33 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO NEAR SAN DIEGO NAVAL BASE
By Chris Walker
IntroductionWelcome to Naval Base San Diego in beautiful San Diego Bay! The area surrounding base makes it one of the most beautiful postings in the US military. San Diego is a gem of year-round perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and laid back Southern California atmosphere. Here are just a few things that you can check out while stationed here. Know what you are looking for? Click the number(s) to go right to where you want to go: (1-2) Pools (3) Bowling (4-5) Golf Courses (6-12) Shopping (13-18) Museums (19-22) Attractions (23-26) Gyms (27-28) Outdoor Recreation (29-30) Sports and Special Events (31-33) Movie Theaters
Suggested Read:Naval Base San Diego: In-Depth Welcome Center
COVID-19 NoticeDue 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 health restrictions, though new re-openings and closings occur all the time. Check websites and call ahead to learn each listing’s current status.
33 Things to Do on Naval Base San DiegoWith the base just a short distance from downtown San Diego, there are tons of options for activities and experiences. Read on to get some ideas or if you already know what you want to do, click the numbers below to jump to specific activities:
Naval Base San Diego Swimming Pools
1. Admiral Baker Pool2400 Admiral Baker Rd, Bldg 17 Naval Base San Diego, CA 92124
Phone: 1 (619) 284-4054 The Admiral Baker Pool is open for recreational swimming and lessons in the summer and is also available for pool parties.
2. Admiral Prout PoolBldg 3279A Naval Base San Diego, CA 92136
Phone: 1 (619) 520-3048 The Admiral Prout Pool is a lap pool for conditioning. You can book an appointment to use the pool for exercise here.
Bowling Alley San Diego Naval Base
3. Admiral Robinson Recreation CenterBldg 3223 Naval Base San Diego, CA 92136
Phone: 1 (619) 556-7846 The Admiral Robinson Recreation Center has 40 bowling lanes, billiards and game rooms, an arcade, and bingo hall as well as a full pro-shop and meeting rooms for parties and events.
Naval Base San Diego Golf Course
4. Admiral Baker Golf Course2400 Admiral Baker Rd Naval Base San Diego, CA 92120
Phone: 1 (619) 487-0090 The Admiral Baker Golf course features two full 18-hole courses, short game practice area, and a full pro shop offering sales and lessons. You can also enjoy the River’s Edge Restaurant at the end of your game! Book your tee time here.
5. Golf Performance CenterBuilding 348 Naval Base San Diego, CA 92136
Phone: 1 (619) 556-7502 The Golf Performance Center has practice areas for chipping and short game, a full-swing enclosed range, and pro shop which offers sales, club fittings, and both private and group instruction.
San Diego ShoppingKnowing where to shop is vital when you’re moving to a new area. Here are a few options to get you started.
6. Fashion Valley Mall7007 Friars Rd San Diego, CA 92107
Phone: 1 (619) 688-9113 Located just North of downtown, this mall and the surrounding area are full of shops, restaurants, theaters, and things to do! This huge open air mall is fairly upscale and features 190 shops and places to eat!
7. Seaport Village849 W Harbor Dr San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 1 (619) 530-0704 These charming little shops are located right along the San Diego Bay waterfront and have a lovely view of the bay and the USS Midway. Smaller vendors and curio shops as well as ice cream and waterfront restaurants make this a nice afternoon spot to take a break from downtown.
8. Las Americas Premium Outlets4211 Camino de La Piz San Diego, CA 92173
Phone: 1 (619) 934-8400 This outlet mall features an impressive number of shops and restaurants and is, interestingly, located right on the US Mexico border near Tijuana, just 20 minutes away from base.
9. Gaslamp DistrictThe Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego is the main attraction for the city featuring outstanding and rowdy nightlife, bars, clubs, restaurants, and hotels as well as lots of shopping.
10. Old Town San DiegoOld Town San Diego just north of Downtown San Diego features old Spanish missions and classic Southwest architecture as well as local artists and some of the best Mexican food in Southern California.
11. Little ItalyThis downtown district near the Seaport district features lots of Italian and Mediterranean restaurants and beautiful views of the hills and harbor.
12. Coronado Ferry Landing Center1201 1st St Coronado, CA 92118
Phone: 1 (619) 435-8895 Featuring shops, art galleries, ice cream, restaurants and more along the waterfront of San Diego Bay just over the Coronado Bridge. This plaza is at the end of Orange Avenue, the main drag of Coronado, which also features great breweries, cafes, and more.
Naval Base Museum San Diego
13. USS Midway910 N Harbor Dr San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 1 (619) 544-9188 This beautifully kept WWII aircraft carrier is a symbol of San Diego, located right along the downtown waterfront. Commissioned one week after the end of WWII, she was the largest aircraft carrier in the world until 1955. She served on active duty for 47 years and was finally decommissioned after 1992. This ship has a fascinating history and features museum exhibits, special events, and more!
14. Balboa Park1450 El Prado San Diego, CA 92102
Phone: 1 (619) 239-0512 This gorgeous park features an art museum with a wonderful collection of art, views of the sculpture garden, a walk over of the Cabrillo Bridge high above the valley, the old Globe Theater, the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Fleet Science Center, San Diego History Center, and more! Museums in the park include:
15. The San Diego Air and Space Museum2001 Pan American Plaza San Diego, CA 32101
Phone: 1 (619) 234-8291
16. The San Diego Automotive Museum2080 Pan American Plaza San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 1 (619) 231-2886
17. San Diego Museum of Art1450 El Prado San Diego, CA 92102
Phone: 1 (619) 232-7931
18. The San Diego History Museum1788 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 1 (619) 232-3821
San Diego Attractions
19. San Diego Zoo2920 Zoo Dr San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 1 (619) 231-1515 The world-famous San Diego Zoo is located in the gorgeous Balboa Park area overlooking downtown and the base. Featuring more than 3,700 animals of 650+ species, this zoo is one of the most modern and well kept zoos in the world and a must see in San Diego.
20. SeaWorld San Diego500 SeaWorld Dr San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: 1 (619) 222-4732 Located in Mission Park, SeaWorld San Diego features attractions including large marine mammals like orcas, dolphins, and sea lions, fish, otters, and even a full waterpark and rollercoasters!
21. Hornblower Harbor Cruises1800 Harbor Dr San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 1 (619) 686-8715 Hornblower Cruises offer a variety of tours and events including whale watching off the coast, dinner cruises, harbor tours, and special events.
22. Hotel Del Coronado1500 Orange Ave Coronado, CA 9218 1 (619) 435-6611 This beautiful old hotel was featured in the Marilyn Monroe classic, “Some Like It Hot” and is the iconic attraction of the island of Coronado. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, restaurants, and walking paths, this is one of the most beautiful date spots in San Diego.
Naval Base San Diego GymsDuring this time of COVID restrictions, the various gyms on Naval Base San Diego are offering outdoor group exercise events at or near their primary locations. Check the website of each below for COVID updates.
23. Admiral Prout Field HouseBldg 3279 Naval Base San Diego, CA 92136
Phone: 1 (619) 556-7443
24. Fitness Station NBSDBldg 3417 Naval Base San Diego, CA 92136
Phone: 1 (619) 556-7444
25. The Olde Gym Fitness ComplexBldg 223 Naval Base San Diego, CA 92136
Phone: 1 (619) 556-7450
26. Harborside Sports & Fitness ComplexBldg 3477 Naval Base San Diego, CA 92136
Phone: 1 (619) 767-6717
27. Naval Base San Diego Outdoor Adventure CenterBldg 3223 Naval Base San Diego, CA 92136
Phone: 1 (619) 556-7493 Everything you need for your next outdoor activity can be found here. Rent anything from coolers and picnic essentials, to mountain bikes, rock climbing and hiking equipment, surf and paddle boards, kayaks, wetsuits, and more. The center also offers information on the best spots to go to use their adventure gear.
28. The Cliffs at La Jolla Cove1100 Coast Blvd La Jolla, CA 92037 This cove in the beautiful coastal town of La Jolla is famous for the many activities including kayaking, scuba diving among the kelp forests, and the hundreds of sea lions which sun themselves along the cliffs daily.
San Diego Sports and Special Events
29. San Diego Padres100 Park Blvd San Diego, CA 82101
Phone: 1 (619) 795-5025 PetCo Park is a beautiful MLB park right in the heart of downtown San Diego which offers steeply discounted military tickets.
30. San Diego ComicConSan Diego Convention Center 111 W Harbor Dr San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 1 (619) 525-5000 This annual and world famous event sells out in a flash but if you’re able to snag passes, enjoy a full week of panels, movies, comic books, video games, cosplay, and all things comic-related in a wonderful, weird celebration of nerdiness!
Naval Base San Diego Movie Theater
31. Naval Base San Diego Theater3465 Senn St San Diego, CA 92136
Phone:1 (619) 556-1885 NB San Diego has their own movie theater right on base and they have landed themselves on the #1 spot on Yelp's top 10 list for best movie theaters in the San Diego area! The best part is that tickets are free. So make sure to grab your friends and family and catch a flick Tuesday through Sunday.
32. Theatre Box, San Diego701 Fifth Ave San Diego, CA 92101
Phone:1 (619) 814-2225 Theatre Box is also on Yelp’s top 10 list and for a pretty sweet reason. Four words - movies plus tasty treats. They don’t offer just your boring stale, over-buttery popcorn, they have a chocolate lounge and the famous Sugar Factory American Brasserie in house. So grab your friends and family and chow down on some sugar-craving snacks while catching the newest flick.
Naval Amphibious Base
33. Q-Zone TheaterBuilding 337 Naval Amphibious Base Coronado Coronado, CA 92136
Phone:1 (619) 545-8479 Right next door to NB San Diego, this movie theater has free showings Wednesday - Saturday, and special “sneak peak” showings on Tuesdays. These sneak peaks are a must for the movie offenadio who wants to be the first to post spoiler alerts on social. To be in the know and watch movies before your friends visit their website to get tickets and showtime information.
ConclusionSan Diego is an incredibly beautiful place to live year-round and offers a multitude of things to do within easy driving distance. Whether you like hiking in the hills or surfing, there are outdoor activities of every type and no shortage of shopping, restaurants, and special events. Get out there and enjoy this beautiful town!
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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