The 10 Hidden Gems Of Liberty Station

Ah, don’t you just love when the #perfectday itinerary falls right into your lap?

Whether you’re with your ride or die, riding solo, or with kids in tow, sometimes just a little plan-of-action can go a long way.

And when said action-plan happens to include hidden wonders tucked into Liberty Station, you know you’re in for a treat!

Built as a Naval Training Center in 1923, Liberty Station is now the culinary, cultural, and entertainment hub we’ve all come to know and love. Yet many locals are not aware of the pieces of its rich history just waiting to be uncovered today.

No fears, friends. We’ve put together a little list of these station gems for you and yours. Heck, make an Instagram scavenger hunt of it, tagging #theresandiego in your snaps of each spot!

Bring one, bring ’em all, these 10 Hidden Gems of Liberty Station are sure to please hearts of all kinds.

1. SCOUT @ Quarters D

Now a mercantile and garden showroom, SCOUT @ Quarters D was once housing for naval officers in the 1900s. Arthur T. Emerson Jr. was the first to make himself a home in Quarters D—he reported as commanding officer, recruit training command and was known for being the youngest man in his Naval Academy class – AKA a top-of-the-line, 1900s badass.

2. Meaningful Street Names

All of the streets at Liberty Station are named after military heroes. For instance, Truxtun Road, one of the main roads of Liberty Station, is named after Thomas Truxtun, one of the first six commanders appointed to the new U.S. Navy by President George Washington.

Walk through the station with phone-in-hand to google each military hero’s story as you go!

3. Holding Cell

This one is for those who appreciate a good spook: When it was a Naval Training Center, an old holding cell once stood where Liberty Station’s entrance gate is now located. Eeek!

On a lighter note, it sounds like a good Halloween costume photo op, if you ask us…

4. Luce Auditorium

What is now the entryway for THE LOT, a modern and luxury movie theatre, was once a stage for timeless icons. Opening in 1942, Luce Auditorium was the hot spot for sailors and their dates to listen to famous bands, performers and comedians.

Some of the big names that have taken the stage are Nat King Cole, Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Tommy Dorsey.

Take your date to this old-school spot of love and reignite the flame!

5. Movie Set

When Liberty Station was a Naval Training Center, it was the set for several well-known movies including “Top Gun,” “Tars and Stripes” and “Hey Sailor.”

Can you match the present-day spots with their movies scenes?!

6. U.S.S. Recruit

This naval ship, located in the South Point area of the neighborhood, earned its nickname of “U.S.S. Neversail” because it has never seen the open seas. An exact replica of what sailors could expect out on the ocean, the vessel remained on land for military training exercises.

7. Library

Talk about a transition. The Naval Training Center’s old library is now the Corky McMillin Companies Event Center, managed by the Arts District.

Pretty sure there’s no studying going on in there now…

8. John and Alice Finn Plaza

John and Alice Finn Plaza was originally built in 1942 as a naval medical clinic. It was later dedicated and named after one of the first heroes of World War II and Medal of Honor recipient John W. Finn and his wife Alice.

9. Enlisted Club

Now the location of signature restaurants like Soda & Swine and Slater’s 50/50, this area was once the Enlisted Club — built in 1941, it was the stomping grounds for sailors with a bowling alley, pool tables and a theater.

Once a drinking hole, always a drinking hole 🍻!

10. Gymnasium

The Point Loma Sports Club used to be a gymnasium utilized by the sailors. It included a basketball facility, gymnasium and fitness center. Let’s just say this place has been spruced up over the years, now including Acro Yoga Jam, Aerial Arts Training, some super sweet new fitness equipment and more.

See You There!

There you go, ten reasons to go explore Liberty Station!

It’s one of our favorite places in San Diego for sure, so expect to see us running around there checking off our list of hidden gems.

We’ll see you there!