USS Midway Museum

Museum in San Diego

The giant aircraft carrier USS Midway was one of the navy’s flagships from 1945 to 1991, last playing a combat role in the First Gulf War. On the flight deck of the hulking vessel, walk right up to some 29 restored aircraft including an F-14 Tomcat and F-4 Phantom jet fighter. Admission includes an audio tour along the narrow confines of the upper decks to the bridge, admiral’s war room, brig and ‘pri-fly’ (primary flight control; the carrier’s equivalent of a control tower). Parking costs $10.

There are also two flight simulators (phone for rates and reservations). Some inside areas get stuffy on warm summer days: come early to avoid midday heat and crowds. Allow at least two to four hours on board.