Seymour Johnson AFB is a small Air Force base in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Roughly 6000 airmen are stationed there and 38,000 people live within Goldsboro city limits. The area is a farm town and holds that small town vibe.

On base, you can drive from the main base gate and exit out the back gate (Slocum gate) in around 5 minutes.

Seymour Johnson AFB is largely a family friendly base, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any room for the young airmen to enjoy time at good ole Shady J.

Here are 12 things to do on base and off base whether you’re a young airman or airman with family.

Seymour Johnson AFB F-15 Jet Tour

Not everyone at SJAFB works on the flight line around the Air Force jets. Only a fraction of airmen actually do. To integrate community involvement between airmen and the local residents of Goldsboro the base offers free tours for anyone who interested.

Tours are offered the 4th Thursday of every month and last for approximately 3 hours. Be prepared for an early start, base tours begin at 8:30 a.m.

While strolling around the Seymour Johnson AFB tour you can take pictures, go on the flight line and check out F-15 jets up close and personal, and depending on the flight schedule for the day watch jets take off or land.

Seymour Johnson Air Force base does hold air shows every few years, but if you don’t wanna wait for that to roll around the tours are great. For more information or to schedule a tour.

The Beach

Take a day trip to the coast and enjoy the sun and sand. Seymour Johnson AFB is in eastern North Carolina only an hour and a half from the Wilmington coastline. Being in a coastal state you can enjoy Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach all right there in Wilmington. Which is a great place to be on the weekend.

NC coast 1 hour from Goldsboro NC

North Carolina is known for its beaches. Further out there are numerous other well-known beaches like the Outer Banks.

Or, you can check out the beach town of Southport. The town where the Nicholas Sparks movie “Safe Haven” was filmed.

So take a weekend trip with family or friends.

A highlight and a must do, is to go skydiving at the coast. You will not be disappointed by the visual surroundings of free falling on a beautiful summers day near the beach.

North Carolina BBQ

North Carolina is also known for their BBQ, so you can’t be stationed at SJAFB without trying some of the local eats.

Driving around Goldsboro, NC you’ll find multiple BBQ restaurants. Make the rounds and try them all to find your favorite spot.

Airmen also get together and have work functions. Basically, a work party where people typically BBQ. If you’re lucky someone working in your AFSC (Air Force job) will know to roast a pig. Feeding an entire flight of airmen is easy when your shop buys an entire pig and roasts it in a pit. That is some of the best BBQ you’ll find.

Local Fast Food

Staying on the food theme you’ll have to try all the local fast food restaurants while you’re at it.

Not all restaurants are countrywide, there is a good chance if your not from the East Coast you’ve never heard of or had some of the local fast food chains. Some of them are good. They’ll knock your socks off and keep you coming back.

Some of the local fast food to try off base is Cook Out, Zaxby’s, Hardee’s, Waffle House, Bojangles, and Brooklyn Pizzeria.

If you didn’t wanna take the time to go off Seymour Johnson AFB no worries, there are a few fast food locations on base.

So eat to your heart’s content, just don’t forget to exercise afterward.

Busco Beach

You might be thinking, “wait the beach was already mentioned”. Busco Beach is actually an ATV park in Goldsboro with a man-made beach.

Busco Beach Goldsboro NC

Busco Beach has 2000 acres of trails to go ride ATV’s and dirt bikes through. A dirt drag strip to open the throttle and race down or practice your wheelies. A mud pit for your dirty pleasure. To top it off there is a motocross track for the racer in you.

After a hard day of riding, you can cool off in the swimming hole. There is something for everyone at Busco Beach.

Many people camp at the Busco Beach and ATV park, there are spots for both tent camping and RV camping. So your not limited on options. It’s a great place to get a group of friends together and go riding and camping for the weekend. Kids love it too, an entire section of Busco Beach is dedicated for youth riders.

So brace yourself for a whole southern experience, camping around bonfires, getting dirty in mud pits, fishing the lake, and on the special occasion enjoying the live music.

If your thinking, “that all sounds great but I don’t have an ATV”. You’ll be happy to know Busco Beach has rentals.

College Sports Game

Seymour Johnson AFB is in a ripe area when it comes to college sports. There are numerous colleges and sports teams all within driving distance to attend the live game. If you’re a fan of college football or college basketball you will not be disappointed.

– North Carolina college basketball and football teams within a short distance from SJAFB.

North Carolina Tar Heels, Duke Blue Devils, NC State Wolfpack, East Carolina Pirates.

– North Carolina college basketball and football teams to see on a weekend trip.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Charlotte 49ers, Appalachian State Mountaineers.

When football or basketball season rolls around you could have your hands full attending all the games. Sometimes volunteer opportunities are available for Seymour Johnson Air Force base airmen to work at the event and enjoy the game for free. Typically all you’d have to do is work a consignment booth with your fellow airmen to watch the game live.

Escape Room

Downtown Escapes in a new addition to Goldsboro in the past few years. If you enjoy a good challenge and some group activity this is the place to go.

Escape rooms are where you solve clues to open locked doors and advance through the course. These courses are timed, the faster you solve the puzzles and clues the better your chances of escaping are.

There are a few escape room courses to choose from. You and a hand full of friends can test your wits and try to break free, beating the top score. It’s tough, the escape rate is 10% to 25% depending on the course.

For there to be something like this, this close to Seymour Johnson AFB is great. You can spend your evening downtown going through an escape room and celebrate your victory with a stop at a nearby bar.

Blocks from Downtown Escapes, you’ll find Well Travelled Beer which is veteran owned and also Goldsboro Brew Works.

So make an evening of it.

Seymour Johnson AFB Golf Course/Cafe

Seymour Johnson Air Force base has a 165 acre 18 hole golf course. Taking a swing on a nice day could be just what’s needed from time to time.

If golf isn’t up your alley, don’t let that prevent you from going to the Three Eagles Cafe at the golf course. Here you’ll find some good eats on base serving breakfast and lunch.

You will not be disappointed with the breakfast burrito. Make it a point to stop by and get one, many airmen do. They are mouth wateringly good.

Cliffs Of The Neuse

Cliffs of the Neuse is a North Carolina State Park that’s minutes outside Seymour Johnson AFB. The Neuse River runs past Goldsboro on the edge of a lookout spot known as Cliffs of the Neuse.

Cliffs of the Neuse  Goldsboro NC

This local spot has many activities to enjoy like spending hot summer days swimming in the 11 acre large lake accompanying the Neuse River. Many miles of hiking and running trails to explore. Hiking in the autumn months is spectacular in the state parks forest. To cap it off numerous camping spots and 3 cabins are available to use.

For a place that is so close to Seymour Johnson, there is no reason every airman shouldn’t experience the area at least once.

Raleigh

Only an hour away from Seymour Johnson AFB is a major metropolitan city with nearly half a million people. Raleigh, North Carolina is a hub of so many things to do. Goldsboro and Seymour Johnson are relatively small, but you’ll always be discovering something new in Raleigh.

While there might only be 10 things to do stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB, Raleigh could easily have a list of 50 things to do.

You could see a concert at Raleigh’s numerous venues, visit the farmers market or the Raleigh beer garden, The North Carolina State Fair in October always draws in large numbers of people. Just be curious and explore.

Kitty Hawk Playground

Kids at Seymour Johnson can play to their heart’s content at the indoor playground on base. Kitty Hawk playground opened up in 2017 for children 2-12 years old. Parents who live on base can use the playground to their advantage to entertain kids and get their energy out.

As to be expected the playground has an airplane theme with plenty of slides and tubes to play in and room to run.

Kids would love weekly trips to play at Kitty Hawk playground.

Tricked Out Cars & Motorcycles

Driving around Goldsboro, North Carolina you’ll start to notice many tricked out cars and motorcycles on the road. They can be elaborate in design or themed after various things.

Some of the cars seen around Goldsboro sported a Scarface theme, skittles theme, spiderman theme, and many other eye catching themes. They are often spotted cruising to the Walmart parking lot. You’ll be reminded of your High School days with everyone hanging out in the parking lot checking out cars and stereos.

Spotting these tricked out cars makes a good game of slug bug for kids.

Motorcycles are commonly seen zipping around town in large groups. Most of the bikes have extended back wheels and the riders wear the same motorcycle gang jacket.

If you wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle, there is a free course at Seymour Johnson AFB airmen can take. Take advantage of it.

So there’s a nice car scene and some pretty cool motorcycles to check out, or go learn to ride yourself.

To Wrap It Up

Whether your PCSing to Seymour Johnson or going to your first duty station, make it a point to tackle some of the things on this list. Make the most of your time at SJAFB.

Explore on base and off base, and don’t forget to get out to the surrounding areas in Eastern North Carolina.

Corey Porter

Corey Porter

Air Force Veteran

Corey is an Air Force veteran and the lead writer at Basic to Blues. He refueled fighter jets as a young airman and deployed twice to the Middle East. Now Corey can be found hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

Who the hell… POL!

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