Base Survival Guide Series: MCAS Miramar + MCRD San Diego

Base Survival Guide Series: MCAS Miramar + MCRD San Diego


This Base Survival Guide on MCAS Miramar and MCRD San Diego is brought to you by Cheyanne and J.M. Cheyanne is a Marine Corps wife of 10 years. Her and her husband have two beautiful children and a dog named Sadie! J.M. is also a Marine Corps wife and her wife has been in for 19 years. They are currently stationed at MCRD San Diego. She's a therapist and they're moms of three littles! They love the San Diego area because there's so much to do! 



What's the weather like at this base?

Perfect! Sunny, mild temperatures changes.

Amazing. San Diego sunny weather most of the year.




What's your favorite time of year there?

All seasons here are beautiful but my favorite would have to be spring!
Fall. It’s chilly but warms up in the afternoon.


What's your favorite thing about living at this duty station? 

That there's so much to do!

Women’s kickball league over at MCAS Miramar.



What's your least favorite thing about living at this duty station?

TRAFFIC. And the high cost of living.

Traffic from the 805 to base. We live in Chula Vista. It’s also a relatively small base and therefore the Marines work a lot.


Is there anything you wish you knew about this duty station before your PCS there?

I wish I knew about the traffic and how you really have to plan your day to not constantly be stuck in it.


What amenities are on base? And what are they like? For example: Is the commissary large or small? Well stocked? Pool on base? Parks? How many? Etc.

Miramar is a smaller base but still has everything you might need.

• There's a pool on base as well as: a nail salon, Starbucks, Chipotle, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, library, movie theater and various flight line food establishments.

• There's a brand new CDC on base.

Commissary is a good size, produce is hit or miss. There's a decent size MCX.

MCRD is also a smaller base.

• There is no commissary or pool.

• There's a great park by the Marine for littles.

• The military clothing stores are pretty good and I’ve heard the CDC is one of the best.



What tips or hacks would you give a  military spouse who just PCSed to that base?

Join allllll the Facebook groups. Look at housing communities near the area and get an idea of what you rate/how long the waitlists are.

Get to know other spouses, it can be lonely when your Marine is working so much. Go to the spouses events too!


Do you live on or off base? What is/was your experience like?

We live in base housing off base! We really enjoy our community. We feel safe here and the neighborhood is great!

Off base. There is no on base housing for MCRD. There's off base housing that's close or in Miramar but the waitlist is long. We live in Chula Vista which is amazing and we LOVE it, but the commute sucks because of the 805.

For on base housing:

Miramar offers limited base housing on base.


For off base housing:

Chula Vista

Murphy canyon is really great and the largest off base housing area. It’s right by Miramar.

Serra Mesa

Housing in Imperial Beach

Liberty Station area

Point Loma



What are your favorite hang out spots on base? Why?

We enjoy the movie theatre, thrift shop and ITT. The theatre is huge but so affordable and clean. The thrift shop is fun to look around for fun treasures. The ITT really helps us be able to plan and make the most of things we want to do out in town.

The park with the kids. There's also an area by the food spots that's nice to hang out and have a lunch date at.


Did you do a DITY move or military move?

Military move.


Are there any base specific traditions that take place? What is the culture like?

Miramar is a very small base compared to other military bases nearby. They have fun events for families and children every few months! Usually every year the Blue Angels make an appearance!

The events are great. Trunk or treat, egg hunt, and Christmas event are all really awesome!



Are there any base FB pages, bloggers, or accounts/websites people should follow for the base or area?

Base website for MCAS Miramar can be found here. The base website for MCRD San Diego can be found here.

Facebook Pages

MCCS Miramar

MCAS Miramar Military Spouses

There are MCRD spouses fb pages and even each company has fb pages for spouse events.


What is your favorite coffee shop there? Why? What is your favorite order?

Better Buzz- so yummy! Vanilla latte is my go to drink!


What are your favorite spots for date night?

Coronado island- there are so many boutiques and fun places to visit. Plus military has its own beaches with little crowds. We also like to explore new restaurants!

Costerra, and Melting Pot.



What are your favorite restaurants? What is your go to order?

Tacos el Gordo, Nonna’s, and Salt and Straw.

Costerra, Melting Pot, and Karina’s. Murrieta’s in Bonita is a really good authentic Mexican restaurant. Casa Nori has delicious sushi.


Are there any fun things to do in the area or close to base like amusements parks etc?

The San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, Legoland, harbor cruises, trolley tours, and Disneyland isn’t too far away (go to ITT for tickets!)

Snap Dragon for concerts, Padres games, downtown gaslamp quarter, and Play City for the kids.



What are some of the things you would put on a bucket list for other military spouses coming to that base?

Miramar Air Show! Comes every September. Such a fun and entertaining show to watch!

Seaworld, Zoo, USS Midway Museum and the beach!



Are there any cities you recommend for weekend getaways? Why? What did you do there?

Disneyland/Anaheim, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Big Bear, Temecula, Catalina, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Julian.



Best places or activities for kids? Why?

• Children’s museum downtown and in Escondido

•  San Diego Zoo membership

•  Heritage Park

•  San Diego Safari Park

•  Belmont Park

•  Seaworld

•  Ninja Factory

•  Play City

•  San Diego Gymnastics is where my twins go to gymnastics and they love it!



Any local festivals/traditions held for the holidays in that area?

So many! Depending on where you live in the county you'll be able to find an event for every holiday!

Local Recommendations:


Glen Ivy

The Spa at Primally Pure

Botoxie is my go to facial place- Tara Webber is amazing!

Rind Hair Salon does scalp treatments (just got one) and it was 10/10!



Stefania Ferrari

Valerie Kaye 



Dr. Cobb



Children’s Primary Medical Group


Primary Care Doctor

Genesee Medical Group



Hope Therapy Group is a group therapy practice located in Eastlake that accepts Tricare!



Integrity Dental

Bonita Smiles



ERBalboa Hospital-military, Sharp Hospital, Rady Hospital for Children



We use Tierrasanta Vet Hospital! It’s where most people here in Murphy Canyon would recommend. They have great prices and are very friendly!


Dog Parks

Ocean Beach has 2 dog beaches that I love! One is downtown Ocean Beach and one is at Robb Field.



• LA Fitness in Eastlake is awesome, it has childcare.

• FitFactory is also a great group style gym.

• There's also a base gym and an F45 on base.


Kids Tutor/Babysitter

Checking spouse facebook pages is always a great place to start!



CDC on base.

Kids Depot.



Heritage Elementary is great!
Vista Grande (public school)
Magnolia Science Academy (charter school)



Melissa Espinosa, you can find her on Instagram here!



Golden Flutter Photo. She's great and shoots for military and special needs families!

Kayla Mattox (Sonder Photo) in Yuma she's even traveling out here for a few sessions next year… she comes a few times a year and squeezes sessions in for people who want them or we drive to her like we just did a few weeks ago.


Grocery Stores

Commissary, Costco, Aldi, Trader Joes, Ralphs, Barons Health Food Store, Target, and sometimes Vons. Everywhere but the commissary charges you .10 cents per grocery bag so stock up on reusable ones!



Jazzi’s on Miramar Rd.


Shops + Boutiques

Stichic in the Mission Valley Mall.



Overall I would rate this base at a... (1-10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best)

Cheyanne: 10/10

J.M.: 8/10



Slideshow Miramar



If you'd like to learn more, have any questions or just want to add something to this guide please email me at


You can also get a PDF version of this guide here!

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