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United States Air Force Academy free

4102 Pinion Drive | Air Force Academy, CO 80840 | Official website
United States Air Force Academy Photo info
Beverly & Pack/Flickr
  • Type: Museums, Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
Overall Rating: 4.5 (4.3)
Value: 5.0 (5.0)
Facilities: 4.0 (4.0)
Atmosphere: 4.5 (4.5)
About these ratings

Do you feel the need … the need for speed? Then plan a visit to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Not only is the academy a must for any lover of the movie "Top Gun" who'd like to see the impressive plane maneuvers first-hand, it's also a functioning educational institution for future pilots. Your first stop should be the Visitor Center, which offers a brief-yet-informative introduction to the academy. From there, you're free to explore areas like the Cadet Chapel, the Honor Court and Falcon Stadium.

The academy's public areas are connected by long shady pathways, and recent visitors strongly recommend sporting a sturdy pair of shoes (though you can also drive around the campus). They also recommend keeping your eyes and ears open for passing planes; if you're lucky you might catch a training exercise. (In fact, consider reserving tickets for the Graduation Ceremony in May — it's known for its impressive airborne spectacles.) No matter when you visit, plan on spending several hours here. "Take the time to enjoy the visitor's center, including the short movie," one TripAdvisor user said. "[S]top at the overlooks. You'll enjoy the various views of the campus and learn a lot by reading the various information stations at each overlook."

The U.S. Air Force Academy is located about 14 miles north of downtown Colorado Springs. Visitors must enter through the North Gate for security reasons. The academy is open to the public every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (the visitors center is only open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and admission is free. You can find more information on the Air Force Academy website.

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