Evergreen Aviation Museum & Space Museum 500 NE Captain Michael King Smith Way, 3½ mi. SE of McMinnville, (503) 434-4180. Daily 9-5. $20, 65+ $19, 5-16 $18; with IMAX +$9-$11. Guided tours daily at 11am & 1:30pm. No pets. Free parking.
This ever-expanding complex has an Aviation Museum in one gigantic building. This is where you’ll see the immense Spruce Goose, also known as the Howard Hughes Flying Boat Nearly six times bigger than any other plane in 1947, she is made of wood and was flown only once. No wonder she had trouble staying up--her eight engines are equivalent in power to just one 747 engine! Recycled airplane seats are scattered throughout this building, for resting and watching videos. Across the way in another immense building, the Space Museum displays the Mercury 10 capsule, a Titan II SLV Missile, and a sleek Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird. And in yet another huge building is an IMAX theater. A new Wings & Waves Water Park structure, with a 747 now perched startlingly upon its roof, is scheduled to open with wave pools and water slides in summer 2011. Two cafes serve lunch fare. The Farm Store and Tasting Rooms (Daily 11-5. Tasting $5, applied to wine purchase.) feature Evergreen Vineyards Spruce Goose Oregon wine and juice, plus exclusive hazelnut products.
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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers