The world-class Museum of Flight (9404 E. Marginal Way S, 206/764-5720, www.museumofflight.org , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, $14 adults, $13 seniors, $7.50 kids ages 5–17, kids under 5 free) is one of Seattle’s  premier attractions, and the largest air and space museum on the West Coast. The main focal point is a dramatic steel-and-glass Great Gallery packed with more than 50 planes, many of which appear to be flying in formation.
Everything here has been meticulously restored. Suspended overhead are a Douglas DC-3, a replica of the Wright Brothers’ glider, the human-powered Gossamer Albatross II, and 18 other aircraft. An additional 40 planes sit on the tarmac below, including a Russian MiG-21, an F4C Phantom II, and the famous M/D-21 Blackbird, officially the fastest plane ever to fly.
Also on the ground level is a 1950s-era Aerocar III. Built by Moulton B. Taylor for the fly-and-drive crowd, the Aerocar could fly at 105 mph and convert into a car in 10 minutes. Visitors can also listen in on air traffic from busy Boeing Field at the full-size control tower exhibit here.
The Museum of Flight has highly knowledgeable docent-led tours; stop by the desk to see when the next one begins. Throughout the day, the theater screens various films about flying. Outside, visitors can walk through the first Air Force One, used by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.
A second large exhibit space at the Museum of Flight is the Red Barn, a lovingly restored structure that was the Boeing Company’s original manufacturing plant. It traces the history of flight through fascinating exhibits on two floors, including a restored 1917 Curtiss Jenny biplane and a replica of the Wright Brothers’ wind tunnel.
Also at the Museum of Flight are a hands-on area where kids pretend to pilot their own miniature aircraft, a Challenger Learning Center where school groups launch the space shuttle into orbit, a gift shop, library, and Wings Café. More planes are arranged outside the museum. Set aside at least three hours for this extraordinary museum, especially if you're a pilot! And, yes, it’s OK to take photos.
Get to the Museum of Flight by taking exit 158 from I-5, turning right at the first light on E. Marginal Way S, and following the signs, or by taking the No. 174 bus from downtown or the airport. Get in free 5–9 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. On Father’s Day there’s free admission to the museum, an outdoor barbecue, and biplane rides. Stop by during Seafair  to view the Blue Angels’ F/A-18 Hornets.