San Diego: Top Gun Tour

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A drive from LA to San Diego should be mandatory on any trip to California. The coastal freeway from LA to San Diego is astonishing and makes a perfect route for a road trip. San Diego has it's very own Top Gun base at Miramar Air Base and the coastal city is home to quite the amount of naval personel. San Diego was chosen (wisely) as the main filming location for the 1986 movie; Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise.

Oceanside Pier, California, USA
Before making it all the way to San Diego. The coastal city of Oceanside is worth having a break in. The city pier is surrounded by a beautiful ocean strip with palm trees on one side and beach on the other.

"The Top Gun House" in Oceanside, California, USA
Near the pier you'll stumble upon The Top Gun House. In the 1986 mega hit movie, this house functioned as Charlie's (Kelly McGillis) house. Maverick (Tom Cruise) drove up here on the corner on his motorbike in a memorable scene. Today the house is closed-off due to wear and tear. This still remains a must-see place for Top Gun fans. Go there, before it collapses.

Mission Beach Boardwalk in San Diego, California, USA
Mission Beach is another great stop on the way to the centre of San Diego. On the boardwalk here, you'll see all the California beach stereotypes; bare-chested skater boys, bikini girls on roller-blades, couples hand-in-hand and kids with ice-cream. A very cozy and busy beach boardwalk.
There used to be an Athletic Club here, which was used to film some of the locker room scenes in Top Gun. Unfortunately, this building has now been torn down.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California, USA
All the way out on Point Loma is the military Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. The white tomb stones, green grass and view towards San Diego, makes a perfect spot for such a place of remembrance. The ending scene at Viper's house in Top Gun, was shot near Point Loma.

W Laurel St. in San Diego, California, USA
Remember when Maverick (Tom Cruise) couldn't hear Charlie (Kelly McGillis) from the roaring engine of his motorbike? That scene was shot a Liberty Station in San Diego. But what followed was a mad Charlie in her car chasing Maverick, and almost causing a car crash. When they both finally came to a stop it was right next to a big palm tree. That palm tree is still there today, and it has grown even larger. It's located on W Laurel St. close to Union St. A less visited Top Gun location.

Kansas City Barbeque in San Diego, California, USA
Probably the coolest Top Gun location of them all. Kansas City Barbeque was the bar, where Goose (Anthony Edwards) jammed out Jerry Lee Lewis' - "Great Balls of Fire". This is also where Charlie (Kelly McGillis) put "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" on the jukebox, while Maverick (Tom Cruise) sat heartbroken at the bar.

Goose's piano at Kansas City Barbeque in San Diego, California, USA
The owners of the Kansas City Barbeque has really embraced the fame, which has followed since they chose to shut down the restaurant allowing the Top Gun crew to film. The walls are covered in Top Gun memorabilia, the original piano and jukebox are still there. You can even read the story about how the bar got chosen and before you leave, make sure you buy one of the many souvenirs. RIP Goose.

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