I’m reviewing this one, even though we didn’t do it, as I’ve toured others of the large military ship museums - including the Yorktown in Charleston - and can promise you that it’ll be worth every penny of the rather expensive ticket: highly recommended!
At 1001 feet she was the largest ship in the world when commissioned in 1945, was the longest-serving carrier in naval history, and accommodated a crew of 4,500 - the average age of which was only 19. This self-contained city provided everything needed to live and work for months at sea: medical and dental offices, surgical suite, post office, laundry, galleys (six of them) that served mess halls 24 hours a day, laundry, commissaries, lounges… even its own TV and radio station. A self-guided audio tour takes you to some of these as well as flight and hanger decks, brig, engine rooms and officers/enlisted sailors quarters: 60 locations in all. The flight deck also has a collection of vintage aircraft - including an F-14 Tomcat - which can be explored as well.
But what visitors almost unanimously agree is the best part of the tour are stories from the many volunteers who’ve served on the Midway and who generously give of their time to answer questions and provide first-hand accounts of life aboard ship. I chatted with one of them on the dock one morning and what he was able to tell me in just a few minutes was fascinating.
The website has all the information you need to know but a couple of key bits:
• Do not do this one if you’re on a tight schedule! You need 3-4 hours or more to do the tour justice: it’s a huge ship.
• While they’ve done their best to accommodate all ages and abilities, parts of the ship are not accessible to wheelchairs, walkers or strollers, and others involve climbing steep stairways and stepping over high doorways. Ladies, leave the heels and short/tight skirts at the hotel. :O)
• This is not a great activity for very small children who will become tired or bored quickly. They will also have to be carried though the exhibits which are not stroller accessible: about 40% of the tour. It’s also not a good choice for persons with claustrophobia.
• Beneath-deck spaces can be very tight so please avoid bringing large backpacks and very bulky camera equipment
• No smoking anywhere on the ship
• Simulators involve an extra fee
• Two reasonably priced cafes (one open only during summer), restrooms and gift shop round out visitor services. Oh, and both beer and wine are available at the Fantail!
My husband being a pilot, a visit to USS Midway had to be on our list of things to do in San Diego. We got there just a few minutes before opening time (10:00 am) and already there was a bit of a lineup so obviously, we weren't the only ones interested in visiting this huge ship. USS Midway was commissioned at the end of World War II and was in service from 1945 to 1992. It saw plenty of action during the war in Vietnam and it was also involved in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Of course, I'm old enough to remember the images I saw on TV of the Persian Gulf War, so to visit a ship that took an active part in it was a bit of a surreal experience - it made me realize that I wasn't merely walking around a Top Gun movie set (although it was impossible not to think about that movie as well!). Visitors can tour around the gigantic ship without getting lost by listening to the self-guided audio tour that is included in the price of admission. Plenty of museum docents are around to answer your questions as well, and some of them also offer special talks on the flight deck. It's also possible to climb aboard several of the aircrafts. It took us over 3h to complete our visit and we enjoyed every minute of it!
I didn't have to twist my wife's arm to get her to the Midway. She comes from a Military Family chocked full of Navy, Army, Marines and Air Force so she loves Military history. Many of her family served in WWII in the Pacific in the Navy so she has a fondness for anything Naval. Being a former Navy Man, I always like to check out naval vessels to compare them with my own experience.
The Midway was once a active service Air Craft Carrier but is now a floating Museum with many exhibits, aircrafts and some flight simulators open to the public. The Midway was commisioned after WWII ended and was the largest ship until 1955. In 1992 she was decomissioned and became a public museum in 2004.
My wife and I enjoyed our exploration of the ship as well as the many veterans on board telling their tales of service. We sat in on many lectures through the ship and in particular on the flight deck. I was able to participate in many of the discussions with the lecturers due to my service on a Carrier. Of course my carrier was different as it was Nuclear; and built much later than the Midway. It was fun pointing out different aircraft they had on display that I actually flew in.
This was a great time and we both enjoyed exploring the Midway. I think it is a must see when in San Diego whther you are military or not. So many people forget the sacrifices people make in the military that it is important to support those who serve and have served.
Ticket PricesGeneral Admission
$16 Seniors (62+)
$15 Students (13-17 or w/ college ID)
$10 Retired Military (with valid ID)
$10 Youth (ages 6-12)
$14 Seniors (62+)
$13 Students (13-17 or w/ college ID)
$8 Retired Military (with valid ID)
$8 Youth (ages 6-12)
Every Sunday the US Navy offered a tour of one of it's ships. It was awesome and interesting to board one of these huge vessels and look around. It was one of the few ways to see a military ship in San Diego, if you didn't have personal connections. (Since 11 September 2001 these tours have been suspended.)
However, there is another option still on offer. The restored, historical and "retired" aircraft carrier, the USS Midway of World War II fame is open for tours and is quite an experience. This aircraft carrier was not deployed during WWII, but named after a decisive battle of that war.
It has been commissioned to stand as witness to the U.S. Navy and to the importance of the Navy to San Diego's history.
Surviving the controversial opposition of placing a huge Military vessel on this section of the Harbor, the Midway, is now berthed at the Harbor, downtown San Diego. It is a multi-dimensional, interactive, educational and entertainment complex. The projected grand opening was for early June 2004. It did open in the summer of 2004 and was a great success!
In real life the Midway was a floating city, population about 5,000 and it will be interesting to see if visitors still get lost on this huge vessel. I've been on a couple of aircraft carriers and can speak to the awesome size of these ships.
Beware: The ladders are steep, wear good walking shoes and bring a jacket, the breeze on the flight decks can be pretty cold. If walking is difficult for you, consider touring the Midway in a wheelchair. There is a map of the ship on their web site that points out the areas that are and are not wheelchair accessible.
There are exhibits, self-guided tours, restored air craft and even flight simulators for a visitor to enjoy. It would be a good idea to check their website before a visit for any events planned while you're here. Some events are open to the public and some are not.
The price of a ticket is $18.00 Adult (17 and up and $10.00 Children (6 - 17 years). Small children (5 years and under) and active-duty military personnel in uniform are free.
The Jet shop offers souviners and for a drink, snacks or a great view, try the Fantail Café.
The USS Midway is a out of commission aircraft carrier and when in commissioned was the largest ship in the world.
We got there at 9:30am and were about 20 yards from the ticket booth. By 10:AM the last person in line was about 100 yards from the ticket booth, so arrive early to avoid the long line.
Your ticket will include a audio device and headphones for your own self guided audio tour. You will be able to walk pretty much all over the ship.
They have 7 planes and a helicopter on display there that you can hear on your radio the descripitions ot that aircraft you are in front of or room you are in.
See there websites for more info.
A lot of military museums are pretty low budget affairs, with disappointing exhibits and run down facilities. Not so the USS Midway. I was absolutely amazed by how well done it is. To begin with, visitors have access to a lot of the ship, and each visitor is given a hand-held Walkman-like device with earphones that has in-depth recorded information about practically everything you can think of. You can basically give yourself a guided tour of the ship with it. Up on the flight deck, there is an impressive array of aircraft spanning decades of service. There are volunteers all over the place to answer questions, share personal stories, and tell you where to find things. You can even visit the island on a guided tour to learn even more about the operation of the ship. It's an all-around fantastic museum. If you have any interest at all in this sort of thing, definitely do not miss it.
Decommissioned aricraft carrier. This is a must see for everyone. The entire tour will take about 3-4 hours, so plan ahead. There are aircraft simulators; as well as historical artifacts on board. Audio tours are available, which I highly recommend.
On the flight deck, there is a T2 with an open cockpit that both adults and children can sit in. In addition, you can tour the bridge as well as the air operations area.
*Free to all active duty military (present military ID at the booth)*
The USS Midway is an amazing place to visit. The ship offers a great way to discover how our military men lived and worked on this floating city and how they protected our freedoms and ensured our way of life. You are given an mp3 player and you can follow a set path throughout the ship so that you get a comprehensive knowledge of the ship. Of course it's all voluntary and whether you choose to follow the recommended pathway or listen to the audio guide is up to you. I found that as someone who really loves photography and exploring through every single room available and seeing all the exhibits it took me about four hours... of course I take a lot of photographs!
There are some parts of the ship that can be cramped and there are a lot of really steep and tight stairs to navigate. There are also a some parts of the ship that aren't wheelchair accessible.
There's a cafe and lots of seating with great views if you want to take a break... and trust me, you'll definitely want to take a break. It's a big ship!
For 15$ you can see the secrets of the USS Midway, Midway class (968 feet long, draft 35 feet, crew: 4500, displacement 45 000 tons, decommissioned in 1992, opens as the USS Midway Museum in 2004) . Veterans having served on this aircraft carrier volontarily tell you their stories and adventures and you can see the sparkles in their eyes when these old heroes talk about their duty.
Lots of planes on the flight , magnificent view on downtown San Diego and the harbour. The best place I've visited in San Diego!
For 15$ you can see the secrets of the USS Midway. Veterans having served on this aircraft carrier volontarily tell you their stories and adventures and you can see the sparkles in their eyes when these old heroes talk about their duty.
Lots of planes on the flight , magnificent view on downtown San Diego and the harbour. The best place I've visited in San Diego!
One of the most interesting things we did was take a tour of USS Midway. The is, or at least was, a floating city with an airport on top. It was absolutely amazing to tour this gigantic ship from top to bottom, and see how thousands of people could live, work, and even wage war aboard the vessel for months at a time. Give yourself a couple of hours, or more, to explore the ship thoroughly
The Midway went into service near the end of World War II, in 1945, and was a flagship during Desert Storm in 1991, spanning an active life of 47 years. It was de-commissioned in 1991 and now houses the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum.
In addition to being open daily for tours, special events are held on the Midway throughout the year.
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticket booth closes at 4 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
$10 Seniors (62+), Students (with valid ID), and Military (with valid ID)
$8 children (ages 6-17)
Children 5 and under and active-duty military in uniform are free
The USS Midway is a now retired aircraft carrier that served our US Navy starting in 1945 during WWII all the way through 1992 during the war in Kuwait. If you've never been on a naval vessel, it's pretty cool to be able to walk through the maze of cabins, engine rooms and shower stalls and to get a feel for how the sailors live on board. On the top deck, there are a number of cool planes and helicopters some of which you can enter.
This is an astonishing visit I wanted to experience, because of my love for flight and the airplanes! It's a piece of american history, but I liked above all to see how people working on this air carrier were arranged and how they were used to live during a long navigation.
Of course I saw a lot of aircraft! (and took a lot of pics!)
Launched just after the end of World War II, this aircraft carrier saw action in the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf Wars. She served a total of 47 years--longer than any other ship in the US Navy. The ship has been lovingly restored, and has an impressive display of US carrier-launched aircraft.
If you haven't been on an aircraft carrier, visit the USS Midway. This great ship, which has served the country for more than 40 years, is now a floating museum. Adult admission is $15. This includes an audio tour which takes you to many of the ship's interesting areas, like the sleeping quarters of enlisted men and junior officers, and the forecastle with its huge anchor chains.
Although the ship is huge and impressive, it won't be complete without the many aircrafts on display there. You get to see an F-4 Phantom, an F-14 Tomcat (used in "Topgun"), and an F-18 Hornet. There are a couple of helicopters that you can board. Most of these aircrafts are described in the audio tour.
There are flight simulators for those who want to experience dogfighting in a safe setting. They also have a nice souvenir shop. Their Fantail Cafe is definitely worth checking out.
Make sure to go see the island superstructure where the bridge and the primary flight control are. This will probably be your only chance to see the command and control center of an aircraft carrier. The line can get very long so try to get there early.