Climb aboard the USS Midwayand stand on a colossus of U.S. military history. Before its reincarnation as amuseum in 2004, this was the longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20thcentury, in operation from September 1945 right up until Desert Storm in 1991.Today, the 972-foot (296-meter) craft is home to over 60 exhibits and welcomesmore than 800,000 visitors each year.More than 20 restoredaircraft showcase the changing face of warfare via the evolution of this mightycarrier. You can even climb into the cockpit on some of the planes to gaininsight into what it may have felt like to actually take to the skies.
A series of flightsimulators provide a fascinating chance to experience what it’s like to launch,maneuver and do battle in an aircraft. Genuine recordings from U.S. missionsadd to the realism of what bomber pilots go through. Extra charges apply forthe simulators.
Part of the museum’sappeal lies in the history of everyday life on the ship. Peek into the sleepingquarters, imagine the characters that might have inhabited the ship’s jail, orstop to consider the ship’s post office and how it would have been the onlylink to the officers' families across the seas. You’ll be keptwell-informed all the way around the vessel, as the entry fee includes aself-guided audio tour for adults and children. The audio tour is narrated bypeople who served on the carrier.Evenif you don’t have the three or four hours necessary for a good look around themuseum, climb aboard the deck of USS Midway free of charge for a great view ofSan Diego from the water. The museum is open daily, except for Thanksgiving andChristmas.