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 every day 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.
Admission to the Academy Visitor’s Center and tours are free. You must show a photo ID at the North Gate to enter the Academy Grounds.