Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum preserves one of mankind's greatest achievements: harnessing the power of flight. Across its open hangars sprawl aircraft of every era being a Smithsonian Affiliate —from replicas of the earliest Wright Flyers to an SR-71 Blackbird capable of speeds greater than 2,000 miles per hour. There's also an indoor water park, just like the one the Wright Brothers dreamed of installing in their surf shop some day.
Each building is 120,000 square feet with hangars filled with civilian and military planes; NASA space craft; a large-format digital 3D theater; and the 70,000 square foot indoor Wings & Wings Waterpark
Eye Catcher: a real Boeing 747 aircraft that sits on the Waterpark's roof, and even has a slide built into its structure
Crown Jewel: The Spruce Goose. Famously designed by Howard Hughes, this WWII-era plane was built out of wood due to wartime restrictions on metals. It flew only once.
Don't Miss: an unflown capsule from the Mercury space program
Hidden Gem: Titan Launch room located in the Space Museum., where 18 cases break from aviation to showcase weaponry from every era of the American military
Hands-On Activities: In addition to slides and leisure pools, the Waterpark houses more than 20 interactive educational exhibits focused on the power of water.
Pro Tip: Tell the Museum staff how long you want to spend in the Museum; they'll help you plan an itinerary that best fits your schedule.
Special Program: guided tours by volunteer docents, many of whom are veteran pilots
Some of the biggest heroes of WWII are on display inside the Erickson Aircraft Collection. In 1983, Jack Erickson started to collect rare but significant aircraft from aviation's history with a special emphasis placed on Navy and Air Force planes from WWII. Eventually, the collection grew to a size that warranted its own custom-built 64,00-square-foot hangar.
Size: more than 20 rare aircraft that sprawl across an open hangar
Eye Catcher: the B-17's nose art, which was painted by aviation artist and historian Gary Velasco
Early Airliner: the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, which was a readily recognized U.S. Army Air Force fighter in use during WWII
Something More Acrobatic: the P-47 Thunderbolt, which was able to dive with grace despite being the heaviest armed single-engine American fighter of WWII
Hidden Gems: A working jeep and tank also sit out on the hangar floor, though they most likely can't fly.
On Display: remnants of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's Mitsubishi G4M shot down by WWII fighter pilot Rex T. Barber
Special Events: You can see many of the planes in flight during local air shows.
On the roof of Evergreen Wings & Waves sits probably the only Boeing 747 that you exit via slide if everything is going according to plan. Your destination? The indoor waterpark contained below. Throughout the park, exhibits educate with hands-on demonstrations of the powerful effects water has on both society and the natural world, and a theme of scientific and technological enrichment pervades the entire facility.
It might seem strange for a waterpark to have such a lofty goal, but it starts to make sense when you realize that Wings & Waves is just one part of the larger Evergreen Museum Campus, a monument to all things aviation. Fixtures of the museums include a history of space flight and the Oregon Aviation Hall of Fame/ But the crown jewel of the museum is made out of wood: the Spruce Goose is one of the largest airplanes ever built, a marvel of engineering designed by Howard Hughes during World War II.
Originally established and overseen by a committee of parents, Sip! McMinnville Wine & Food Classic began in 1994 as a small community fundraiser for St. James Catholic School. Today, the annual festival draws nearly 10,000 people to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, requiring more than 300 volunteers to assemble regional winemakers, culinary masters, and artists. Vintners disclose trade tips as they peddle their ambrosial libations, all of which are ultimately ranked by a panel of professional judges into bronze, silver, gold, and best-of-show tiers. Guests can take wine-tasting classes, which teach sippers how distinguish fruity undertones from a banana hiding in their glass, or glean cooking tips from kitchen demonstrations and food booths. Throughout the weekend-long gathering, artists display their opuses in the form of tangible wares or live music.
To Justin Doane, there are few things better than being out on the water and breathing in the coastal air. Having spent his youth shuttling between Oregon and Alaska on fishing trips with his father, he now has an in-depth understanding of local ecologies and where the best places are to seek steelhead and chinook, depending on the season. Today, he leads daylong trips out onto the Nestucca, Trask, Wilson, Nehalem, and Salmon Rivers, to name a few, and provides all the equipment necessary for amateur anglers to return home with impressive catches.
As a member of the Northwest Guides service, Bob Rees escorts his charges out onto the region's waterways in pursuit of marine life. Salmon and sturgeon are both common finds, but Rees particularly sets his sights on Oregon's most prized shellfish: the Dungeness crab. He deploys his navigational skills to find promising waters, and once there he helps his guests reel in the catch. While fishing gear is included with the cost of each day trip, make sure to procure a fishing license and affix a sturdy peg leg ahead of time.