A visit to the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum.

Douglas F4D-1 (F-6A) Skyray.
Douglas F4D-1 (F-6A) Skyray.

I often drive down Miramar Road past the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. When I do, I usually turn my head to see if any people are outside investigating the dozens of unique military aircraft that are on display. Few people seem to visit.

The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, located at MCAS Miramar, is open free to the general public. It features all sorts of airplanes and helicopters that have been used by the United State Marine Corps over the decades.

When I first visited the museum last year, I was floored by the extent of its collection. While many of the aircraft might not be restored to pristine condition, they each represent a fascinating era in U. S. military history. Visitors to the museum can also see other equipment that has been used by the Marines, including tanks and artillery pieces.

Most impressively, the museum owns the actual helicopter that was last to leave Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. That Sea Knight helicopter’s call sign was Lady Ace 09. If you’d like to see photographs of Lady Ace 09, and learn a bit more about that moment in history, click here.

The following photos depict just a fraction of what you’ll discover at the museum.

The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum seems to be a little known gem in San Diego. Those who are interested in 20th century history, aviation or the United States Marine Corps should definitely swing on by!

The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, open free to the public, is located at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, open free to the public, is located at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
Inside the museum, a variety of exhibits detail different modern aircraft that have been used by the United States Marine Corps.
Inside the museum, a variety of exhibits detail different aircraft that have been used by the United States Marine Corps.
Dozens of historical Marine aircraft can be viewed outdoors at the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum in San Diego.
Dozens of historical Marine aircraft can be viewed outdoors at the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum in San Diego.
Beechcraft T-34B Mentor.
Beechcraft T-34B Mentor.
General Motors FM-2 Wildcat.
General Motors FM-2 Wildcat.
Northrup F-5E Tiger II.
Northrup F-5E Tiger II.
Grumman F9F-2 Panther.
Grumman F9F-2 Panther.
Hawker-Siddeley AV-8A(C) Harrier.
Hawker-Siddeley AV-8A(C) Harrier.
Bell AH-1J SeaCobra.
Bell AH-1J SeaCobra.
Sikorsky HUS-1 (UH-34D) Seahorse.
Sikorsky HUS-1 (UH-34D) Seahorse.
Bell 214ST.
Bell 214ST.
McDonnell Douglas A-4M Skyhawk II.
McDonnell Douglas A-4M Skyhawk II.
Visitors to the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum learn about the history of one airplane in their large and fascinating collection.
Visitors to the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum learn about the history of one airplane in a very large and fascinating collection.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A fine Saturday walk through the Gaslamp.

A little before noon, I enjoyed a fine walk through the Gaslamp Quarter, mostly down Fifth Avenue.

A lot of people were about for a late Saturday morning. So many exciting events going on today.

The World Cup. Taste of the Gaslamp. The Etsy market at Horton Plaza Park. People out on a walking tour, learning about the Gaslamp’s extraordinary old buildings and lively history. And the tourists, the workers, and downtown residents like me.

Enjoy this small slice of life in San Diego.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Simple sunshine and happiness in Balboa Park.

What a crazy week. I was so busy tracking down Comic-Con trolley wraps, I didn’t have time to sort through photographs I took in Balboa Park last Sunday.

When I finally reviewed the photos this morning, I noticed they all had a wonderful something in common: simple sunshine and happiness.

Balboa Park never grows old.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos from recent walks around San Diego.

A couple walks along Broadway in downtown San Diego.
A couple walks along Broadway in downtown San Diego.

This long, lazy weekend I’ve been sifting through my computer, searching for fun photos that I haven’t used yet. I discovered a few that I’d like to share.

These photographs are in no particular order. All were taken in the vicinity of downtown. I snapped them during recent walks down from Cortez Hill, where I live.

You might see why I love San Diego.

Buildings in East Village reflected in the glass windows of the headquarters of Sempra Energy.
Several buildings in East Village are reflected in the glass windows of the headquarters of Sempra Energy.
Looking up at the fantastic dome of downtown's Central Library.
Looking up at the fantastic dome of downtown’s Central Library.
People enjoy the grassy hill in the Park at the Park, near the statue of baseball hitting legend Tony Gwynn.
People enjoy the grassy hill in the Park at the Park, near the statue of baseball hitting legend Tony Gwynn.
A banner hanging on a lamppost near the Gaslamp Quarter landmark sign shows a fun photo from San Diego history.
A banner hanging on a lamppost near the Gaslamp Quarter landmark sign shows a fun photo from San Diego history.
I'm not sure if this is a fluffy llama or alpaca. It stands guard in front of Inka's Bar and Grill in the Gaslamp.
I’m not sure if this is a fluffy llama or alpaca. It stands guard in front of Inka’s Bar and Grill in the Gaslamp.
The Art of Dr. Seuss is now showing at The Chuck Jones Gallery in the Gaslamp.
The Art of Dr. Seuss is now showing at The Chuck Jones Gallery in the Gaslamp.
People play in the fun, splashing fountain at Horton Plaza Park.
People play in the fun, splashing fountain at Horton Plaza Park.
Colorful new banners have recently appeared around Cortez Hill. Very cool!
Colorful new banners have recently appeared around Cortez Hill. Very cool!
Morning photo of the handsome old World Trade Center building, once home to publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Morning photo of the handsome old World Trade Center building, once home to publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Some guys ride their bikes down Fourth Avenue through Bankers Hill.
Some guys ride their bikes down Fourth Avenue through Bankers Hill.
Bright red bougainvillea on a building's balcony in Little Italy.
Bright red bougainvillea on a building’s balcony in Little Italy.
Sunlight on the side of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
Sunlight on the side of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
A few days ago I spotted a couple in Tuna Harbor having their engagement photos taken by the water.
A few days ago I spotted a couple in Tuna Harbor having their engagement photos taken by the water.
Tourist souvenirs on a vendor's cart on the Embarcadero.
Tourist souvenirs on a vendor’s cart on the Embarcadero.
The Admiral Hornblower and another boat pass near the bow of the USS Midway Museum, recently deemed the best attraction in California.
The Admiral Hornblower and another boat pass near the bow of the USS Midway Museum, recently deemed the best attraction in California.
Enjoying San Diego bay from the end of Broadway Pier, watching the Maritime Museum of San Diego's restored Swift Boat pass on by.
Enjoying sunny San Diego Bay from the end of Broadway Pier, watching the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s restored Swift Boat pass on by.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

If you are the curious type, you can click around my website. There’s lots of fascinating stuff to explore!

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Another sunny day in beautiful San Diego!

A spring day in San Diego that feels a whole lot like summer.
A spring day in San Diego that feels a whole lot like summer.

Many say San Diego has the best weather in the whole wide world. I can’t disagree. Most days in San Diego are comfortable and sunny.

As I walked along the Embarcadero this fine Sunday afternoon I felt like I was on summer vacation. Even though it’s still spring.

Come along with me…

Working up a sweat at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Working up a sweat at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Dancing in some Seaport Village sunshine.
Dancing in some Seaport Village sunshine.
Bubbles and kites at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Bubbles and kites at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Pure joy.
Soaring joy.
A didgeridoo like deep magic by the water.
A didgeridoo summons deep magic by the water.
A sun smiles at Alamo Flags.
A friendly sun smiles at Alamo Flags.
Three lazy dogs in hammocks. It's not quite the dog days of summer--not yet!
Three lazy dogs in hammocks. It’s not quite the dog days of summer–not yet!
Lots of sails between blue sky and gentle San Diego Bay.
Lots of sails between blue sky and gentle San Diego Bay.
Walking by Ruocco Park. It's always a good time for ice cream!
Walking by Ruocco Park. It’s always a good time for ice cream!
Beautiful spring blossoms by the USS Midway.
Beautiful spring blossoms by the USS Midway.
Stopping for a moment on bikes at the end of Broadway Pier.
Stopping for a moment on bikes at the end of Broadway Pier.
Disney Wonder cruise ship at dock in its sunny, welcoming home port.
Disney Wonder cruise ship at dock in its happy, welcoming home port.
A smiling sun on one of the tile benches along the Embarcadero.
A smiling sun on one of the tile benches along the Embarcadero.
My goodness! A large lady bug has landed nearby!
A large ladybug has landed nearby! Fun artwork on the Embarcadero.
It must be another summerlike day in beautiful San Diego!
It must be another summerlike day in beautiful San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Tasty upgrades coming to the Gaslamp!

The large Reading Cinemas building on Fifth Avenue is being renovated. Once reopened, the interior will be radically altered.
The large Reading Cinemas building on Fifth Avenue is being renovated. Once reopened, the interior will be radically altered.

Early yesterday morning I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter. As usual, I was amazed at all the ongoing renovation of buildings and businesses up and down Fifth Avenue.

It isn’t unusual for restaurants and nightclubs to come and go, but several projects are in progress that will upgrade long-time San Diego destinations.

The two projects that I observed were a radical transformation of the building that used to be home to the now closed 15-screen Reading Cinemas, and an expansion and redesign of the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop.

The old Reading Cinemas building is being converted into a luxury movie theater and two restaurants. The developer is part owner of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The Gaslamp’s new 8-screen Theatre Box will host film festivals, San Diego Comic-Con events, and be within steps of a tasty new Sugar Factory restaurant (which includes a candy store with superhero themes) and a Landshark Bar and Grill (part of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville food and hospitality empire).

A somewhat confined Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop down the street is being expanded and made much more roomy and inviting. When completed, it will once again welcome visitors to the Gaslamp Quarter with a tempting array of delectable, mouth-watering treats!

Fifth Avenue south of Broadway is the hub of San Diego's popular Gaslamp Quarter.
Fifth Avenue south of Broadway is the hub of San Diego’s popular Gaslamp Quarter.
Workers beautify a building that will be home to a luxury theater and two new restaurants.
Workers beautify a building that will be home to a luxury theater and two new restaurants.
One of several Gaslamp destinations undergoing renovation. Many downtown establishments strive to be attractive and upscale.
One of several Gaslamp destinations undergoing renovation. Many downtown establishments strive to be attractive and upscale.
The iconic Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop will also see various changes.
The iconic Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop will also see various changes.
Square footage is being increased and counters repositioned. The interior will be less crowded, more inviting.
Square footage is being increased and counters repositioned. The interior will be less crowded, more inviting.
A graphic on a construction fence designed to make people drool! All these Ghirardelli treats and more will be returning to the Gaslamp!
A graphic on a construction fence designed to make people drool! All these Ghirardelli treats and more will be returning to the Gaslamp!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Golden hour photos in Balboa Park.

Last Friday, before joining a small group at dusk searching for bats by the lily pond, I walked around Balboa Park and captured a series of photos.

The golden hour before sunset is indeed magical.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!