Imagine a duty station where you wake up every day to near-perfect weather. In this mythical land, there's plenty to do outdoors and you never run out of fun off-duty activities. In fact, some of these locations are highly sought-after vacation destinations for the rest of the country. Good thing Old Uncle Sam voluntold you to go! There are more than a few installations nestled around our great country that offer endless sun and fun. Here are the best of the best.
You can enjoy sun and fun year round at these 7 military installations
Joint Base San Antonio
San Antonio has a warm and welcoming military community, on top of its warm and welcoming weather. We know what you might be thinking - Texas heat is no joke. That's true, but what makes JBSA stand out is the amazing on-ground community, warm local culture, and exciting options for outdoor fun! If you are looking for a base with a great year-round climate, Joint Base San Antonio has got you covered. Neither too hot nor too cold, San Antonio winters offer the perfect weather for outdoor recreational activities. In the summer, when it gets spectacularly hot, you can escape to one of the nearby lakes for all kinds of water sports.
Fort Cavazos (formerly Fort Hood)
Okay, stay with us here. We know there's a reason it was called Fort Hood. And yeah, this aging Army installation might have a challenge or two to overcome. But look on the bright side! A duty tour in Texas means that you're close to a lot. In fact, you're just an hour north of Austin. And we all know how cool Austin can be, what with its vibrant arts scene and dynamic food and beverage culture. Austin is also known for its concert scene because it's considered the music capital of Texas. That means there's something to do, no matter the season! Fort Cavazos might not be your top choice installation, but there's enough in the surrounding area to make it a memorable experience.
Obviously, getting stationed in Florida isn't all that bad. Yeah, okay, there are gators to contend with. And you might catch sight of a mullet or two in the wild. But, have heart! Florida is known as the Sunshine State for a reason, so setting up shop at Naval Air Station Pensacola is a dream scenario. This joint base on the Florida panhandle has some of the best weather and beaches in the country. Being right on the Gulf of Mexico means there’s never a shortage of water sports to suit your wildest dreams. And, since the weather is darn near perfect all year, you can forget about needing anything but your shorts and sandals. (Unless you're on duty, of course.)
If Florida was on your wishlist and you didn't get Pensacola, that's okay because the Sunshine State is home to plenty of other bits of paradise. In fact, you might want to turn your sites to Naval Air Station Key West. Word is this is one of the best-kept secrets of all the military installations. With tropical weather all year, you won’t have a hard time enjoying the region’s white-sand beaches and warm turquoise sea. Plus, the Keys are filled with an immense range of outdoor activities to fill your time, all the while working on your tan.
What's not to love about this epic naval installation? It's the largest in the world. It has some of the most dynamic histories of any military installation in the country. Oh, and the weather is pretty spot-on, too. Naval Station Norfolk does not disappoint where the weather is concerned. You'll still experience all four seasons (mildly - snow every few years) and it's a quick 30-minute drive to the renowned tourist destination of Virginia Beach. With lots of sun and plenty of beachy recreational activities to enjoy nearly year-round, the area surrounding Naval Station Norfolk has lots to keep you busy in your off-hours.
Obviously, a duty assignment to California is nothing to cry about. In fact, it's probably something you'll want to shout from the rooftops. And, it's probably a place you'll finally get friends from back home to come to visit. That's because San Diego is long considered the city with the best weather in the US, so landing at a base in the area is like a dream. Naval Base Coronado is on Coronado Island, which means it combines the beautiful weather with a bit of island life. Take your pick of water sports, including surfing, sailing, fishing, and more. San Diego proper is just a short drive or ferry ride away for you to enjoy the city culture, too.
Another slice of heaven, another dream assignment. Schofield Barracks is an Army base in Honolulu, Hawaii, a world-renowned tropical paradise. The beaches and surfing are to die for, there are gorgeous volcano hikes all around, and the warm and sunny weather makes it perfect to spend your free days exploring no matter the time of year. As if all that weren’t enough, being in Honolulu means you get the cultural benefits of a city while still being surrounded by some of the most spectacular nature on the planet.
Speaking of Hawaii here's how this Army Chief learned about Pearl Harbor.