Whether you're on active duty in a branch of the military yourself and thinking about your next dream sheet or you're interested strictly for personal reasons, you may want to learn about some of America's different bases. We've rounded up details on five of the best military bases in the US in terms of scenery.
These military bases, some in the mountains, some on beaches, and some in between, are some of the most gorgeous plots of land anywhere!
Before we get into those, have you seen our Military Tokens and Military Wanderchain? These stylish collectibles offer a unique, meaningful way to show your support of the military personnel in your life and make wonderful gifts!
They're even customizable with a monogram on the Wanderchain or specific dates on the tokens (think service dates, the date you got stationed there, or children's birthdates who were born on post!).
Best Military Bases for Scenery
1. Honolulu, HI - Multiple Bases
If there's one destination that consistently tops dream sheets, it's unquestionably Honolulu, Hawaii. Situated right on the coast on Oahu, Honolulu's strategic geographical position makes it the ideal home for several of the best military bases. Those bases include:
- Fort Shafter (Army)
- Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham
- Bellows Air Force Station
- Marine Corps Base Hawaii/Fort Hase (Marines and Navy)
- Schofield Barracks (Army)
- US Coast Guard Base Honolulu
Aside from having paradise literally right outside your door, being stationed in Hawaii is awesome for many other reasons. Partake in epic adventures, ranging from memorable hikes and learning to surf to deep-sea fishing and discovering beaches with every color sand imaginable.
One of the perks of living and working on a military base in Hawaii? Access to incredible camping and other outdoor recreation. MCB Hawaii even has "upscale camping," Cabanas at Kaneohe Bay, which are indeed oceanfront cabanas available for rent.
Another huge benefit of being stationed in Hawaii is the ability to easily island-hop, discovering the uniqueness of each of the Hawaiian islands.
2. Key West, FL - Naval Air Station
If your idea of the best military bases involves a tropical destination but you're more of the Lower 48 type, set your eyes on Key West, Florida.
Technically, actually, Naval Air Station Key West is on Boca Chica Key, an island of its own about four miles from dowtown Key West. Boca Chica Key is the second-to-last major island in the Keys, making the drive down from Miami particularly scenic in and of itself.
Crystal clear waters, epic sunsets, great weather outside of hurricane season, candy-colored architecture, and an abundance of diverse wildlife all contribute to the interesting scenery.
On base, the island has its very own marina with boat rentals available to servicemen and women. There are also multiple fitness centers and a bowling alley, and active-duty personnel get access to discounted tickets for all sorts of attractions. Being a major tourist destination, there's no shortage of things to do in the Keys and this is actually a huge perk.
Dry Tortugas National Park (one of the best to visit in the fall) is just a short boat ride away, and the base even has several lodging and camping options (available for military only). Right on Boca Chica Key, there are nearly 100 RV campsites with hookups and a whopping 500 boondocking sites!
3. Anchorage, AK - Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER)
Does it get any more scenic than Alaska? We don't think so either. Anchorage is home to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, affectionately known as "J-Bear," which houses the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Situated on the Knik Arm of the Gulf of Alaska and at the point where the Kenai Peninsula comes off of the mainland along the scenic Seward Highway, this miltary base is unquestionably strategic. It just so happens to be incredibly scenic (and awesome), as well.
You'll see wildlife galore, can hop on a boat and fish for King Salmon or Alaskan Halibut any time you want, hike to glaciers, discover thousands and thousands of lakes and waterfalls, and may even have the opportunity to spot the Northern Lights occasionally.
Denali also peeks out from behind her cloud cover a few times a year as well, offering up a truly awe-inspiring sight.
Beyond all of that, though, what really makes JBER one of the best military bases in the US is the on-base amenities. For example, there's a proper ski hill, Hillberg Ski Area. Oh, and one last bonus: Anchorage has no sales tax!
4. Fort Carson, CO - Army
We know, we know — we don't have to sell you on the beauty of Colorful Colorado. This section of the Rocky Mountain State, however, is especially impressive.
Fort Carson is between Colorado Springs (home of Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, the infamous Manitou Incline, the US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, the US Air Force Academy, and so much more) and the Royal Gorge, with not only gorgeous scenery, but endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Another reason Fort Carson is one of the best military bases in the US is because there's such a heavy military presence in the general area. Peterson Air Force Base is also nearby and there always seems to be an abundance of both contract and civil positions available.
A place having strong military roots goes a long way in the quality of life for servicemen and women, connecting them with resources and other active-duty folks.
5. Charleston, SC - Multiple Bases
Charleston is world renowned as one of the most picture-perfect destinations in the US, so it makes perfect sense that it's also home to one of the best military bases for scenery.
Here, multiple branches of the military call Charleston home: Joint Base Charleston, which actually hosts the Air Force, Army, and Navy; Coast Guard Station Charleston, and Navy Weapons Station Charleston.
Situated on a peninsula jutting into a bay of the Atlantic Ocean and flanked on either side by two rivers (the Ashley and the Cooper Rivers), Charleston enjoys both southeastern coastline and lush, old growth forest.
Iconic dreamy mossy oaks and fragrant magnolias line trees and dot the landscape everywhere you look. it's hard to imagine a more scenic location for one of the best military bases!
The city has an incredibly interesting, long history and fantastic food and drink scenes, to boot. To make being stationed in Charleston even more appealing, residents are notoriously friendly and welcoming. In fact, Charleston has been named one of the country's friendliest cities several times. Southern hospitality is absolutely a thing, y'all.
Have you ever seen one of these posts, or do you have any loved ones who have been stationed at any of them? Would you consider them some of the best military bases for scenery?
Don't forget to check out our Military Tokens to gift to the servicemen or women in your life, or to collect yourself and show your support! And of course, you'll also need a Military Wanderchain to proudly display your tokens and keep them organized.