MCRD San Diego better known as the Marine Corps Recruit Depot is the West Coast boot camp for enlisted Marines. This base has many buildings that are considered historical landmarks. It is situated right next to the San Diego airport and the 5 freeway.
This base is very intimate and easy to get to know. Many of the buildings are original when the base was constructed so there is some TLC needed, but all in all, this is a beautiful base. If you are looking to live here, it probably won’t happen as the housing is limited here. However, many other bases around MCRD San Diego will accommodate families stationed here. If you love great weather, great food and activities, you will love being stationed here!
The weather here is almost always beautiful. The winters do get down in the 40′s but the afternoons tend to be sunny and warm. If you live on the coast, you will get the marine layer in the mornings which usually burns off by mid-day. We do experience “June gloom” where the skies are overcast and it tends to be colder most of the days. The summers average 70-75 degrees and dips down to the mid 60′s. It’s a perfect place to live. We are not close to a fault line, but do get small mini-quakes. Best to be on the safe side and have a plan with food and water stored just in case.
What is there to do around San Diego Marine Corps Base?
Lego Land: Great theme park for children under 8. Tickets are very expensive, more so than the other parks in the San Diego area. Get discounts on admission at the ITT ticket office. There are also yearly passes available that are affordable.
Disneyland: Located in Anaheim (about 2 hours). The tickets at ITT only save you a couple bucks, but keep checking because they do offer military specials occasionally. Sometimes you can get better deals on Disneyland specials.
Padres Games: The San Diego Padres as a great way to spend an evening at Petco Park. The trolleys and trains run to the park nightly on game nights. Get discounted tickets at ITT.
San Diego Chargers: The San Diego Chargers games are a lot of fun…
USS Midway: The aircraft carrier has been fully restored and is a great way to spend the afternoon.
Seaport Village: A great place to visit and check out many of the unique stores and walk along the ocean.
If you are stationed at San Diego, you may want to consider buying a family pass. Two adults in the same household can get a yearly pass for approximately $89. 1 adult pass is $71. Koala club for kids $24 (ages 3-11) and $28 (ages 12-17). When you become a member, you also get 2 free tickets for guests to come in. Click here to become a member or get more information. One trip to the zoo and one trip to the Wild Animal Park in a year pays for itself by being a member. Parking is free at San Diego, $6 or $9 at the Wild Animal Park.
La Jolla Cove: A neat place to spend some time along the water. It offers a children’s beach, a seal beach, and a free protected park for snorkeling and scuba diving. You can walk along the rock beds and look for crabs and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Big Bear: Approximately 2 hours away. Big bear is known for its ski resort and lake and the military has discounted cabins for rent up there. It’s a quick drive up there. Check out ITT on base to book.
ITT (Information Tickets and Tours): Discounted tickets to various events.
Palm Springs Area (East 2 hours +/-)
Riley’s Farms: A wonderful time to be had by all any time of the year. Year round civil war adventures, gold rush and homesteading acts. They have a pick-your-own-seasonal-fruit all throughout the year.
Cochella Fest: Annual festival in Indio, awhere you can enjoy music for three days including rock, indie, hip hop and more.
Stagecoach Country Music Festival:Annual festival in Indio (April) where country music fans flock for three days of music.
Cabazon Outlets: The place to go for a day of shopping, just outside of Palm Springs. Top it off with a visit to the local casino just minutes away for a night of gambling and entertainment.
Palm Springs Aerial Tram: This place is awesome. In the midst of summer heat, you can go up the tram and see and play in snow! The tram rotates and provides a fantastic view. Discounted tickets available for military. One of my husband’s platoons hiked from the bottom to the top! That’s impressive!
Palm Springs Resorts: So many great places to go check out for a weekend get away. We loved to take the kids down and buy day passes for the pool, enjoy the sun and eat poolside. Top rated resorts: Miramonte, Hotel Zoso, Parker Palm Springs, Viceroy Palm Springs, Rancho Las Palmas, Renaissance Esmeralda, La Quinta, JW Marriott.
LA / Hollywood (North 2 +/- hours)
Hollywood: Any girl whose seen pretty woman wants to go check out the Hollywood scene. “What’s your dream!?!” Most requested activities include the Hollywood sign, walking along the stars, seeing a film at the Kodak Theater. If you plan your visit right, you can attend a game show or talk show!
Original Farmer’s Market: Way cool shopping day. Located next to great stores for a day of walking. This farmer’s market isn’t like most you know. This is a fantastic place to discover a hundred different kinds of food from small vendors and unique shops.
Beverly Hills: If you want to experience everything that is beautiful about LA (including beautiful people, cars and total luxury) check out this place and Rodeo Drive.
Santa Monica: Check out this laid back place and discover Venice Beach (where people work out on the beach and there’s a long sidewalk along the beach next to eclectic shops), Third Street Promenade (great food, farmer’s markets, and street performers).
Griffith Park: Check out the Griffith Park Observatory, LA Zoo, The Autry, Griffith Park, Greek Theater, and Forrest Lawn Museum.
Universal Studios: Great place to get away with the family or bring out your inner kid.
The Getty: World famous museum housed in a beautiful building and grounds.