The Barry Goldwater Air Force Academy Visitor Center serves as the gateway to the Academy, providing information on its history and cadet life to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
The Visitor Center is open to the public everyday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Public access to the center is currently through the North Gate only. A government I.D. will be required at the gate.
The center was built with donated and borrowed funds totaling $4.5 million. The private organizations which donated the building to the Air Force named it in honor of retired Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater, an avid supporter of the academy. The facility opened its doors in June 1986.
The 31,600-square-foot building contains exhibits, a snack bar and a gift shop. A one-third-mile paved nature trail east of the facility allows visitors to walk to the Cadet Chapel.
A movie about cadets, highlighting the Academy experience, is shown throughout the day in a 250-seat theater. The exhibit area features displays on history and cadet life with specially designed exhibits to explain the academy's four "pillars of excellence." These refer to the four areas of the cadet training program: character development and academic, athletic, and military training. The 5,652-square-foot exhibit area includes video and static displays, a hometown map, and a historical exhibit featuring information on Academy history, current and former superintendents and other significant features of the Academy's history.
Self-guided tour maps and information on the academy are available at the information desk. For additional information call the front desk at 719-333-2025.
Disabled Access As a courtesy to visitors wheelchairs are provided for use within the Visitor Center, however, they cannot be taken out of the facility. The paved nature trail is a strenuous walk with a variety of hills, and the walk from the Cadet Chapel to the Visitor Center is mostly uphill with a steep grade in some areas. People with limited mobility should bring a wheelchair to help them get to and from the Chapel.
Visitors may also park in the Arnold Hall parking lot to reach the Cadet Chapel. This is still about a one-third-mile walk but with a more natural grade.
Buses and Recreational Vehicles Due to the large volume of bus traffic to the Visitor Center, busses may off-load passengers on the top level, Right Side of the entrance. Buses will then be parked on the bottom parking lot level. Buses may later return to the top level, Left Side of the entrance to pick up passengers. This policy is to ensure safety of pedestrians in the parking areas.
Self Guided Tour Highlights
Cadet Chapel Check out the Cadet Chapel Web page for Chapel services and tour information. The chapel is occasionally closed for private services, weddings and funerals throughout the year. During these private services, the chapel will be closed to the public.
Arnold Hall This facility contains several military and Academy exhibits, a dining area and an auditorium for special events or official functions.
Honor Court Located between the Chapel and Arnold Hall, this area contains bronze statues and aircraft memorials from various groups.
Field House This facility has an Indoor Athletic Field, Ice Rink, Clune Arena (Basketball Court), and a Snack Bar. The Athletic Ticket Office is located here. Phone: 800-666-8723, Web: www.goairforcefalcons.com
Falcon Athletic Center Located next to the Field House, it contains the Athletic Hall of Excellence, which highlights the athletic achievements of the Academy. Phone: 800-666-8723. Web: www.goairforcefalcons.com
Hiking The Falcon hiking trail is open to the general public during normal visiting hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with access available at the "B-52 Loop." Active-duty and retired military personnel and their families may use the trails from 5 a.m. to sundown. Parking for the Santa Fe Trail is available next to the North Gate.
Noon Meal Formation You may be able to observe the Cadet Wing marching to lunch. This meal formation is scheduled Monday through Friday at 11:35 a.m. This schedule is in effect during the academic year (mid-August through mid-May), weather permitting, and is subject to cancellation without notice. Visitors may view the formation from the Honor Court wall or the wall surrounding the Cadet Chapel, which overlooks the Terrazzo.
If you call (719) 333-USAF you can get recorded information on visiting the Academy. The Visitor Center has an Academy map showing an excellent self-guided tour route. The Gift Shop phone number is 1-800-955-4438.