""TOP GUN" In San Diego" Top 5 Page for this destination San Diego Travelogue by lmkluque

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"TOP GUN" Memorabilia

In 1986 or 1987 I had a group of Finnish students, one boy Mika, who stayed at my home, LOVED the movie "TOP GUN." (Mika actually looked a bit like Tom Cruise too.) Well, Mika wanted to see "Fighter Town USA," where Maverick was trained.

Mika was surprised to find out that I knew other places around San Diego that were part of the movie. So, for any of you who are interested, here are those places/sites.

The picture above is of the Top Gun sign, in front of the Kansas City Barbecue, where Tom Cruise and his friend played the piano and sang for Meg Rayan.

Kansas City Barbeque

610 West Market Street
San Diego, CA.
Near the Seaport Village Trolley stop.
Phone (619) 231-9680

This is the "honky-tonk" dive where the fly-boys, from Fighter Town USA, hung-out. (In real life, they didn't--it was too far from Miramar, Fighter Town USA, for them to just pop over for a brew.)

If you want to see what many of the local cafes are like in small towns throughout the country, this is a perfect example. Here you can eat Genuine American Barbeque! No need to dress fancy here.

Inside KCB--At the Piano

This is the room with the piano, the restaurant and bar are in different rooms. The walls are full of pictures on the subject of Top Gun.

You can imagine, this obscure, little restaurant became an overnight success once the movie came out. If you visit KCB today you wouldn't recognize the place from the outside--it's bigger and they've added outside dining, which in my opinion is always a plus! (However, the inside has changed very little, and the food hasn't changed at all.)

The Street Kelly McGillis Lived on

The Strand, ( I believe that's the street name, in any case, it is the street in Oceanside that runs parallel to the beach.) Oceanside, California

Front of Kelly McGillis's Character's House

This is where Tom's character came to relax with Kelly's character. Of course, they didn't stay here, just used the facade of the house.

U.S.S. Independence--Aircraft Carrier 61

An aircraft carrier is equivalent to a floating city, population, more than five thousand with room to spare.

It is hugh and easy to get lost in--I know, I did! This is a view of the Captain's deck from the flight deck.

Aircraft carriers, in port, are usually stationed in San Diego Bay at North Island Naval Air Station.

Old Town Trolley Tours, (619) 298-TOUR) has a Friday morning tour to North Island. The tour lasts two or three hours and this is the only way you'll get on a US Military base--unless you are in the military, the spouse of a serviceman (serviceperson,) or--as in my case--the off spring of a serviceman/serviceperson.

Crew Taking a Break

This picture, taken from the flight deck, shows how immense the ship actually is. Here you see crew members taking a break out in the sun while others are working--re-painting the numbers of the ship.


The sign speaks for itself.

USS Independence--Flight Deck

These were the only aircraft left on the ship the day we went.

U S Naval Air Station Miramar, California

Alas, to his great disappointment, Mika was not permitted onto the base! He had to be satisfied with taking pictures through a chain-link fence off the side of the road. He was however, very happy that the road ran along the air strip with jets in view.

Photo by Mika of Finland

Miramar Naval Air Station--Tower

This is the tower Maverick 'buzzed" in the movie.

Because of military cut backs during the Clinton administration Miramar--Fighter Town USA--was moved from San Diego. The air field is still in use by the U.S. Marines and you can still see jets doing maneuvers overhead while driving north on I-15.

Photo by Mika of Finland.

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
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