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The USS Midway Museum is a real naval aircraft carrier that served in the United States Navy for 47 years. Large and very impressive, it has real jets and real airplanes up on the flight deck, that travelers can actually walk into and even sit in the cockpits of some planes.
They also offer an audio tour free with admission, that takes you through the kitchens and the laundry rooms and all around the ship. You hear from real people who worked on board, the stories are very heartwarming and very interesting. The Midway is so huge, but when you hear about living aboard for months at a time, you realize how small it must have been.
It does take at least 3 hours to get through seeing all the exhibits, so plan on at least half a day in order to see it all. Fabulous docents stop and visit and tell about stories about serving aboard.
Helpful tip: Visit the Captain’s bridge first, it can get very busy and the line can get very long, as they stop letting people up on the bridge at 4pm. Up on the flight deck offers a great picture spot with your choice of Downtown San Diego skyline or a F-14, in the background. At the end of the day you will be glad that you visited.
It is right in downtown San Diego, just a few blocks from the Trolley station, although there is also a parking lot right on the pier. Admission is pretty inexpensive.