Seattle - Other Regional Aviation Themed
There's Plenty for the Plane Buff in the
The Pacific Northwest is
well served by all manner of aviation related activities.
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 two fine
collections of primarily World War 2 era 'warbirds'.
In addition, there are 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
Aviation Themed Places to Consider Visiting
There are various smaller collections of planes and other
aviation themed memorabilia in Washington state and the
adjoining states of ID and OR as well.
Maybe one of these smaller collections has something you
absolutely want to see, in which case it would make sense making
a special trip to visit. Or maybe they are putting on some
sort of special event that is also compelling to you.
Or perhaps you are traveling close to them anyway as part of the
balance of your travel plans.
In all such cases, it might make sense to visit and enjoy
another perspective on our aviation history and heritage.
Here are quick descriptions of five such places (in alphabetical
rather than any other sort of order).
Olympic Flight Museum, Olympia WA
The Olympic Flight Museum is just off I-5 in Olympia, and is
located at Olympia Regional Airport.
The museum has six planes (including a Japanese Zero and a
British Strikemaster) and five helicopters, plus a couple more
planes as 'static' displays and four others tantalizingly
described as 'not on display'.
The museum is open daily in the summer, and five or six days a
week the rest of the year. As
their website says, 'visitors are encouraged to call in
advance to confirm the museum is open'.
Admission is $7 for adults, with discounts for children and AAA
Pearson Air Museum, Vancouver WA
If you are driving between Seattle and Portland, possibly en
route to/from the
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, you could consider a
stop at the Pearson Air Museum in Vancouver WA (not to be
confused with Vancouver, BC of course!).
This museum is very close to I-5 making it easy to make a detour
to include the museum in your travels, and is part of the larger
Fort Vancouver national site and adjacent to the Pearson Field
airport. It has a small collection of old planes and
memorabilia dating back as far as 1905, and is in the US's
second oldest wooden hangar, dating back to 1918.
The museum is open Wednesday - Saturday. Admission is $7
for adults, with discounts for seniors, military and children.
For more details, visit
Port Townsend Aero Museum, Port Townsend, WA
This museum is located at the Jefferson Country International
Airport (the 'international' designator simply means that this
small airport operates occasional flights to/from Canada), which
is about five miles out of the lovely town of Port Townsend on
Washington's Olympic Peninsula.
It is a lovely ferry and car journey to Port Townsend, which is
a nice town to visit. You can do a three ferry loop -
taking the Mukilteo ferry to Whidbey Island then a ferry from
Whidbey Island to Port Townsend one way, and the other way you
can drive to Kingston and take a ferry to Edmonds.
They have a collection of about 30 planes and gliders, primarily
featuring 'general aviation' type planes - ie small private
planes rather than large passenger or military planes. The
museum was founded in 2001, and in 2008 moved to a lovely new
The museum is open Wednesday - Sunday most of the year, although
it does occasionally close if a special event is being staged at
its location. Adult admission is $10 with discounts for
seniors, military and children.
More details on their
Tillamook Air Museum, Tillamook OR
This is getting a long way from Seattle, but it is not very far
from Portland (75 miles - an hour and a half) and slightly
closer to McMinnville (65 miles, probably also 90 minutes
driving time), where you might be planning on going to visit the
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.
Whereas some of the other museums have distinctive custom
designed and built structures to house their collections, the
Tillamook Air Museum is housed in a former blimp hangar from the
WW2 era, which it claims is the largest wooden building in the
The museum also claims to be 'one of the top five privately
owned aircraft collections in the nation'. It has about
three dozen airplanes, including a P-38 Lightning, a DC-3 in its
C-47 form and an F-14A Tomcat.
There is also a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in its modified
Mini-Guppy format - a passenger plane that was
semi-revolutionary in its day, but which was quickly eclipsed by
jet aircraft and so had a short life and the subsequent
indignity of conversion into the series of guppy variants.
Assorted other artifacts include pieces of the Hindenburg.
The museum is open daily, with a $9 adult admission price and
discounts for seniors, military and children. More details
can be found on their
Warhawk Air Museum, Nampa, ID
This small museum was founded in 1989 and moved to its current
location in 2001, where it has 20,000 sq ft of exhibit space,
with approximately five main plane exhibits plus assorted
memorabilia and a section on space related items.
Not a lot is known about this museum, and it is uncertain if it
has regular opening hours or not.
If you find yourself in the Boise area, then perhaps you should
call them to see their current opening schedule and visit.
Nampa is a suburb of Boise.
Some more information is available on their
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25 March 2011, last update
21 Jul 2020
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