MUST-SEE AERO­SPACE AND AVI­A­TION MU­SE­UMS IN THE USA

Ex­pe­ri­ence the won­ders of flight and space first-hand.

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine - - Table Of Contents - BY JOSEPHINE MATYAS

Hu­mans have al­ways been fas­ci­nated by flight, ush­ered in through the tin­ker­ing of those bi­cy­cle-build­ing Wright brothers. Want to know more about how we soared through the skies and, even­tu­ally, space?

At Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the Wright Brothers Na­tional Me­mo­rial marks the spot where man first ex­pe­ri­enced mo­tor­ized flight. Walk the First Flight Line, mark­ing the lo­ca­tion where the Wrights first flew; peer into the re­con­structed Wright brothers’ camp build­ing and hangar; visit the 1903 Bronze Sculp­ture of the First Flight fea­tur­ing a life-size model of the 1903 Wright Flyer; and walk to the top of Big Kill Devil Hill to the base of the Wright Mon­u­ment. The ren­o­vated vis­i­tor cen­tre re­opens in fall 2018. nps.gov/wrbr

The Na­tional Naval Avi­a­tion Mu­seum

in Pen­sacola is one of Florida’s main at­trac­tions. As one of the world’s largest avi­a­tion mu­se­ums, it’s home to the Blue An­gels flight squadron, has more than 150 re­stored air­craft on dis­play, flight sim­u­la­tors, an IMAX theatre and dis­plays show­cas­ing naval avi­a­tion his­tory. Navalavi­a­tion­mu­seum.org

At the Kennedy Space Cen­ter Vis­i­tor Com­plex in Florida, ex­pe­ri­ence mul­ti­me­dia pre­sen­ta­tions and more than 60 in­ter­ac­tive, touch-screen ex­pe­ri­ences and high-tech sim­u­la­tors. At the new As­tro­naut Train­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence stu­dents join a spec­tac­u­lar mis­sion sim­u­la­tion in­clud­ing the Launch Ex­pe­ri­ence, land­ing and walk­ing on Mars. Kennedys­pace­cen­ter.com

The Ev­er­green Avi­a­tion & Space Mu­seum in Mcmin­nville, Ore­gon, is home to Howard Hughes’ HK-1 Her­cules, known as the Spruce Goose. On-site are more than 100 ar­ti­facts and ex­hibits, span­ning decades of flight in­no­va­tion and ad­vance­ment. After­wards, splash and soar down ex­hil­a­rat­ing Boe­ing 747 wa­ter­slides at the ad­ja­cent Wings & Waves Water­park. Ever­green­mu­seum.org

Wings Over the Rock­ies Air & Space Mu­seum—one of Amer­ica’s fore­most aero­space mu­se­ums—is lo­cated on the for­mer grounds of Lowry Air Force Base in Den­ver, Colorado. Housed in his­toric Hangar No. 1, built in 1939, are dozens of his­toric air­planes, space ve­hi­cles and in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits that tell the story of the birth­place of avi­a­tion and aero­space en­deav­ours. A re­cent ad­di­tion is a wooden pro­pel­ler signed by air­plane in­ven­tor Orville Wright. Wingsmu­seum.org

Pa­cific Avi­a­tion Mu­seum Pearl Har­bor

in Hawaii is one of the most his­toric lo­ca­tions in the United States. Pearl Har­bor re­mains an ac­tive mil­i­tary base and a Na­tional His­toric Land­mark that’s home to four unique me­mo­rial at­trac­tions telling the story of the War in the Pa­cific. Vis­i­tors can see air­craft from the Sec­ond World War plus ed­u­ca­tional in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the sur­prise at­tack on Pearl Har­bor. Paci­fi­cavi­a­tion­mu­seum.org

Space Cen­ter Hous­ton pro­vides fun for the whole fam­ily at the of­fi­cial vis­i­tor cen­tre of NASA John­son Space Cen­ter. Touch a moon rock, see real space cap­sules, en­joy lunch with a NASA as­tro­naut. There are more than 400 things to see and do, in­spired by the won­ders of space ex­plo­ration. Save al­most 50 per cent and more off ad­mis­sion to Space Cen­ter Hous­ton and four other top at­trac­tions with Hous­ton CITY­PASS. Space­cen­ter.org

The Wings of the North Air Mu­seum in Eden Prairie pre­serves avi­a­tion his­tory and hon­ours Min­nesota’s avi­a­tion pathfind­ers and vet­er­ans through ex­hibits and events. The mu­seum houses three award-win­ning, re­stored planes: a P-51D Mus­tang named Sierra Sue II, an AT-6 Texan and a Boe­ing N2S-1 Stear­man flown by fu­ture Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush. The mu­seum also fea­tures air­craft en­gines, an ejec­tion seat and other dis­plays. wotn.org

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