The Palm Springs Air Museum is a must for any history buff or aviation aficionado. Inside four hangars totaling 86,000 square feet of space, the museum features 59 flyable and static aircraft from the World War II, Cold War, Korean War and Vietnam War eras.
CNN rated this museum in its top 14 aviation museums in the world for the small, intimate setting that allows visitors to go beyond just looking at planes to actually talking with pilots and riding in historic planes. Many of the museum’s docents flew these airplanes and served on their partner ships. There are no ropes keeping visitors from getting up close and personal with the museum’s airplanes.
The library has 9,200 volumes, including first-person narratives such as an 800-volume collection about the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations during World War II.
The museum also highlights the role minorities and people of color have played in shaping aviation. The Palm Springs Air Museum includes an exhibit on the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps (the Air Force came later), and an exhibit on the Women Pilots of World War II.
The Entire Family Will Enjoy the Palm Springs Air Museum
For younger ones, the Berger Youth Exploration Center includes fun, interactive activities, including a F-16 Flight Simulator. The museum also has a theater that shows history documentaries as well as a cafe.
In addition to the its regular features, this museum frequently offers temporary exhibits such as art shows, which makes it one of our favorite Palm Springs attractions.
Because this museum is all about encouraging visitors to get up close and personal with the aircraft, Palm Springs offers visitors a choice to fly two iconic aircrafts. For $1,895, you can fly for 20 minutes in a P-51 Mustang, a fighter plane that saw action in virtually every theater of war. The museum’s P-51D Mustang “Bunny” pays homage to Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Bob Friend.
For $195 for 20 minutes, you can ride the C-47 Skytrain, a transport airplane that was in operation for 58 years before coming to the museum. The Skytrain was used to transport troops, equipment and more.