This annual air show always dazzles the hundreds of thousands of spectators who fill the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar. ... More
MCAS Miramar Air Show
This annual air show always dazzles the hundreds of thousands of spectators who fill the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar. More than 100 aircraft are on the ground and open for exploration, but the real show is high above as top-of-the-line military aircraft astound viewers with precision movements, supersonic flybys and silent hovering above the crowd below. There is also a consumer show spotlighting local businesses, and flight simulators to give visitors an even closer taste of the real thing. Admission, parking and blanket seating are all free.
Nothing. This operation, was run like a well oiled machine, lots of static & active exhibits, the air show portion was amazing. The base personnel exemplify professional. This is the best show I've seen. The Best.
First off, this reads a little negative. Once inside, the show and static displays are awesome! Unlike anything you will see at other airshows. We had a great time once we got in. This may help your stress level before and after you get in, and when leaving.
My wife, 2 boys ages 2&5, and myself went to the airshow yesterday. The show itself was awesome. Just has been described in previous reviews. And, before we drove down from Ventura to the airshow, I read all the reviews. I was confident I had it all dwon for an easy, enjoyable day.....
If you are a family with young children, it seemed to us to be too expensive to pay about $250 for chalet seats. The kids don't drink or eat and we would have to drive home anyway, so its not like we could party on. The grandstand seats and box seats would be too limiting. And, finally, why would we all pay these prices when each ticket includes a parking pass, yet we only need one?
So, we opted to go general admission. We arrived at 10:30am. We walked in the show at 12:30pm. Why? Since we were at the bottom of the barrell, we were parked in the Blue Lot. It is about 2 miles from the entrance, so they provide a school bus shuttle....1 every 1/2 hour! There were about 80 people in line, so we got on the 2nd shuttle and that got us to the gate about 45 minutes after arrival.
Now, the gate....there was a HUGE line to get in. If you did not have any purses, backpacks, strollers, bags, or anything to carry stuff, yu were allowed to move to the right and get right in. Otherwise, onto the long line. With kids, we were not about to spend $200 on juice and food, so we had stuff to bring in. As you waited in the long line, military personnel moved through the line checking peoples stuff and tagging it....if you had limited stuff, you could move to the right and get in. The word "limited" seemed to vary from person to person-both visitors and military personnel.
We reached the end of the line. Yahoo! Nope, this was just the last guy checking to see if you had limited stuff to check. We were then moved into another long line for those without limited stuff. We questioned to ourselves why they did not tell people this up front???
What was so hilarious is that when we finally made it to the gate, we had all of our stuff..a cloth sides small cooler, a bag of snacks, camera and binoculars...open. The person checking tagged it without checking and in we went. PS, our stroller broke along the way in and was left for dead.
SO, CONSIDER WHAT YOU ARE BRINGING IN SO YOU CAN AVOID THE LINES. ALSO, FIGURE OUT HOW YOU CAN GET A PREFERRED PARKING PASS SO YOU CAN AVOID THE BUS. SAME GOES FOR THE RIDE BACK TO THE LOT. THE BUS FOR OUR LOT WAS NOT RUNNING AFTER THE TWILIGHT SHOW AND WE GOT ONE OF THE GUYS ON THE BIKE TO DRIVE US BACK FOR $20.
One other item I thought I might mention is that even if you decide to get the grandstand or box seats, be aware that strollers and stuff are not allowed in. Also, the ground task force operation displayed on the web page looked really cool....on the web page. In reality, if you have general admission tickets and get there after the first 250 people or so (about 5 minutes after opening), you will not see it. The general admission viewing area is very small. Most everyone after the first few hundred is just set up in the area of the static displays.
The MCAS Miramar Airshow is always a terrific event. Until El Toro base closed, I took my son every year from the time he was 5 years old. It is a super event for singles or families. You can go for free but if you can afford it, get tickets for one of the chalets - really makes it a much more pleasant and easier day, with private rest room facilities and free and easily accesible water, not to mention shade. Great fun!
So, for the entire year, MCAS Miramar flies heavy-duty Super Stallion and Chinook-esque helicopters over residential homes day and night, unceasingly. And then some rinky-dink air show is supposed to make up for it? Come on, close the base!
I was stationed at Miramar back in the 60s and have been back several times since then to see the air show. We go to several major shows a year and this is one of the better ones. I like the air assault portion of the show, it's something you don't normally find at other shows. If you're not familiar with the area the traffic can be a bit of a problem but there are ways to get around a lot of it. It is well worth the money to pay for box seats, first, you are closer to show center and second, it's far more comfortable than sitting on a blanket trying to see around hordes of people. I flew out from Minnesota in both 2006 & 2007 for the show and will be attending again this year.
I would highly recommend it to both people that attend a lot of shows and also to those that have never seen a major show. If you don't want or have the money for the upgraded seats it's stilll a great show from the free section. San Diego goes out of their way to welcome out of towners and there are huge amounts of other things to see and do if you are from somewhere else and want to extend your stay. Balboa Park is another "Must See" in the area and is close to Miramar.
It would be nice if the date was posted on the original page for the Air Show.
An out of stater.....
Zoo and Animal Parks are the very best in the world as far as I am concered. Ive been to 20+ zoo's and they both ROCK! Sea World is the Original!
We lived in the Sand Diego area for four years while my husband served in the Marine Corps. I miss it so much. He flew in the MCAS Miramar Air show as a crew chief in the CH-46. It was amazing to be there in person.
NON-STOP PULSE-POUNDING SPEED, BEAUTY, PRECISION and POWER! 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993.... GOING AGAIN 2007 More than military power.
If you like military aircraft and aerospace, this is a worth-while day spent on the tarmac in the sun. The kids enjoy it too. It's Educational. The technology and precision of the personnel is inspirational. The souvenir choices are extensive. This is a bonding experience for parents and children... you'll have plenty to share in together and memories to talk about.
My son and I are flying to San Diego from Boise, Idaho just for this event.
It was very nice and loved that it was free!! The only thing was that both days I went it was cloudy. The shows were pretty cool, but I'd suggest getting a seat in the stands to see more (I wish I did) But I still saw some good stuff, just not much, at a good view. The pricing for the food is whoa!!! lol. And the gyro I had didn't taste very good. Souvenirs are cool and good price and got some good free stuff. Great interaction stuff so it was good. Definitely go but bring more money for food. Oh and I think they had a little ride/carnival type thing but nothing much.
This is one of the best. Its a marine base now so they have ground attack displays as well as flying. Its only once a year in Oct so look out. It's free so you can't beat it. Pretty good food considering. Its usually hot!!! Best bet is to view the booths set up by the squadrons and get thier patchs, t-shirts & hats. Stay for the night airshow you wont be let down. (only sat nite)
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