Liberty Station

Bring your significant other to Liberty Station San Diego and explore the Public Market, Arts District and unique shops all along the Historic Decatur Road in Liberty Station.
Liberty Station
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Liberty Station
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Parks, Cafes & Sunshine in Liberty Station

Macaroons at Liberty Public MarketPaths next to Barracks 16 and 17

Point Loma is a San Diego neighborhood located on a hilly peninsula. Situated at the entrance to San Diego Bay, Point Loma is described as "where California began" because it was the site where the first expedition of European explorers landed in what eventually became the 31st state.

Popular Hotels in Liberty Station
Popular Hotels
Price
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Airport
$180
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Hampton Inn & Suites San Diego Airport
$149
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Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Airport
$170
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TownePlace Suites by Marriott San Diego Airport
$143
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Naval Training Center (NTC)

In 1923, the U.S. Navy established a Naval Training Center (NTC) at Point Loma. The facility was expanded during World War II and remained in service for 70 years. However, with the end of the Cold War, demand for military troops dropped off and the Training Center was no longer needed.

Original Barracks 17 Building Converted to Public Use
Original Barracks 17 Building Converted to Public Use

The Formation of Liberty Station

The former Naval Training Center was decommissioned in 1997 and in 2000 the last land was given to the City of San Diego and Liberty Station was born.

Liberty Station is a great location that is a mixed-use development on the waterfront featuring hotels, shopping, restaurants, war memorials, historical sites, and a thriving arts scene.

The development of Liberty Station to its current form was a joint effort between the city of San Diego and the Corky McMillin Company, a master developer in the area. Since the renovations were completed earlier this decade, Liberty Station has become a popular recreation site for locals and tourists alike to enjoy good food, shopping, and entertainment. Most Fun Things to do in San Diego features great options to eat good food and in the midtime shop.

View Downtown San Diego and San Diego International Airport from Liberty Station
View Downtown San Diego and San Diego International Airport from Liberty Station

Liberty Station is Centrally Located

Liberty Station is conveniently located just next to the San Diego International Airport and less than five miles away from downtown San Diego. For those arriving by car, it is also convenient to two of the main interstates serving the area: Interstate 5, which runs from north to south, and Interstate 8, which runs from east to west.

Once you arrive at the north end of Liberty Station you enter through Gate One. This is the oldest part of the compound and consists of a steel arch flanked on either side by twin guard towers. Back when Liberty Station was still the Naval Training Center, Gate One was the only entry point available to recruits who arrived after curfew.

Bookended by walks, archways, and examples of historic architecture, the Promenade is an open area measuring 75,000 square feet in area. Religious ceremonies for recruits at the NTC were once held at the Chapel. Now restored, it is available as an event venue for weddings and other celebrations.

Liberty Station
Why you'll love Liberty Station
Bring your significant other to Liberty Station San Diego and explore the Public Market, Arts District and unique shops all along the Historic Decatur Road in Liberty Station.

Trolly Ride with Go Pass!

2-Day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego
Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley
Using your Go Pass, grab a 2 day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley. The trolley tour takes you through all the most popular areas of San Diego. It's a great way to start your trip and you'll learn where everything around the city is located.
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Local Tips
How much can you save by using the Go City San Diego pass?

The Go City San Diego pass is the perfect way to explore more attractions and activities that the area has to offer, all while being cost-efficient.

With the Go City San Diego pass, you can save up to 55% off admission fees at some of the area’s most popular attractions.

Want to save more? Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

Things to Do

Basketball Courts
Basketball Courts
Biking
Biking
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables

Shopping & Restaurants in Liberty Station

Bao Bar at Liberty Public Market
Bao Bar at Liberty Public Market

Liberty Station Public Market

The Liberty Station Public Market is the primary location for shopping and eating in the area. It is unique in the city of San Diego for being the first public market open seven days a week.

On the south end of the Public Market there is an eclectic array of restaurants that serve everything from seafood to Mexican dishes to pasta and empanadas, as well as some offerings that defy easy categorization.

On the north end is the Mess Hall is one of the most notable areas in the Liberty Station Public Market. With a menu of locally crafted beers, as well as spirits served by some of the most talented bartenders in San Diego.

There is seating available outside on both the north and the south end of the hall to enjoy your meals or drinks. The Mess Hall is in fact located in the space of the original NTC mess hall, now converted for civilian use.

Once you have finished with your meal, it is time for shopping. Liberty Station Public Market is home to small unique boutiques, mostly focused on clothing and jewelry.

Liberty Station Public Market offers activities appealing to the whole family, and that includes dogs. The market patio is dog-friendly and makes for a lively scene, especially on Sunday afternoons when it plays host to a weekly Live Music series from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

We have even listed the Liberty Station Public Market as one of our Most Fun Things to Do in San Diego, so make sure you check it out.

Local Tips
Locals Love Liberty Station
This historic neighborhood is a favorite among local San Diegans. From the Public Market to the art districts to the holiday ice rink it is a favorite.

Outside Stone Brewery at Liberty Station
Outside Stone Brewery at Liberty Station

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Stone Brewing opened its bistro in 2013 at Liberty Station. This popular brewery restaurant has not only the popular stone brewery beers on tap but small runs as well. There is also a large garden that is often used to host weddings and other events.

Corvette Diner

This 50’s themed burger restaurant is perfect for the small child in your family. Birthday celebrations are popular here where they serve platters of cotton candy. Every hour or so all the staff starts singing and dancing to 50’s music in unison. There is also a kid’s video game arcade in the back of the restaurant that your kids will love.

Art Throughout Liberty Station
Art Throughout Liberty Station

Art Galleries

There are also several art galleries located in and around Liberty Station serving varied tastes. Examples include the San Diego Comic Art Gallery and the San Diego Watercolor Society Gallery. You can purchase a work of art, or there are also places where you can make your own in the form of painted pottery, handmade candles, or encaustic painting.

Boutique Shops & More

There are a range of boutique shops from a small chocolatier to boutique clothing stores. There is even a movie theater and a Trader Joe’s grocery store at Liberty Station.

Military Historical Sites Inside Liberty Station

The Naval Training Center (NTC) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior. Many of the historic buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival style have been restored to their former glory, and multiple militaristic features of the original base have been retained. In fact, the NTC Foundation was established in 2000 to renovate 26 historic buildings in Liberty Station.

The USS Recruit in Liberty Station
The USS Recruit in Liberty Station

USS Recruit

Fans of military history will find a lot to interest them in and around Liberty Station. Just adjacent is the USS Recruit, a "landship" commissioned in 1949 to provide NTC personnel a place to train on an authentic vessel built to a two-thirds scale of the real ship. It lacked an engine because it was never meant to sail, but included standard bridge and deck gear so that new recruits could learn shipboard procedures and drills in an authentic environment.

Decommissioned with the rest of the base in 1997, the USS Recruit is listed along with the rest of Liberty Station on the National Register of Historic Places. There are hopes to eventually turn it into a museum. For now, it still stands adjacent to Liberty Station as a point of interest.

Gun Platform No.1 at Liberty Station NTC Park
Gun Platform No.1 at Liberty Station NTC Park

Other Military Points of Interest

Other points of interest related to military history in the vicinity of Liberty Station include the 52 Boats Memorial located in the Liberty Station NTC Park, also known as just Liberty Station Park, and the famous USS Midway Museum located about four miles away in the Embarcadero of San Diego along San Diego Bay.

Featured Activity

Front of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
Located in downtown San Diego, the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum provides history of aircraft built in California. The museum includes over 60 exhibits with restored aircraft and tours of the carrier.
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Non-Military Attractions at Liberty Station

Museums near Liberty Station

However, not all the attractions in and around Liberty Station relate to military history. There is also the Old Point Loma Lighthouse inside Cabrillo National Monument. The two-story lighthouse is located at the southern point of the peninsula and served the area from 1855 to 1891, and today, it has been refurbished to its 19th-century condition and is partially open to the public.

Museums near Liberty Station include the Women's Museum of California, which preserves and interprets items related to the contributions of women to inspire future generations; the Visions Art Museum, devoted to quilts and textiles; and the New Americans Museum, which focuses on telling the stories of people who have immigrated to this country in recent decades.

Restaurant Patio at The LOT at Liberty Station
Restaurant Patio at The LOT at Liberty Station

The LOT at Liberty Station

One of the most popular attractions at Liberty Station, for visitors as well as locals, is The LOT at Liberty Station, an upscale dining venue and movie multiplex. Opening in 2016, The LOT is housed inside the refurbished Luce Auditorium, where naval recruits in the 1940s screened training films before shipping out to serve their country in World War II. The beauty of the old auditorium is enhanced with a bar, lounge, and restaurant area entirely enclosed by glass, which is separated from the theater by an arch-covered promenade.

Outdoor Patio at the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Airport Liberty Station
Outdoor Patio at the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Airport Liberty Station

Hotels at Liberty Station

There are even hotels inside Liberty Station. One of our favorites is the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Airport/Liberty Station which is on the south end of Liberty Station and just next to the airport.

Windansea Beach in La Jolla on a Hot Summer Day
Windansea Beach in La Jolla on a Hot Summer Day

Other Nearby Attractions

Liberty Station is also conveniently located near such popular area attractions as the San Diego Zoo located inside Balboa Park; Old Town San Diego, known as the birthplace of California; and La Jolla which is famous for its beautiful beaches as well as its quaint downtown area, also known known for its shopping and restaurants.

Featured Hotel
Hampton Inn & Suites San Diego Airport / Liberty Station
Hampton Inn and Suites San Diego Airport Liberty Station
Families
Families
Museums
Museums
Near Bay
Near Bay
2 Stars2 Stars
Enjoy comfort, convenience, and amazing views of the harbor when you stay at Hampton Inn & Suites San Diego Airport Liberty Station for business or vacation.
Prices Starting at $149
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Know Before You Go & Tips

Airport Nearby
Airport Nearby
Breweries
Breweries
Cafes
Cafes
Parks
Parks
Shopping
Shopping
Walkable
Walkable

Events & Entertainment at Liberty Station

Arts District at Liberty Station
Arts District at Liberty Station

The Arts District Liberty Station encompasses not only the visual arts but the performing arts as well. There are several dance companies that make their home here, including Malashock Dance and the San Diego Ballet. The National Comedy Theater offers improv comedy shows four nights a week in the style of the popular program "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

First Friday

The Art District's First Friday is the biggest innovative arts event in San Diego. It takes place on the first Friday of every month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and includes live theatrical, dance, and amplified music performances, as well as the opportunity to meet local working artists.

Statue at Arts District in Liberty Station
Statue at Arts District in Liberty Station

Outdoor Art

Installations at the Station is a rotating program during which the sometimes forbidding grounds of the former Naval Training Center play host to a diverse array of site-specific outdoor art. The installations will remain in place for up to one year, after which time new temporary art projects will be chosen to go on display.

ArtWalk San Diego is an annual fine arts festival that takes place citywide. ArtWalk @ Liberty Station takes place in the Arts District during August and allows visitors to experience art al fresco, that is, outdoors under natural light. ArtWalk activities include live music, a wine-and-beer pavilion, street food options, and interactive art opportunities for all ages.

Festival of Books

The Festival of Books is another annual event that takes place at Liberty Station in the summer. This event is a celebration of the literary arts. Every year 15,000 attendees of all ages can visit Author Alley, where over 60 writers and artists showcase their work; see panel discussions featuring local and national speakers; and enjoy family-friendly activities at the Children's Pavilion where authors of children's books are present.

Salute the Season

However, not all special events at Liberty Station take place in the summer. Salute the Season is a series of seasonal activities that take place in November and December to celebrate winter holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah.

Salute the Season kicks off with the opening of the Rady Children's Ice Rink in mid-November. The ice rink remains open seven days a week until the culmination of the event in December, and the proceeds go to the Thriving After Cancer program at Rady Children's Hospital. The Rady Children's Ice Rink is actually part of our Holiday Season Guide to San Diego Christmas Activities.

The Nutcracker Tea Party with the San Diego Ballet is a family-friendly event that takes place as part of Salute the Season festivities. Cookies and hot drinks are served, and Santa Claus makes a visit, but the main event is an interactive performance of The Nutcracker Suite.

Another family-friendly event during Salute the Season is the lighting of the tree. In addition to the tree lighting, this hours-long event includes other activities that may include live entertainment, pictures with Santa, outdoor movies, and fire truck rides.

Salute the Season concludes with a special Hanukkah celebration to light the menorah. This family-friendly evening includes music and other holiday surprises. After the ceremony concludes, the ice rink will remain open until 10:00 p.m. that evening before closing down for another year.

Liberty Station
is Famous For:
Parks
Parks
Sidewalk Cafés
Sidewalk Cafés
Known For:
Breweries
Breweries
Sunshine
Sunshine
Walkable
Walkable
This Month's Forecast
48°F / 69°F
Sunny in December
Jan
48°F / 68°F
Sunny in January
Feb
49°F / 69°F
Sunny in February
Mar
52°F / 70°F
Sunny in March