Visiting the Museum of Flight in Seattle

Seattle is “jet city,” the home of modern aviation in the United States. Here, in 1916, Bill Boeing founded the Pacific Aero Products Co. and began building seaplanes with local spruce wood. Today, over 100 years later, the Boeing Company remains a major part of Seattle’s economy and workforce. Visiting the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle is one of the best ways to experience and appreciate our region’s long history of aviation.

About 9 miles (15 km) south of downtown, the Museum of Flight features a massive hangar packed full of aircraft old and new. The place is so big that it even makes a modern 787 Dreamliner look small. As the largest independent non-profit air and space museum in the world, the Museum of Flight has something for everyone, and we think it’s one of the coolest tourist attractions in Seattle.

Aircraft on display while visiting the Museum of Flight in Seattle

How to get to the Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight is located next to Boeing Field, about a 15-minute drive south of the downtown hotel district.

  • By Lyft or Uber: Approximately 20 minutes and $20 each way.
  • By car: Take I-5 South to Exit 158. Turn right on East Marginal Way. The museum parking lot is half a mile up on the right. Parking is free.
  • By bus: Catch the 124 bus on 3rd Avenue in downtown Seattle. Bus stops are available on 3rd Ave at Cedar, Bell, Virginia, Pike, Seneca, and Columbia Streets. The bus drops off directly in front of the museum. The ride takes approximately 40 minutes and costs $2.75 each way depending on time of day. Buses run every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends.
Visiting the Museum of Flight in Seattle
Apollo Command Module 007A, the first production-line capsule delivered to NASA for testing and training

What is there to see at the Museum of Flight?

There are more than 150 original and replica aircraft at the museum. Some of our favorites include:

  • The first Air Force One jet, used by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon (open for walkthrough)
  • One of only 14 Concorde 214 supersonic jets ever used commercially (open for walkthrough)
  • A NASA Space Shuttle Full Fuselage Trainer used to train all shuttle astronauts (open for walkthrough)
  • The first 747 jet, City of Everett, with many of its interior panels removed to allow guests to see the inner workings of the aircraft (open for walkthrough)
  • A new Boeing 787 Dreamliner (open for walkthrough)
  • A Lockheed 10-E Electra restored to match the plane piloted by Amelia Earhart when she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean
  • A replica 1916 Boeing Model 1 seaplane, the first Boeing product
  • The Gossamer Albatross II, backup to the human-powered aircraft that completed a 1979 crossing of the English Channel

Guests can also enjoy flight simulators, exhibits on World War I and II fighters, a permanent exhibit on bush pilots of Alaska, and a full-scale interactive Air Traffic Control tower overlooking Boeing Field.

Space shuttle at the Museum of Flight in Seattle

When is the Museum of Flight open?

The Museum of Flight is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. The museum is also open 5 PM – 9 PM the first Thursday of each month with free admission for all guests.

The Museum of Flight is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day but open most other holidays.

Yonder Sky guide Daniel exiting a Concorde SST at the Museum of Flight in Seattle
Yonder Sky guide Daniel exiting a Concorde SST jet, one of only 14 ever in commercial use

How much does the Museum of Flight cost?

As of 2018, admission fees are:

  • Adult (18+): $22 online / $24 in person
  • Youth (5-17): $14 online / $15 in person
  • Child (4 and under): Free
  • Seniors (65+): $19 online / $20 in person

Museum admission is free from 5 PM – 9 PM on the first Thursday of each month.

A museum visitor exits an Air Force One plane used by four U.S. presidents
This Air Force One plane was used by four U.S. presidents

Is the Museum of Flight worth visiting?

If you’re an aviation fan, visiting the Museum of Flight is a no-brainer. But even for people like us who aren’t really into planes, the museum offers an impressive and massive collection of amazing machines and some insight into the modern marvel of human flight. Where else can you step on board a space shuttle, Air Force One, and a Concorde jet all in the course of 30 minutes? We think it’s one of Seattle’s best and most unique attractions, and we recommend it to adults and families who enjoy history, science, and engineering.

About the Author

Yonder Sky
Yonder Sky offers small group day tours and private customized trips in the Seattle area. Come join us as we explore nature, history, and local cuisine at Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, Washington wineries, and more!