Thrilling Attractions in Washington State

Stretching back to the creation of the Seattle-based Boeing Company in 1916, Washington’s love affair with the wild blue yonder has been a passionate one.

Seattle’s Museum of Flight and the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour and Flying Heritage Collection near Everett’s Paine Field make it easy to ogle aircraft from the ground. But if you really want to spread your wings, try one of these uplifting experiences.

    In Woodinville, Over the Rainbow Ballooning takes flight twice daily from mid-June to mid-October. Each ride goes wherever the wind blows, landing in a different spot every time. But all drift over the Sammamish Valley—a great way to map out a winery tour or two when you’re back on the ground. 
    Set near Seattle’s Museum of Flight, Olde Thyme Aviation puts museumgoers in the cockpit of painstakingly restored aircraft just like the ones they admired in the exhibits—then revs up the propeller. Opt for a leisurely World War I biplane tour, or pull G’s in a sleek World War II warbird capable of barrel rolls and dives that the Red Baron himself could only dream of.
    Washington’s San Juan Islands are so gorgeous, you’ll want to stop and stare awhile. Thankfully, the expert pilots with Friday Harbor Helicopter have mastered the art of hovering, allowing passengers to reel off jaw-dropping snapshots through the big windows of their spacious Robinson R44 Clipper.
    Chelan Seaplanes, on Lake Chelan, flies several different scenic routes over Central Washington’s snowcapped mountains. Running through the Stehekin Valley to Horseshoe Basin, the 35-minute Cascade Pass tour is a popular draw. Pull on your headset and listen to the pilot call out names for craggy peaks, pristine glaciers, and shimmery waterfalls.

Find other Washington adventures >>