Palm Springs Air Museum: Is It Worth It?
The Palm Springs Air Museum is an unexpected find while visiting the Palm Springs area. You might be asking yourself, “Is It Worth It?” Check out our review to decide for yourself!
We received tickets to visit the museum, however all opinions are honest and our own. This post also contains Amazon Affiliate links. This website earns a commission on qualifying purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
What is the Palm Springs Air Museum?
The Palm Springs Air Museum is a museum full of historical planes, artifacts, and displays from World War II, The Korean War, and Vietnam. Visitors are able to walk right up to the impressive fleet of historical planes and other vehicles used during those eras.
You will find 59 planes (both flyable and static) inside four hangars:
- Pacific Navy Hangar
- European Army Hangar
- Cold War, Korea and Vietnam War aircraft Hangar
- A hangar that includes a B-17 Flying fortress and a youth exploration center
You will find more planes just outside the hangars.
Really Though, Is It Worth It?
Lets just start by pointing out that the Palm Springs Air Museum was named one of the top 14 aviation museums in the WORLD by CNN Travel.
If you drive past the museum, you might be fooled into thinking it is a small museum with not much inside. Let me tell you, you will be amazed by what you find behind those doors!
I will list here just a handful of the reasons that I think that a visit to the Palm Springs Air Museum is ABSOLUTELY worth it!
Up Close and Personal Look at the Planes
When I say that you can walk right up to these planes, I mean you literally have to be careful that you don’t hit your head on the wings as you walk around the museum! You can walk right up to each plane and get a good up-close look at the body of the plane.
For those that have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I LOVE history. It is a bit unreal to walk up to these planes and see the pinups painted on the body, and even signatures on the wings of some planes from past pilots (I assume).
One of the planes I will always remember is the B-17 Flying Fortress! There are multiple pits in which an individual had to squeeze in to aim and shoot at enemy aircraft. There is one such pit that was unimaginably tiny and a service person had to squeeze in to fit. It is a must see!
I highly suggest you check out their Instagram page! There is a Warbird Wednesday presentation every Wednesday on their page sharing more in depth information about their planes on display!
History comes alive in each hangar and exhibit!
My favorite hangar hands down is the Pacific Navy Hangar. Not only are there war planes, but there are also amazing artifacts that I never would have expected to find there.
- Along one wall, there is a display of various Nazi paraphernalia. It is obviously a chilling part of history, yet interesting to see as I rarely come across these artifacts in person.
- There is a Tuskegee Airmen display sharing the history of primarily African-American pilots and airmen that fought during World War II.
- My girls were enthralled by the display about Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). I have never heard of the WASPs and was impressed that the museum included this history.
- Artwork that included a painting of our hometown hero, Louis Zamperini.
Docents with real-life experiences to share
As you walk around, you will see that there are docents walking around or just hanging near some planes. Aside from answering questions, some of these docents are veterans that actually served and flew these planes! Where else can you find that?
You can book a flight!
Yes! Surprisingly, you can actually book a flight on designated planes at the museum! This cost is separate from museum admission and definitely for a special occasion or plane enthusiast.
Interactive fun for the kids!
We most definitely were not expecting there to be interactive kid-centered things in this museum!
The kids had fun doing the following:
- Using a flight simulator
- Stepping inside a cockpit for kids to sit and check out.
- Checking out a control tower set up.
- Climbing into a portion of a transport plane and cockpit. The adults enjoyed this one too 😉
Watch flights take off just across the fence!
The Palm Springs Air Museum is located right next door to an airport. We were shocked to find that planes would periodically take off just over the fence. Honestly, it was really neat to watch and made the experience even more exciting.
Sense of honor and respect for our service people.
Perhaps most important is that kids will gain a sense of pride and respect for our service people. It is difficult to walk through the museum and see all of the history displayed there without gaining a sense of respect for all that have served and continue to protect our country.
Any tips for the visit?
I highly recommend that you visit the museum early in the day. It was pretty warm inside the hangars. Additionally, it was very hot when looking at the planes stationed outside.
See more pics and video on our Instagram page!
Visit us on Instagram @asocalwayoflife for more pictures and highlights of our visit! Here, you will find more adventures in addition to what we share here on the blog. You can find all of our Palm Springs stories in the Palm Springs highlight, along with our Palm Springs related posts in feed. Besides, following us there will keep you in the loop with fun places to go!
Quick Facts about the Museum
Location: 745 North Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs, California 92262
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily, with some exceptions (on their website)
Admission online ranges from $17.50 tp $19.50. However, the museum suggests you buy tickets in person to take advantage of pricing for the day.
Active Duty & their immediate family with ID are admitted Free.
Admission is free for children 12 and under when accompanied by a paying adult are admitted free.
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