2455 Cushing Road, Liberty Station
Liberty Station is a former Naval Training Center (NTC) in Point Loma at the north end of San Diego Bay, across from San Diego International Airport, that was closed in April 1997 and turned into a mixed-use space with restaurants, shops, art galleries, hotels, movie theater, museums, a church, a nine-hole golf course, and a park open to the public. The NTC is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places, and many of the individual structures are designated as historic by the City of San Diego. The NTC has been in a number of films and television shows. Scenes for the movies Top Gun, Battle Cry, Here Comes the Navy, and In the Navy were shot at the NTC.
Most of the park consists of large fields; however, there are some beautiful paved and dirt paths along the bay. Many benches and picnic areas provide places to sit and enjoy the expansive sights of San Diego Bay. Look for a large Agave americana with a tall branched stalk with yellow flowers. The flowers indicate that this plant will die back, allowing new shoots to grow over time. Also while walking you will encounter the Hugh Story Memorial Rose Garden and Louis Rose Point. The rose garden is dedicated to the memory of Hugh Goodman Story, Sr., a community activist, Navy veteran, and reservist who served in World War II, earning a bronze star with combat V (for acts of valor) citation. He volunteered for the community of Point Loma full-time for 24 years, helping to plant hundreds of trees and flowers, and leading beautification projects every week.
Louis Rose Point is named after San Diego’s first Jewish settler and pioneer developer, Louis Rose. After arriving in San Diego in 1850, Rose served in many capacities: as a member of the first grand jury, elected official of the first county board of supervisors, a member of the San Diego school board, and served as postmaster. The areas of Roseville, Rose Creek, and Rose Canyon are named after him.
You will find at the front of the park, Gun Platform No.1 and Gun Platform No. 2, both on the National Registry of Historic Places, assumed to be assembled on the platforms in 1945. The park is also home to the unique 52 Boats Memorial that runs along two pathways. The memorial honors and remembers 52 U.S. naval submarines lost at sea during World War II; more than 3,500 U.S. crewmen lost their lives. It consists of 52 black stone pillars, 52 American Liberty Elms, and 52 flags. Each stone pillar has a plaque that includes a picture and story of the ship, and the names of the missing crewmen. The American Liberty Elm, named after the liberty tree, is a physical and symbolic representation of freedom. At the original famous liberty tree, an elm in Boston (intersection of Washington and Essex streets), the first act of defiance against the British was staged. This tree became a rallying point of numerous patriotic demonstrations.
Kayaks and paddleboards can be rented seasonally on the waterfront near the southeast corner of the park close to hotels. At night, the paths are well lit.
LIBERTY STATION NTC PARK
Explore the paths and enjoy great views from this former Navy facility
Driving directions: (Point Loma). From I-5 N, take exit 18A to merge onto Pacific Highway. Keep left to continue on Barnett Ave. Turn left onto Truxtun Ave. Turn left onto Dewey Rd. Turn Right onto Cushing Rd. The destination will be on your left. There is no fee to park, and there is ample lot and street parking. Facilities include three public restrooms, two tot lot playgrounds, one outdoor basketball court, four multi-purpose fields, and five special event fields. Hiking length: 1.8 miles around the perimeter of the 46-acre park. Wheelchair accessible on paved sections of the park. Leashed dogs and bikes allowed. No smoking, balloons, glass containers, sale of merchandise, staking anything on turf, adhering anything to trees, motor vehicles, advertising, remote controlled soaring or gliding aircraft, or water or electrical hookups. Parties larger than 50, and inflatables, generators, or other large/complex equipment require a permit. Difficulty: Easy with little elevation gain/loss. Good for beginners.