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Experience the Paine Field Aviation District

Five aviation experiences including new aircraft literally rolling off the line

Exhibit in the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum. Photo credit: provided by Seattle Northcountry - True PNW

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There has been a lot of buzz in local news lately about the new airport at Paine Field, but it is also the home of five unique aviation-themed attractions. You can learn about historic aircraft at the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum or watch state-of-the-art Boeing planes being assembled in the world's largest building (by volume). Located north of Seattle in Everett, it is about a two-hour drive from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Boeing Future of Flight. The Boeing building is huge and you get a bird's eye view of it as you approach it on the guided bus tour of the factory. Its immensity hits you once inside and you view multiple airplanes at various stages of completion. This tour is the only commercial jet assembly plant tour in North America available to the public.

Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum. This was Paul G. Allen's baby. He began collecting military vehicles, tanks and aircraft in 1998, and in 2008 they were moved to the museum. Spread out across three hangers are a variety of military technology from all over the world. The museum also has two events which will appeal to those that love military vehicles and aircraft: Saturday, May 25, checkout the museum's 8th annual Tankfest Northwest. All kinds of activities for the entire family and you will get to see tanks in action. Saturday, July 20, the museum's Skyfair takes place where you can see vintage aircraft take to the skies. For more information, visit:

Historic Flight Foundation. This is a hangar full of airplanes from 1927-1957. The foundation lovingly restores vintage aircraft to flying condition. Visit May 11 for the Historic Flight Opening Fly Day and Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. This is an opportunity to see many of the vintage aircraft take to the skies.

The Museum of Flight Restoration Center & Reserve Collection. This is part of the Museum of Flight and is housed in a 23,000-square-foot facility. This is where the museum's newly acquired aircraft are restored. Restoration tours are available where you can view all the work that goes into restoring historic aircraft. Volunteers are on site to talk to about the process. The Museum of Flight's dedicated volunteers put in thousands of man hours to restore these aircraft to exhibition quality.

High Trek Adventures Seattle Zipline & Aerial. After spending time on the ground looking at aircraft, it's time to soar through the air on ziplines or challenge yourself on the aerial park. Unlike most zipline tours, you book in one- to three-hour blocks of time. You then have unlimited use of the ziplines and park during that time. You can even come off the course for a break before tackling it again. For more information, visit:

Two local Mom and Pop eateries are not far from Paine Field. Z's Burgers are consistently rated as the best burgers in the area by TripAdvisor readers. They have fresh ingredients and made-to-order burgers. Patty's Eggnest Restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, but it is the breakfast that brings people in and features a large variety of waffles and pancakes.

The aviation district will certainly give you your fill of aviation experiences. Most locations offer military discounts so make sure to ask. For more information on the area visit:

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