6 Red-Blooded American Military Towns to Visit

6 Red-Blooded American Military Towns to Visit

Please note, these are in no particular order. And yes, we know that there's a whole bunch of patriotic, flag-waving cities that didn't make this list. But if you like this article, we'll do more like it! Alright, now that we got that out of the way, let's hit the road and visit these places.

Virginia Beach, VA


Ever had the Orange Crush at the Waterman's bar on the boardwalk? Maybe you have, but you just can't remember because you had six of them. In any case, this local watering hole is hugely popular with the Navy folks stationed at nearby NAS Oceana, the Norfolk shipyard, and the soldiers at Fort Story. As long as you don't mind the roaring of jet engines overhead, VB is an excellent slice of East Coast living.


Things to do:

Charleston, SC


Members of the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, and Army call this town home. Hit up Hominy Grill for world-famous shrimp and grits, or head over to the Macintosh if you're feeling like something a little fancier. According to one of our colleagues who visited, "I had the best duck I've ever tasted at the Macintosh, and you can’t go wrong with an ice cream sandwich for desert." But aside from eating your way through Charleston, there's a wealth of attractions for history buffs.


Things to do:

Colorado Springs, CO


Home to NORAD and the Air Force Academy, this is quite the military town. There's a ton of pride in this region, and the military culture is baked into every corner, including a live broadcast from NORAD that tracks Santa Clause on Christmas Eve. Beloved by outdoor enthusiasts, amazing sights and trails like Pikes Peak, Seven Falls, and Garden of the Gods await adventurers.


Things to do:

  • See the world-famous USAF Thunderbirds at an air show!
  • Try your hand at rock climbing or mountain biking in any of the parks.
  • Head over to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America's only mountainside zoo at an elevation of 6,800 feet.
  • History buffs can enjoy the Tudor-style castle known as Glen Eyrie, built in 1903 by General William Jackson Palmer, who founded Colorado Springs.

San Diego, CA


Ok, you knew we had to put OUR hometown on this list. From the Navy folks at North Island to the Marines at Miramar and Pendleton, San Diego County has a sizeable military community. Enjoy the craft beer scene—we do frequently—and the miles of beaches and hiking trails. Go kayaking in the La Jolla Cove, visit the Zoo or Sea World, or spend some time in Balboa Park visiting the museums. And when you're all done with that, stop by our office and pay us a visit. We're at 7817 Ivanhoe. Everyone's welcome.


Things to do:

  • Check out the southwest-most corner of the city by visiting the Cabrillo National Monument. The sheer three-point vista of the Pacific Ocean to your south, west, and east is incredible.
  • Go on a brewery tour. We recommend starting at Ballast Point in Little Italy.
  • Hike! SD County is a large area, from the cliffs of Torrey Pines to the deserts of Anza-Borrego.
  • Visit the USS Midway downtown for some awesome World War II history.
  • Go to a Chargers game. If they don't decide to leave us.

Anchorage, AK


The first thing you should know about Anchorage is that the sun basically doesn't exist during the winter. So if you're ok with several consecutive weeks of darkness, then enjoy! But during the other times of the year, you've got the full, unparalleled view of some of America's mightiest spectacles. The Northern Lights, the majestic view of Denali (formerly Mount McKinley), and forests for miles are just a few standouts. Aside from the scenery, you can also enjoy the "downtown" area, complete with plenty of restaurants, brewpubs, and generous and courteous people of mountain-folk stock.


Things to do:

  • In the summer, you can fish for as much salmon as your heart desires. Just make sure you get a license. They take that seriously.
  • Head out and witness the grand, eerie movement of massive tidewater glaciers, or go whale watching and see some humpbacks or orcas.
  • Grab a flight of different brews over at Midnight Sun Brewing (We're starting to notice a theme here.)
  • Devour world-famous seafood that probably lived in the ocean hours before you enjoy it. Oysters on a half shell, king crab, salmon … there's a smorgasbord of feasting in this rich land.

Tacoma, WA


This gorgeous mountain town sits in the shadow of regal Mount Rainier and hosts Joint Base Lewis-McChord, home to soldiers, sailors, and airmen. Tacoma is a city well stocked with outdoorsy, kind-hearted folks, which makes this an excellent family destination. Plus, it's close by to Seattle and Portland, two cities definitely worth visiting and where the dream of the 90s is definitely alive.


Things to do:

  • Stock up on some serious adventure gear—we know a great website for this—and head to Mount Rainier National Park for some of the most glorious camping this country has to offer. It can get a little wet, though. Bring appropriate attire.
  • Go to America's Car Museum, or the Lemay Museum to see a huge variety of beautiful hot rods, lightning fast NASCAR rides, and concept cars of the future.
  • Catch a minor-league baseball game at Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League. Nothing like catching a ballgame with a mountain view.
  • Fish for smallmouth bass at American Lake, with plenty of beach square footage for swimming and picnics.

Leave a comment:

Adam G.

7/9/2016 6:35 PM

You forgot the other three military bases in Colorado Springs. The city is also home to Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, and Shriever AFB.

Nathan L.

7/10/2016 4:28 AM

Don't forget Langley near va Beach

Matthew B.

7/11/2016 12:47 PM

Beaufort, SC although I doubt the USMC recruits think its too nice of a place.....

Frank J.

7/14/2016 9:05 PM

I sincerely thank you for not listing Killeen, TX.

Ashley E.

7/18/2016 4:13 PM

San Diego is awesome. Loved it down there. Hopefully I can hit Tacoma next month on a mission with a platoon from my unit.

Francis D.

8/8/2016 7:51 AM

Dad was stationed in Spain in the 60s and 70s then Charleston. Blue Crab and Shrimp are always fresh in Charleston S.C. When I was a kid we would catch wash tubs full of blue crab with hoop nets in a matter of a few hours hours using chicken backs for bait, and clean metal trash cans full of shrimp in less than 20 minutes with a 8 ft hoop net on a pole and boat wench, using dry cat food as bait, right off the dock. Oddly, I do not eat seafood could never get past the smell, but loved to see mom and sis enjoying. Never been to the other cities, might like to try Washington State one day before I go. I think yall need to mention Hunter Army Airfield right in the middle of the best place to be for St. Patrick's Day; Savanah Ga. was stationed there myself. The City is historically beautiful, full of Southern Jazz music on the Streets everyday, and the bars full of beers are heavenly. Army Rangers and Air Calvary country.