Marine Corps Mechanized Museum


Location: Oceanside (38 Miles / 40 Minutes North of Downtown San Diego)

Open Weekdays: 7:30AM – 4PM (1PM on Fridays); Closed on Weekends

Cost: Free; Must Show Driver’s License and have Proof of Car Insurance to enter Camp Pendleton

Features: Relics of Past Conflicts including Tanks, Missile Carriers, Howitzer, and other Combat Vehicles

marine-mechanized-outsideMarine Corps Mechanized Museum Highlights: Plan to spend up to a half hour visiting the Museum. This does not include the 9-mile (15-20 minute) drive each way from the entrance of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to the Mechanized Museum.  You will see over two dozen military vehicles, some of which date back to 1942.

Outside, there are several military tanks lined up at the end of the parking lot where visitors like to take pictures. Inside the Museum, descriptions are provided with the vehicles explaining their capabilities and when they were used in combat. They include such pieces as Missile Carriers, a 75 mm Pack Howitzer, Light Strike Vehicles, and Tractor Carriers.

marine-mechanized-insideYou will see more than half the building is blocked off where they hope to expand the Museum one day. It includes more vehicles that need to be refurbished when more money can be raised. If you would like to help in this cause, you will find a donation box near an opening where you can peer into the closed off area.

Note that this Museum is generally unmanned but is under surveillance.  It is more of a self-help museum that gets very few visitors other than when Marines bring friends and family onto base. However, it does provide a rare opportunity to see large military vehicles. It is one of four Marine Corps Museums in the United States, three of which are located in San Diego County. (Select the ‘Military’ theme below for information on the other Marine Corps Museums in San Diego.)

Food – Eat at restaurants in the City of Oceanside. You can learn more by reading things to do in Oceanside, CA.

Information on Visiting the Marine Corps Mechanized Museum

Mechanized Museum web site: There is limited information regarding Museums on Camp Pendleton

Admission: Free; Note, all visitors must show current identification. Driver must have proof of car insurance available upon request. There is no guarantee you will be allowed on to the Marine Corps Base. Generally, most U.S. citizens should have no problem.

Directions from Google Maps to Harbor Drive and Vandegrift Boulevard in Oceanside, CA 92057. Once you pass through the Camp Pendleton entrance (see Traffic below for more information), you will proceed straight on Vandegrift Boulevard for 9 miles to reach the Mechanized Museum. When you get to the intersection with Basoline Road, you will have 1 mile to go. The museum is in a canyon on your left side immediately after passing through a traffic light.

Traffic – Getting to and from Camp Pendleton is relatively easy. The entrance is located right off exit 54 on highway I-5. (Learn more about getting San Diego traffic updates.) Traffic getting through the checkpoint and onto base can be heavy at unexpected times. However, other than morning and evening hours, traffic generally flows smoothly. Pull up to the gate to show your license and say you are looking to visit the Mechanized Museum. Once on base, strictly follow the speed limit. In some areas, the speed limit will be as high as 55 MPH. If you go 56 MPH, you will be the fastest car on the road so be careful.

Parking – There is a parking lot adjacent to the Mechanized Museum entrance.

Transit – There is no transit available to reach the Marine Corps Mechanized Command Museum.

Nearby Attractions: Find more things to do in Oceanside, CA . If you head to downtown Oceanside, you can walk out on the largest wooden pier on the West Coast, explore the California Surf Museum, take surfing lessons, enjoy an ocean sailing tour, bike along a nature trail, and see history at California’s largest Mission.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: *Top San Diego Museums*, Military Museums & Presence, Nostalgia & Western Frontier, Oceanside |

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