By Kevin Lankes


Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is most well known for being the former location of the TOPGUN training program. It’s located in sunny San Diego, which makes for an easy time finding outdoor entertainment year-round. And because the major metro area is packed with top attractions and restaurants, it’s going to be very difficult to succumb to boredom. Below is a list of all of the best things to do in MCAS Miramar in 2021. Know what you are looking for? Click the number(s) to go right to what you go: (1-4) Gyms (5-9) Nearby Attractions (10-12) Museums (13) Golfing (14-15) Beaches (16) Movie Theater (17) Bowling (18) Paintball

Suggested Read:

MCAS Miramar: In-Depth Welcome Center

COVID-19 Notice

Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, many businesses, venues, and parks may be temporarily closed or operating under restricted hours. Many, if not all, of the ones listed here, are likely subject to such restrictions for the time being though new re-openings and closings occur all the time. Therefore, a place we mention here may not currently be open or available for the time being. Check individual websites provided in each section or call to find out each place’s current hours and situation.

18 Of the Best Things to Do in MCAS Miramar

MCAS Miramar Gym

1. MCAS Miramar Gym

5702 Bauer Rd San Diego, CA 92145


1 (858) 307-4128 The Miramar Base Gym is the main gym on base. This facility is huge, and it offers just about everything you could need for a serious workout program. There are tons of cardio machines, strength machines, free weights, along with functional training equipment in a specially designed area called the Big House. There are indoor courts for basketball, racquetball, cycling, and volleyball (which fans of the 1986 TOPGUN film may elect to play shirtless).

2. Semper Fit Center

Miramar Rd #2002 San Diego, CA 92126


1 (858) 307-4654 The Semper Fit Center is the most recently built gym on base. It houses cardio and strength machines, along with free weights. There’s a physical therapy room on the premises, as well as lockers and showers. You can call to make an appointment with a certified trainer to level up your results. At the moment, Semper Fit is currently closed due to Covid restrictions.

3. The Barn

Building 7115 San Diego, California


1 (858) 307-6042 The Barn is centrally located and near the barracks. This Miramar base gym is another great option with access to all you could ask for. There are free weights, cardio machines, flex machines, and much more. Here too, you can make an appointment with a certified trainer. Lockers are available.

4. The HITT Center

2525 Bauer Rd San Diego, CA 92126


1 (858) 307-4129 The MCAS Miramar fitness center also includes access to High Intensity Tactical Training, or HITT. The HITT Center leads courses that are available to all base residents, but active-duty service members get first priority. The course is designed to provide military personnel with a truly combat-ready musculature, and one that’s adaptable to a variety of circumstances that may arise in the line of duty. To attend the course, first, you must register by filling out the form on their website. San Diego Attractions

San Diego Attractions

5. SeaWorld, San Diego

500 SeaWorld Dr San Diego, CA 92109


1 (619) 222-4732 SeaWorld, San Diego is a premier aquatic park and zoo. It’s committed to education and conservation and can teach you and your family about the wonderful assortment of animals they keep. Aside from the self-guided walk through the park, you can also get in on special animal encounters and spend some quality time with dolphins, sloths, sea otters, and more. SeaWorld San Diego offers active military and veteran discounts, but make sure to check the site for the latest details. And make sure to double check the park’s status before you visit, as some features may be unavailable due to Covid.

6. San Diego Zoo

2920 Zoo Dr San Diego, CA 92101


1 (619) 231-1515 The San Diego Zoo offers guided tours by bus, multiple shows, tons of events for kids, play areas, animal encounters, and more. They have a huge selection of animals from fossas to geladas, and plenty of educational content on all of them. The zoo offers live streams of the animals on their website. There are multiple membership levels and gift cards available. Currently, the San Diego Zoo is closed due to Covid. Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave, San Diego, CA

7. Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave

RPXH+MW La Jolla, San Diego, CA


1 (858) 459-0746 Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave is a tourist attraction now, but it’s possible that it once served as a smuggler’s shortcut during Prohibition. It was carved out in 1902 and leads from the residence of Gustav Schultz through the cliffs of La Jolla Cove. Reserve your spot on a 20-minute self-guided tour for your group, or show up on one of their walk-in days. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for kids.

El Cajon

8. Sky Combat Ace
2015 N Marshall Ave El Cajon, CA 92020


1 (888) 494-5850 Sky Combat Ace is a place to find the fighter pilot within. You’ll be taken up in an acrobatic airplane while the pilot puts it through its paces and demonstrates just how intense military style flying can be. There are a series of packages available, some less intense than others, with an option to watch the stunts from an aircraft that isn’t pulling Gs or doing barrel rolls.


9. LEGOLAND California
1 Legoland Dr Carlsbad, CA 92008


1 (888) 690-5346 LEGOLAND California is a LEGO theme park in Carlsbad, California. The park contains over 60 rides and other shows and events, including slides, rock climbing, and video games. There’s something here for kids of all ages. LEGOLAND California also offers military discounts. MCAS Miramar Museum

MCAS Miramar Museum

San Diego

10. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
4002 Wallace St San Diego, CA 92110


1 (619) 220-5422 Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is an open-air museum that interprets life in the area during the period between 1821 and 1872. Discover more about the first Spanish settlement in California — San Diego — as you and your family walk the streets of a town filled with reconstructed buildings and original adobe structures.
11. Maritime Museum of San Diego
1492 N Harbor Dr San Diego, CA 92101


1 (619) 234-9153 The Maritime Museum of San Diego offers a fascinating look at sea-faring vessels across the ages. They currently maintain a fine fleet of restored historic ships that are available for public access, and they continue to renew more vessels through donations. They also have indoor exhibits on ocean-related topics like sea monsters, exploration, commercial fishing, and navies throughout the world.
12. Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
4203 Anderson Ave San Diego, CA 92145


1 (858) 693-1723 This MCAS Miramar Aviation Museum showcases the aerial history of the USMC. They offer multiple exhibits and encourage community engagement with art and other outreach. The museum is a veteran-run organization with a genuine interest in preserving a record of the past. MCAS Miramar Golf Course

MCAS Miramar Golf Course

13. Miramar Memorial Golf Course

3750 Anderson Ave San Diego, CA 92145


1 (858) 307-4155 Miramar Memorial Golf Course offers 18 holes of golf, together with a driving range, and a pro shop. This is a great place to refine your swing close to the base. Local Beaches Near MCAS Miramar

Local Beaches Near MCAS Miramar

San Diego

14. Mission Bay Park
2688 E Mission Bay Dr San Diego, CA 92109


1 (619) 525-8213 Mission Bay Park consists of 4,235 acres with 27 miles of shoreline. There are 19 beaches and 8 swimming areas. This is the perfect place for all sorts of aquatic sports, like surfing, swimming, boating, and more. On land, expect to find gorgeous trail hikes and spots for volleyball and other rec options.

15. Torrey Pines State Beach

12600 North Torrey Pines Rd


1 (858) 755-2063 Torrey Pines State Beach is extremely well regarded and sometimes called the best beach around San Diego. It’s located north of the city between La Jolla and Del Mar. There are plenty of gorgeous sites here, including 4.5 miles of sandy white beaches, a lagoon, striking cliff faces, and much more.

MCAS Miramar Movie Theater

16. Bob Hope Theater

2242 Moore Ave. Building 2242


1 (858) 307-4143/4142 Active-duty, Reserve and retired military personnel; their authorized dependents; and DOD employees can enjoy Hollywood’s finest on the big screen at deeply discounted rates within the gate. Visit the theater’s official web page for current films, showtimes, movie synopses, ticket prices and more information. MCAS Miramar Bowling Alley

MCAS Miramar Bowling Alley

17. Mira Mesa Lanes

8210 Mira Mesa Blvd.


1 (858) 578-0500 While there isn’t a bowling alley on the installation, you can throw down some sweet strikes in the community of Mira Mesa just outside the MCAS Miramar gates. Mira Mesa Lanes offers bowling, billiards, a sports bar, a pro shop and league tournaments. Visit the alley’s website for details on hours, prices, services, theme nights and more. MCAS Paintball

MCAS Paintball

18. The Paintball Park at Miramar

2522T Maxam Ave.


1 (866) 985-4932 SPLAT, SPLAT, SPLAT! For some fun — STAT — get to The Paintball Park, a massive outdoor complex with structures, vehicles and other features. The park is open weekends; reservations can be made for private groups on weekdays. Rental gear includes Tippmann 98 paintball markers, Extreme Range XRay paintball goggles and ammo pouches. Check out the park’s official web page for additional info about hours, pricing and group games.


We hope this gave you a good starting point when figuring out what to do in Miramar San Diego and the surrounding areas. The incredible weather will keep you outdoors longer, walking the endless miles of coastline or swimming beneath the waves. Take advantage of nearby San Diego and the wealth of attractions and theme parks it has to offer. Enjoy yourself while you’re stationed on base. You and your family just might have the experience of a lifetime.  

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




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