10 Aviation Related Attractions
America has a rich and long history of aviation. It was born here and many innovations have taken place in our country. So it is very fitting that U.S. has plenty of attractions where visitors can get familiar with planes, early flying experiences, gliders, shuttles, and everything in between. TripAdvisor has recently collected a list of 10 best aviation attractions, created by experts.
1. The National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C
This Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum is home to the largest air and spacecraft museum in the world. Every aviation enthusiast should visit this place and get even more inspired. The museum proudly displays the original Wright 1903 Flyer and the Apollo command module, among many others. You can also visit the sister museum in Fairfax, Virginia to see more important and famous artifacts.
2. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York
This floating museum is located on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid and houses an impressive collection of aviation memorabilia. Guests can visit a collection of 30 airplanes on the deck and in the hangar. Some of them were just recently retired from active service. The museum has one of the Concord supersonic jets loaned from British Airways on the Intrepid pier. The plane can be explored from outside and inside. Some interactive exhibits include an A6 flight simulator and a virtual flight zone.
Admission: $22 for adults, $17 for children
3. Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
If you want to see how the entire aviation industry started, there is no better place than this museum. It is located on the site where Wilbur and Orville achieved the first successful plane travel more than a century ago. Aviation buffs love to see the exact places where Wright action and testing flights took place. The museum has a great collection of models, tools, and machines used by pioneer brothers. You will definitely be able to go back in time and visualize the beginning of flying better.
Admission: $4 for adults, free for children
4. National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida
This museum is for all the military aviation buffs. You will find more than 4,000 aviation artifacts and 150 planes from all branches of the military. Visitors can experience flights in flight simulators or observe Blue Angels practicing on some Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The museum is a great place to spend a few hours and see how military aircraft changed with time.
5. Museum of Flight, Seattle
This museum is home to 85 aircraft ranging from vintage flying machines all the way to modern technology and innovation. Visitors get to see many unique exhibits and an air traffic control tower at Boeing Field. This museum is great for fashion lovers too – they can see how uniform fashion changed from 1930s to 1980s. The aircraft collection is broad and even includes an Air Force One that was used to fly presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. The museum is popular among tourists and locals alike.
Admission: $15 for adults, $8 for youths
6. Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona
This museum has over 300 aircraft and spacecraft in this location. This is one of the largest such collections in the world. In addition to aircraft, the facility boasts 125,000 artifacts related to aviation history, including B-29 Superfortress, SR-71 Blackbird, and WWII German V-1 “buzz bomb”. Once outside, you will be able to see the display of extraordinary aircraft and their supporting vehicles evolving through time. The plane “boneyard” is also open for public and illustrates how time is ruthless to everything.
Admission: $13.75 for adults and $8 for youths
7. Boeing Aircraft Factory Tour, Everett, Washington
This working factory is a great place to be for everybody who is interested how the planes really work and what’s inside of them. You can take a tour of the production facility, which is the largest by volume building in the world. You will be able to see new planes being constructed from above. The tour will take you to the production of the Dreamliner Boeing 787.
Another part of the facility houses an aviation museum. You can see aircraft engines and design concepts there.
Admission: $15 for adults and $8 for kids
8. Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii
The museum is located in the hangars that survived the infamous Pearl Harbor attack. Visitors are invited to tour and explore tens of thousands of square feet of exhibits, artifact displays, and a huge collection of military aircraft from WWII. You can test your pilot skills in flight simulators, taking off and landing on the aircraft carriers or fighting in the sky. USS Arizona Memorial is close by too.
Admission: $15 for adults and $8 for children
9. Gravelly Point Park, Arlington, Virginia
The park is located very close to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport right by Potomac River and offers great opportunity to watch taking off and landing planes. The giants sometimes pass right above the head and offer a glimpse of their power. The park is a nice place to play or have a picnic. You can have dinner or lunch and a view of landing planes. How cool is that?
10. Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon
The museum provides ample opportunities to learn the history of aviation and see cargo planes and commercial jets, bombers and spacecraft up close. Visitors can explore many exhibits and archives to their hearts content. The museum is also home to the famous wooden Howard Hughes’s “Spruce Goose” – the largest plane at the time. The museum with its hangar is a work of art itself and provides visitors with a window to the past.
Admission: $20 for adults and 418 for youths