We loved touring the "Tillamook Air Museum". We visited it in late February 2005. Here is how to find the museum. It is located 1 mile south of the coastal town of Tillamook, Oregon off of Hwy 101. If you are driving north towards Tillamook you will see a real jet fighter plane supported on top of a large steel pole about 15 to 20 feet in the air, on your right side. This is the road you will turn right on. Its name is "Hangar Road". Also, if you look out into the fields on your right, you will see a very large rounded roof building with the words "Tillamook Air Museum" painted in very large letters on its side. You will drive back into the fields a short distance, following small directional signs until you arrive at the museum.
I have included a few photographs that you should be able to click on, in this review.
The museum is located inside of an old World War II "Blimp Airship" building. Wow, it is BIG! It says that it is the largest wooden clear-span building in the world and is in the Guinness World Book of Records. But I did not check this.
Also at the Museum off to the right of the parking lot and just in front of the Museum is a place where you can take flights in vintage and modern aircraft to get an aerial view of the ocean, beaches, and mountains. These flights are just breath taking, as the coast is just so beautiful from the air. Also, behind the parking lot is a tour passenger train. It runs from Spring to Fall. It takes you from Tillamook to Astoria, following the "Lewis and Clark" route to the ocean. It is narrated pointing out the events of Lewis and Clark and other points of interest on the way.
When you first enter the Museum you are greeted with a very bright, modern and cheery reception desk, gift shop and restaurant. The restaurant is set up as a "Classic Airport Diner", with the old style chrome metal leg tables, chairs and over-stuffed bright red vinyl seat, back cushions and shinny Formica table tops. Very cute and nice job of setting up this restaurant. This restaurant is very clean. They serve a simple menu of good old American style foods. Great hamburgers, fries, fish and chips, french dips and Tillamook Ice Cream! The food is good, very reasonably priced and they give you a very large plate full. Most people will not leave hungry. I noticed that a lot of locals came here to eat lunch. On sunny days they have tables out side for you to enjoy the sun and view.
Entrance fee for adults is about $10.00, senior and children are less. They said that they do not give any type of discounts such as "AAA". Which I found strange as most tourist places offer the wonderful "AAA" membership discount. We have saved tons of money on our vacations using this discount. If you are a member of "AAA", be sure to ask if the tourist site you are visiting offers the discount. Many times it is not posted, but most do give it. The entrance fee seems steep, but to maintain this type of building, and keep these aircraft in flying condition is very, very expensive. We are just lucky that such an organization is looking after our history.
After paying you enter the Blimp hangar where all the aircraft are. Note there is no sunshine or heating in the Blimp building. So you are always in the shade. You might want to take a coat with you for the tour. If you want to get your coat from the car later, no problem as you wear a sticker on your shirt and they let you come back in with no problem.
You can easily spend 4 hours or more here. We were staying at the "Rockaway Beach Resort" on the beach at Rockaway Beach, Oregon and visited the "Tillamook Air Museum" as a day excursion and returned. This trip made for a very nice day. There are about 30 restored or historic aircraft. They say they are constantly adding more airplane and exhibits growing all the time. Tons of very interesting photographs of the historic Blimp base in Tillamook, war photos, log books, uniforms, equipment, a small movie theater, military jeeps, ground equipment. They have several real aircraft cockpit training simulators that you can sit in the actual seat, touch all the switches and the stick that the fighter pilots used to train in. Great place to take pictures of your children!
You may walk around on your own and read the plaques at each display. Or you may rent a CD player and headphones (about $4.00) that will guide you around the museum. The CD narrates facts about many of the exhibits and tells you in what direction to walk to the next narrated exhibit in this huge building.
Children will LOVE this place. But there is a lot of walking, so if children are small, a stroller might be nice. Also, they have plenty of "wheel chairs" for you to use if someone has a challenge walking. They do allow you to take unlimited pictures of everything in the museum. I think there hours is 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving.
If you love aircraft, history or museums, I highly recomend a tour of this museum. Take the time to let it all soak in and open your mind and soon you may be soaring with the aces...............Enjoy!
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