700
  • Saturday: 1000-1400

Vandenberg AFB Hotels

Vandenberg AFB Hotels

1. Hilton Garden Inn Lompoc
1201 N H St
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: 1 (805) 735-1880

2. Embassy Suites by Hilton Lompoc
1117 N H St
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: 1 (805) 735-8311

3. SureStay Plus by Best Western
1621 N H St
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: 1 (805) 735-8555

4. Holiday Inn Express Lompoc
1417 N H St
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: 1 (805) 736-2391

5. O’Cairns Inn and Suites
940 E Ocean Ave
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: 1 (805) 735-7731

Download Vandenberg AFB Military Relocation Guide for information about hotels nearby.

Hot Tip: Download MyBaseGuide’s Vandenberg AFB Military Relocation Guide for information about hotels nearby.

Where Should I Live Near Vandenberg AFB?

Where Should I Live Near Vandenberg AFB?

There are lots of smaller communities scattered around Vandenberg AFB, including towns and census-designated areas. If you like the small town feel, then any number of these places could be for you. There’s even a ghost town close to base, if you really want to live in isolation. If you’re more of a city dweller, then Lompoc might be more your speed, or even Santa Maria or Santa Barbara. Take some time and look into the best options for you and your family.

Cities Near Vandenberg AFB

The three biggest cities near Vandenberg are Lompoc, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara. Lompoc is a smaller city, but it’s closest to base. Santa Maria and Santa Barbara are farther away, though still within driving distance, and each have a population of around 100,000 people.

If you’re considering living on base, check out the available on-base housing options. Otherwise, read on to find out more about living off base.

Best Places to Live Near Vandenberg AFB

Lompoc

Probably your best overall option, Lompoc is a decent-size city that’s under a 15-minute drive to base. The population here is just over 40,000, and they all live in an 11-square mile area. It’s not too crowded, and not too sparsely populated. There’s a thriving community of Vandenberg employees living and commuting from here, so you’ll have a lot in common with your neighbors. There are numerous things to keep your attention and sense of adventure thriving here in Lompoc, including theater, an orchestra, an annual flower festival, tons of local artists, and more. Lompoc is also a center for local wineries.

Santa Maria

Santa Maria is a bigger city that’s about 20 minutes away from base by car. The population is around 100,000 fits into about 23 square miles of total land. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be happy to note that the city has been called the barbecue capital of California. The biggest employee here is also Vandenberg AFB. You’re going to find limitless things to do here, including theater and culture. It’s a city very centered on film and TV. Tons of movies and shows have been filmed here. The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts is located in Santa Monica, and alumni include Robin Williams and Zac Efron.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a bit smaller than Santa Monica, though more spread out, sitting on around 42 square miles of land. Because of this, there are many different neighborhoods to choose from, each with their own characteristics and geographical flair. There are tons of things to see and do in the city of Santa Barbara as well. From museums to music, one could spend forever wandering the streets and stumbling into new things and never see the end of them. The famous Santa Barbara Harbor, the Santa Barbara Zoo, Stearns Warf, De La Guerra Plaza, and Mission Historical Park are some of the many highlights.

Orcutt

This is a smaller, unincorporated community outside of Lompoc. It’s very close to base and has a population of around 35,000 people. Orcutt doesn’t have the bells and whistles that the nearby cities do, but it’s close enough to them that it doesn’t matter. It’s a great place to settle in with a family and take advantage of the lower property values while still having access to everything one could need.

Mission Hills

For those looking to stay in the quieter places outside of base, settling in at home to relax without the urge to flit here and there, always on the lookout for new experiences, Mission Hills might be the place for you. The population here is around 3,500 and lives on just over 1 square mile of land. Mission Hills is right outside of Vandenberg AFB but isolated from the more robust activity of any nearby population center. It’s a great place to be in order to get away from it all, yet still have every resource within reach.

Casmalia

If you never want anyone to find you, then Casmalia is the place to live. The 2010 census found a population of 138 people living here, in just 61 houses. Not to mention the fact that many visitors might stay away due to the hazardous waste site a mile north of the town. While the site is undergoing major remediation, living here may not be for anyone but the sturdiest misanthrope. enberg AFB

The three biggest cities near Vandenberg are Lompoc, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara. Lompoc is a smaller city, but it’s closest to base. Santa Maria and Santa Barbara are farther away, though still within driving distance, and each have a population of around 100,000 people.

Look for homes and apartments for rent or sale at AHRN.com.

Hot Tip: Look for Vandenberg AFB homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.

Vandenberg AFB Schools

Vandenberg AFB Schools

Lompoc Unified School District manages the vast majority of schools in the area. You’ll find everything from elementary to high school here. There are also private school and home school options to choose from. You can reach out to the Lompoc Unified School District for more information at 1 (805) 742-3300. Vandenberg offers childcare programs on base, like at the Childcare Development Center, offering supervisory and educational activities for younger children.

Vandenberg AFB Weather

Vandenberg AFB Weather

The weather is one way you’ve really lucked out by getting stationed at Vandenberg. It’s extraordinarily pleasant all year round. In the summer, it doesn’t ever get unbearably hot, and the humidity is at a reasonable low for most of the season. Winters are very mild, with some chilly mornings and rainy days, but mostly your time over the holiday season will be more than bearable. Spring and fall are very nice and never too uncomfortable.

For our detailed guide on what to expect from Vandenberg AFB weather, go here to read more.

 

Things to Do Around Vandenberg AFB

Things to Do Around Vandenberg AFB

With excellent weather and plenty of scenic vistas, you’ll want to get outdoors as much as possible. There are plenty of parks, wildlife areas, lakes and rivers, and more scattered about the land around Vandenberg. In the cities of Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, and Lompoc, you’re going to find all you need in terms of culture and entertainment. There are theaters, festivals, parades, museums, and plenty more, all within driving distance in an area that’s easily connected and accessed. Vandenberg AFB is a great place to live and work if you’re looking to avoid ever growing bored.

Military Trusted Business Vandenberg AFB

Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for Vandenberg AFB at MyBaseGuide.

Conclusion

If you’re on your way to Vandenberg AFB, you’ve really lucked out. This base is an adventure in the making. You’ll find countless things to do here, all wrapped up within a beautiful landscape marked by waves and sand, canyons and bluffs. It’s gorgeous weather here year round, so take advantage of your time by planning plenty of outings. With so many convenient places to live around base, there’s a community for everyone, whether it’s in the remote outskirts of a ghost town, or within one of the many neighborhoods in the nearby cities. Welcome to Vandenberg AFB, a place you’ll never want to leave.

 

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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