Seattle - Aviation Themed
There's Plenty for the Plane Buff in the
There's a huge amount
to see and do for the aviation enthusiast when in the Puget
Read through this
eleven part series for full information on the attractions,
exhibits and rides you can expect to enjoy.
NOTE : Click on map
image to open up a Google Maps page with all these locations
Many people understand Seattle
is the original home to Boeing, and remains its major production
There are tours of the Boeing
facility up in Everett. Also in Everett are three fine
collections, primarily of World War 2 era 'warbirds' but with
various other planes dating much earlier and some more modern
jets as well.
In addition, there are many other
activities to enjoy around the Seattle region if you're
fascinated by planes and aviation; activities both on the ground
and also potentially up in the air, too.
Seattle - a Mecca for Aviation
The presence of Boeing has almost certainly caused the Seattle
area to be more aviation-aware than would normally be the case
for other cities its size. There's a huge number of former
Boeing employees and retirees who seek ways to continue to enjoy
their interest in aviation.
The presence of Boeing, plus both Navy and Air Force air bases
in the region adds to the overall level of awareness of the
importance of aviation to the local area.
In addition, the presence of Paul Allen, one of the founders of
Microsoft, and these days a generous supporter of all sorts of
different activities that catch his interest, ranging from Rock
music and Science Fiction through to warbirds and aviation in
general has further added to the region's ability to collect and
present historic airplanes.
As a result, there's a lot to see and experience around the
Seattle region, and when you tire of looking at planes, the
chances are you'll find an opportunity to take to the air as
well; possibly in a vintage plane, maybe even a 'war bird'; or
if you prefer the ultimate safety of not needing to worry about
engine failure, you can go fly in a sailplane (glider) instead.
Please click through the successive pages in this series for
information on the aviation related places you can go and the
things you can see in the greater Seattle and Puget Sound area,
and read the additional material below about how best to plan
your aviation themed activities in the greater Puget Sound area.
0. Aviation Themed Attractions in the Seattle Area -
1. Museum of Flight, Seattle
2. Boeing Factory Tour & Future of Flight, Everett
3. Flying Heritage Collection, Everett
4. Historic Flight Foundation, Everett
5. Museum of Flight Restoration Center, Everett
6. Heritage Flight Museum, Bellingham
7. Fly in a glider/sailplane/balloon
8. Special Events
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, OR
10. Other Regional
A Full Day - or Two or even Three - of Aviation Related Touring
If you wished to see all six 'main' attractions, we'd recommend
you spend one day to go first to Bellingham for the
Flight Museum (because it closes earlier) and perhaps enjoy a
nice lunch in Bellingham (one of the two
Anthony's Restaurants would be a great choice) then turn
around and stop in Everett on the way back to
see the Historic
Flight Foundation and the
Collection (probably in that order).
On the second day, you could do the
Boeing factory tour and follow
up with a visit to the Museum of Flight Restoration Center.
There are a couple of Anthony's restaurants in Everett too (as
well as plenty of other fine places to enjoy a lunch).
The third day could be devoted almost entirely to the
There's a reason for this suggested sequence in addition to the
geographical considerations. If you follow through the
locations in this order, you'll be going, more or less, from
'least' to 'most'. When it is the first thing you see,
you'll be impressed by the Heritage Flight Museum in Bellingham,
and then each successive stop will be better than the last.
But if you were to start off with the Museum of Flight,
everything subsequently would risk being anti-climatic.
If you have only one day, the problem becomes whether you 'just' do
the Museum of Flight, or if you try and squeeze something else
in as well. If you wanted to do two things, probably the
logical choice would be to go up to Boeing for their first tour
of the day (9am, finishing about 10.30am) then spend the
afternoon at the Museum of Flight.
If you wanted to, you could add a quick stop at one of the three
other aviation museums around Paine Field in Everett too - the
Museum of Flight Restoration Center is certainly very different
to the other two, but the other two have complete aircraft in
'as new' condition rather than work in progress planes in
various stages of repair.
If you have two days, we'd recommend spending one in Everett
and the other one at the Museum of Flight.
This list of recommendations also needs to be considered in
light of the opening days of the various museums and whether any
of them have any special events that might influence your choice
of places to go and times to visit.
Sightseeing Without a Car
If you are not renting a car, you can take a bus to the
Museum of Flight and
there are daily tours that pick up from Seattle area hotels and
take you to the Boeing
But getting to the other attractions around the area becomes
successively harder without a car; and both time consuming and
possibly costly too. You'd be well advised to rent a car,
even if only for a day or two.
Paine Field Passport
This is a new product that is expected to be released some time
in the next month or two (ie probably May or later, 2011).
It will be a booklet sort of thing which you can buy from the
Future of Flight, the Flying Heritage Collection, the Historic
Flight Foundation, or the Museum of Flight Restoration Center
(all clustered around Paine Field in Everett).
As you visit each of the four participating locations, you will
get a special large ceremonial stamp in your 'passport', and the
passport document will get you discounts off the admissions at
If you are planning on visiting more than one or two of these
attractions, it is possible the passport could save you some
money on the overall admission costs, so ask about it when
arriving at your first stop.
Legend Fliers - New Me 262 Jets
If you are visiting Paine Field, there is one other place you
might choose to visit. This is Legend Fliers - a group of
people who are painstakingly building new fully functional and
flyable WW2 era Messerschmitt Me 262 jets from the original plans as
best they can (but with modern jet engines).
This does beg the question 'why' - it started off as one
person's dream and has continued on since then.
website is very out of date, and it is unclear what the
status is of their planes - several have been completed, and
after they have built and sold a maximum of no more than five,
they plan to destroy all the tooling and close down (which begs
another 'why' question - why five? Why not four, or six,
or any other number?).
But if a chance to see a partially or newly built Me 262 is of interest to you, it would be worth contacting
them to see what their current policy is on allowing visits.
Read More about Aviation Themed Attractions in the Seattle
Click the links above to read through the
descriptions and reviews of the various different aviation
themed attractions in the greater Seattle region, and use the
information contained therein to decide which places you'll
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25 March 2011, last update
21 Jul 2020
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