Happy to have this guest post by Heather on being stationed in San Diego, one of my favorite places too. Please visit my Duty station guest post page for posts on other locations or more information about how you can write a guest post about where you have been stationed.
Best Duty Station In The Military: 5 Features That Make San Diego #1
Yep, I said it: San Diego is THE best duty station in the Military. You may not agree, but I’m going to give you a ton of reasons why it’s true, all wrapped up in 5 important features.
Ok, I’ll admit that I’m slightly biased… Hubby’s San Diego tour was during our long distance relationship and engagement, so I spent a lot of time flying in for a weekends of fun and sight-seeing, eating out and holding hands during walks by the water.
We also got married in San Diego, all in all making it an incredibly sentimental town. (ok I was ooey-gooey in love and twitterpated about life. But hear me out and you may find it’s not just Cupid talking!)
San Diego is accessible to so many exciting activities and destinations, and it’s easy to get around within the city and beyond.
- It has it’s own major airport that’s right in the heart of the area– within 15-20 minutes of most bases.
- It also has a train station in the heart of downtown that services Amtrak on a regular basis.
- San Diego also has many beautiful walkways and running trails, and parks along the water.
- It’s very biker friendly and if you’d rather ride, you can catch a cab, a pedicab, a transit train or and even a ferry.
- Though it does have some traffic clogs during rush hour, it’s generally easy to get around. And if you time it right, it’s an easy 1 & 1/2 – 2 hour drive to LA and the many attractions there: Disneyland & California Adventure, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knotts Berry Farm, Concerts, Malls, Restaurants etc.
2- Big City Amenities In A Compact Area
Another reason San Diego is the best duty station in the military is the amazing attractions within a small geographical area.
- You can visit the San Diego Zoo, Sea world, go on a Segway tour, hit the Gaslamp District, and go to a Padres game all in the same day if you want.
- Amazing restaurants and new breweries constantly pop onto the scene, so you’ll never run out of new places to try.
- You can even walk or bike to major broadway shows from many places. We saw the Lion King downtown and then walked home to my place in Little Italy… and speaking of Little Italy, you don’t want to miss the farmer’s market every Saturday!
- In addition to all of that, you have the zoo safari park, Aquatica by SeaWorld (SeaWorld’s water park), and Legoland. They’re further out from the city, but not so far that you have to pack twice as much just for the drive.
3- “Small Town” Living On Coronado
Ok, if you’re stationed on NAS North Island (lucky if you are!) you definitely want to consider living on Coronado. Yes, it’s expensive and you may have to put up with a smaller house than you’re used to. But it’s worth it because:
- It has the best schools in the area
- You can avoid traffic coming over the bridge
- Your spouse can bike to work on base (my hubby, then fiancé, biked from his place on Coronado and it was much faster than driving)
- Experience a quaint, cute town where people drive golf carts around
- You don’t have any major box stores, yet can get most anything on the island if you need it on the island.
- You can even live on-island and have a reverse commute (much less traffic) to Naval Station San Diego.
4- Very Military Friendly With Many Resources
San Diego is a very military-friendly and patriotic place.
- You can access two large commissaries and NEX (Navy Exchange) locations.
- Getaway or have visiting family stay in the amazing Navy Lodge accommodations, especially the one on Coronado (right on the beach with a great pool area!).
- There are several bases all within a few miles of each other which makes commuting and accessing resources that much easier.
So maybe the best reason San Diego is the best duty station in the military is the weather.
- It’s pretty great all the time– only 10 inches of rain a year, it’s usually sunny and warm. We got married on the San Diego Bay in January, and it was 75.
- It doesn’t get humid like the east coast but it can still get into the upper 80s and 90s (esp further east in the more desert-like terrain) It doesn’t get brutally cold and snowy like the north either.
Ok so did I convince you that SD is truly the BEST duty station in the military? Well, even if not, I highly recommend it… and if you have orders there, I’m sure you’ll have an awesome tour!