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USS Midway Museum

Updated on April 13, 2012

USS Midway Museum in San Diego, CA

The USS Midway Museum is a floating aircraft carrier providing guests with the opportunity to learn and gain hands-on experience about life on board a real ship. You can learn an enormous amount of info from the museum's website at midway.org, but nothing compares to a live visit to this amazing downtown San Diego attraction, which is on pace to serve more than one million annual visitors in 2012. The museum is constantly adding exhibits, making each visit a new experience. Located just minutes from the airport and walking distance from many downtown hotels, the Midway museum may be the best attraction San Diego has to offer (TripAdvisor ranks it #1). Only the San Diego Zoo and Sea World attract more visitors, but because San Diego is the birthplace of naval aviation, no attraction is more meaningful to the city.

The ship has a gift shop (the jet shop), a cafe (the fantail cafe), flight simulators, guided tours, group tours and (included with admission) a great interactive audio tour that you control at your pace. The docents are extremely knowledgeable and love to share their knowledge and experience (many are veterans) and are happy to talk with guests in groups and one on one. The audio tour and map allows you to see the brig, engine room, post office, mess decks, berthing areas, Admiral's and Captain's quarters, flight ready rooms, the control tower and too many areas to list here. Allow at least 3 hours to see much of the ship, as many people stay from the ship's 10am opening till closing at 5pm. If you arrive late, the museum generously will validate your ticket for return the next day.

Parking does cost if you want to park on the dock right next to the ship, but if you are already parked for your visit to downtown attractions, the Midway is walking distance from the downtown shopping mall and next to the cruise ship terminals and harbor cruises that run up and down the waterfront. The Midway Museum is a must see for the entire family as young and old will find something to love.

Panorama on the flight deck of USS Midway

A panorama taken on the flight deck of the Midway, where many planes and helicopters are on display and where guests can walk inside.
A panorama taken on the flight deck of the Midway, where many planes and helicopters are on display and where guests can walk inside.

Flight Simulators on the Midway Museum

Guest operate their own flight simulator ride on board the USS Midway Museum
Guest operate their own flight simulator ride on board the USS Midway Museum

Operations Control Room

Sit in the chairs from which operations were controlled during Desert Storm
Sit in the chairs from which operations were controlled during Desert Storm

Mail on the Midway

Large numbers tell guests what to enter into their audio sets as they visit areas like the Post Office
Large numbers tell guests what to enter into their audio sets as they visit areas like the Post Office

Incredible views from Midway's "island"

A guided tour takes you into the "control tower" called the island, from where the ship is controlled and aircraft are launched and landed.
A guided tour takes you into the "control tower" called the island, from where the ship is controlled and aircraft are launched and landed.

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