The top 10 aviation attractions in the USA

If you are planning a vacation to the US, Travel site TripAdvisor has recently unveiled its list of the top 10 aviation related attractions in the US that were selected according to traveler ratings and TripAdvisor Flights experts. These attractions give visitors the opportunity to learn more about all aspects of aviation from airplanes and gliders to the space shuttle:

  1. The National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC . Easily the number 1 aviation related attraction in the world, the National Air and Space Museum houses the original 1903 Wright Flyer along with one of the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. And the best part is that admission is free.
  2. Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum, New York, New York. Centered on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, this floating museum offers a number of exhibits for aviation enthusiasts. The deck and hangar bay of the ship has a collection of some 30 aircraft plus a Concorde supersonic jet that is on loan from British Airways is on the Intrepid pier and can be explored inside and out. Admission is US$22 for adults and US$17 for children.
  3. Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Located on the site where Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the first successful aerial flight over one hundred years ago, visitors can re-trace the routes that the Wright brothers used to test their first aircraft. In addition, an on-site museum offers a collection of models, tools and machines used by the brothers. Admission is US$4 for adults and free for children.
  4. National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida. Military aviation buffs would be interested in visiting the National Naval Aviation Museum which boasts more than 4,000 aviation artifacts and 150 aircraft from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Admission is free.
  5. Museum of Flight, Seattle. This museum is the home to more than 85 aircraft ranging from antiques to examples of modern aviation. In addition, the museum features a number of unique exhibits, including an air traffic control tower at Boeing Field, flight attendant uniforms from the 1930s to the 1980s and even an Air Force One aircraft that carried presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Admission is US$15 for adults, US$8 for youths and free for children 4 and under.
  6. Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona. As one of the largest aviation museums in the world, the Pima Air & Museum features more than 300 aircraft and spacecraft in its collection plus more than 125,000 artifacts of modern aviation. Aircraft on display include the B-29 Superfortress, SR-71 Blackbird and World War II German V-1 “buzz bomb.” Admission is US$13.75 for adults, US$8 for youths and free for children 6 and under.
  7. Boeing Aircraft Factory Tour, Everett, Washington. Visitors here can actually take a tour of the production facility to get a bird’s eye view of how aircraft are made. The tour also covers the production of several Boeing models, including the 787 Dreamliner, plus features an aviation museum. Admission is US$15 for adults and US$8 for children.
  8. Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii. Built in the aircraft hangars that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, this museum offers tens of thousands of square feet of aviation exhibits including a large collection of military aircraft dating from the World War II era. Visitors can also use the museum’s flight simulator where they can simulate take offs and landings on aircraft carriers and take part in a aerial battles. Admission is US$15 for adults and US$8 for children.
  9. Gravelly Point Park, Arlington, Virginia. Just north of the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and across the Potomac River from Washington DC, Gravelly Point Park is a great place to watch planes take off and land as they pass right overhead. Admission is free.
  10. Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon. This museum is the home for a wide range of aircraft, from cargo planes and commercial jets to bombers and spacecraft. The museum also houses Howard Hughes’s famous wooden “Spruce Goose,” the largest plane of its time. Admission is US$20 for adults, US$18 for youths and free for children 4 and under.

We would also like to ask our readers in the USA: Are there any other aviation related attractions worth noting and visiting that should be added to this list?


5 Responses to The top 10 aviation attractions in the USA

  1. Anson Chappell August 8, 2010 at 16:12 #

    National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, OH. Huge collection of some of the biggest and best aircraft ever made, including the B-36 Peacemaker and the X-15.

  2. Vincent August 9, 2010 at 10:48 #

    We visited your number #4 during the Flying Across America trip, it's a real nice one. If you go there, don't forget the IMAX movie theater.

    I'd like to add the Johnson Space Center in Houston, even if it is not a museum per se. Still in the Houston Area, the Lone Star Flying Museum in Galveston is a must. Most of their warbirds are still flying and the museum even organizes rides:

    The 1940 Air Terminal museum at Houston Hobby airport is also amongst my favorites. Check their monthly events on

  3. Steve August 9, 2010 at 13:42 #

    I'm surprised that the USAF Museum wasn't included on this list, as it's the largest and oldest aviation museum in the world!

    There's a whole series of photos from within the museum on my blog for those who may be interested:

  4. John White, ATP Pilo August 10, 2010 at 12:18 #

    I have been to all but 2 of the above and really found the "Spruce Goose" at Evergreen fascinating. I agree that the USAF Museum in Dayton is a great place to visit and I get to often as my son is in the Air Force Reserves at Wright Patterson in Dayton.

    My wife and I are planning on taking her J3 Cub and trying to visit as many aviation museums as we can find next summer.

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