Fido loves flying first class, but how’s your fast and “furriest” best friend’s knowledge of airplanes? Whether he’s a flight fanatic or doesn’t know a Concorde from a biplane, your pup can join you at these pet-friendly museums dedicated to aviation in the U.S.
Posted by Billy Francis
Pima Air & Space Museum
Pima Air & Space Museum invites you and your furry copilot to meander through six hangars and view almost 400 aircraft, including a Wright Flyer, a Boeing 787, and a Douglas A-26 Invader. Visitors can spend all day perusing the exhibits, learning about seaplanes and amphibians, aircraft carriers, women in flight and more. Before you depart, visit the 390th Memorial Museum, which houses the last B-17 Flying Fortress flown by any branch of the US Military.
Terriers can touch down for the night at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. All canine guests can ditch airplane food for special treats at check-in.
Air Force Armament Museum
Air Force Armament Museum is located at Eglin Air Force Base, the largest air force base in the world. This pet-friendly attraction is the only museum in the world dedicated to the collection, preservation and exhibition of artifacts and memorabilia associated with Air Force Armament. Take your pooch for a wander around the grounds and sniff out a variety of impressive exhibits. Then, pay homage to four-legged fighters who have given their lives at the Dog Soldier Memorial.
Stay strides from the water at Baytown Town House in neighboring Fort Walton Beach. This popular pet-friendly vacation rental features hardwood floors and dock access.
Palm Springs Air Museum
Friendly pets are welcome at Palm Springs Air Museum, home to one of the world’s largest collections of flyable aircraft from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Get up close and “pawsonal” with the exhibits in the air-conditioned and completely rope-free hangars. The dog-loving staff are mostly veterans with a great knowledge of the exhibits.
Make a quick stopover at The Inn at Palm Springs after exploring the museum. This welcoming hotel has a lovely courtyard and bright rooms with hardwood floors where Fido can make a comfortable landing.
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is “America’s first flying museum of antique aircraft.” Mooch around this marvelous museum with your mutt and see where it all began in the Pioneer Building. Then, head over to the WWI Building and learn how aircraft were adapted to war times. Swing by the Golden Age Building to see how private aircraft became part of the roaring 20s and 30s. Then finish up in the History of Flight Building to see a comprehensive collection of aircraft, vehicles, engines and more. After this fun-filled tour, thirsty pups can rehydrate with complimentary water next to the gift shop. If you’re visiting during summer, be sure to bring your dog along to one of the aerodrome’s exciting air shows.
Go from getting schooled about aviation to staying at The Schoolhouse. Located on a quiet lane, there’s room outside for a flying game of fetch and a fire pit area to touchdown next to after dark.
Fargo Air Museum
Hang out with your hound in two hangars full of incredible flying machines at Fargo Air Museum, “North Dakota’s premier aviation destination.” This nonprofit organization promotes interest in aviation through education, preservation and restoration. What sets this museum apart from many others across the country is that a number of the exhibits actually take flight in the skies around Fargo. Highlights include the MQ-1 Predator unmanned drone and a replica of the Wright Brothers’ Flyer. Leashed dogs are welcome to join their owners inside the museum.
You won’t need to reserve a long-haul flight to find a pet-friendly hotel. Candlewood Suites Fargo North Dakota State University is located right next to the museum and offers a comfortable and affordable stay for you and Fido.
Naval Air Station Wildwood Museum
Located inside a real World War II hangar, Naval Air Station Wildwood Museum invites you and your pooch to learn about aviation and military history. People and pups planning a pet-friendly road trip along the Jersey Shore can stop off at this museum made up of 90,000 square feet of paws-on fun, including a diverse selection of aircraft, engines, helicopters, jets and more. You can also check out what life was like during World War II and climb inside a real air traffic control tower.
Avoid a red-eye flight with a night at Sand Box Motel. This pet-friendly lodging provides four-legged guests with treats, mats and bowls to use during their stay.
Combat Air Museum
At Topeka’s Combat Air Museum, gaze up to the skies to see Black Hawk Helicopters flying overhead from the active airfield next door. Then, head inside the large hangar with your own Harrier to see more than 46 different aircraft that span from the dawn of aviation to the modern day. The museum boasts the largest collection of WWI replica aircraft in the Midwest, a rare Whittle gas turbine engine and a colorful gallery of military aviation art. Afterward, dogs can rehydrate at the water station provided.
Shuttle over to downtown Topeka for a night at Hotel Topeka at City Center. Four-legged guests can enjoy a delicious dinner from the canine room service menu.
Air Heritage Museum
Air Heritage Museum is an indoor/outdoor homage to aircraft great and small. Steeped in history, the exhibits on display include a 1930s monoplane, military jets and impressive light transport. In addition to providing the public a chance to learn about rare airplanes, the Air Heritage Museum experts spend time behind the scenes restoring planes that have been damaged in crashes or need a little love. Well-behaved pups are welcome to explore the grounds on a leash.
Fido can recline without worrying about squashing others in the spacious rooms at nearby Ramada by Wyndham Beaver Falls, which has a nice grassy space outside for emergency landings.
South Dakota Air and Space Museum
If you’re cruising with your Corgi through The Mount Rushmore State, touch down at South Dakota Air and Space Museum, which offers exhibits that will take you and your pup into the air and toward the stars. Showcasing over 30 vintage military aircraft from World War II to the modern-day B-1, this unique institution offers a glimpse into aerospace technology, Cold War history, early aviation and more. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you on a trip down memory lane and into outer space.
Stop to refuel at nearby Home2 Suites by Hilton Rapid City. Pups are given first-class treatment at this affordable hotel with several relief areas outside and spacious pet-friendly rooms.