Top 10 Destinations For Performance Aircraft

By Jason Zilberbrand

August 8, 2022 Educational

People are booking commercial flights faster than airlines know how to handle the volume of travelers. A good number of bookings are because so many traveling plans have been on hold for several months or even years.

So, if you're looking to get away from commercial airlines and take your private aircraft on an adventure, you have a few options before blocking out your calendar. When it comes to convenience, amenities, and nice-to-haves, these are the top 10 destinations for performance aircraft in the U.S.


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Check Out These Top 10 Destinations ForPerformance Aircraft Across The U.S.

Wings give you the ability to go anywhere on your own time. Why stop at the beach down the road when you can visit these top 10 destinations for performance aircraft across the country instead?

Broken down by region, you should add these hot spots for aviation enthusiasts to your list.


Midwest

Grab the family or a friend to make several stops around the birthplace of aviation.

1. Dayton, Ohio

Founded in 1796, Dayton allows you to step back in time for a few minutes with early 1900's aircraft collections at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. You can keep the day going with a visit to Carillon Historical Park near the Wright Brothers National Museum, and this 65-acre park even showcases an original Wright Brothers plane.

Airport: James M. Cox Dayton International Airport

2. Galesburg, Illinois

Located in Knox County and established in 1837, Galesburg is known for its 496-acre area called Galesburg Historic District. It's even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And if you love vintage aircraft, the National Stearman Fly-In offers a collection of beautifully restored Stearmans and other family-friendly attractions.

Airport: Galesburg Municipal Airport

3. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Located on Lake Huron and established in 1817, Mackinac (pronounced mack-ih-naw) Island is a town of about 400 permanent residents. It's most well-known for being home to the world-famous Grand Hotel and a local fudge factory that attracts tourists from all over the globe. Cars are prohibited on the island as almost everyone bikes, walks, or even uses horses to travel. Mainland visitors reach the island by ferry.

Airport: Mackinac Island Airport

4. Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Oshkosh is located in Winnebago County and was settled in 1953. During the summer, the Wittman Regional Airport hosts one of the country's largest air shows, AirVenture, where about 40,000 aviation enthusiasts gather to share homemade designs, warbirds, and helicopters – and, of course, innovations from Cessa, Piper, and other aircraft regulars.

Airport: Wittman Regional Airport

Mid-Atlantic Or East Region

Take a look at the attractions in Washington, D.C., for aircraft lovers of all kinds.

5. Washington, D.C.

There's nearly no better place for an aviation enthusiast to visit than Udvar-Hazy Center and the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Packed with ideally restored civil and military aircraft, you can watch as the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar team works on their next restoration project. Afterward, you can go to the Smithsonian to see notable aircraft like The Voyager, known for carrying Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager on their nonstop global flight in December 1986.

Airport: Dulles International Airport

Southwest

Grab some light clothing and extra sunscreen before heading to these southwestern states.

6. Phoenix, Arizona

The Phoenix area is home to several flight schools. It might seem like an odd place to run and store planes. But its hot, dry climate makes for perfect aircraft conditions, which tend to deteriorate in environments with heavy moisture and humidity. This means you can visit plenty of airplane boneyards and desert aircraft storage sites to view out-of-service aircraft of all types.

Airports: Kingman Airport and Phoenix Goodyear Airport

7. Roswell, New Mexico

With a population of almost 50,000, Roswell is known for more than its connection to the extraterrestrial. It is also well-known for the Roswell Air Center – one of the largest commercial aviation industries in the southwest.

Airport: Roswell Air Center

8. Fredericksburg, Texas

Are you looking for a cozy German town for a short getaway stay? Fredericksburg is known throughout the Lone Star State as the home of countless wineries and the juiciest peaches in the hill country. Established close to Austin in 1846, it also has a 1940s-inspired Hangar Hotel, Officer's Club, and Airport Diner with ample aircraft parking.

Airport: Gillespie County Airport

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West

Hit the west coast for a bit of a beach-bound adventure.

9. Santa Catalina Island, California

Just southwest Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island is part of a protected land trust with miles of preserved beaches, coves, and hiking trails. If you're up for a water adventure, there are also glass-bottom boat tours, scuba diving, and ocean and fishing tours where you can catch:

  • Barracuda

  • Yellowtail

  • Rockfish

  • Sculpin

  • Red snapper

  • Bluefin tuna

  • Octopus

  • Several types of sharks

Of course, whatever you see will depend on the season.

Airport: Catalina's Airport In The Sky

Southeast

Are you feeling a southeastern beach getaway? Florida is for you.

10. Cedar Key, Florida

While there aren't many aircraft-heavy attractions here, nature is abundant in Cedar Key. Even the Cedar Key Airport is surrounded by a protected bird territory belonging to local favorites like ospreys, eagles, herons, and other waterbirds. Continue your adventure at any nearby state park like the Cedar Key Museum State Park. Want to take a fall adventure? The CDK Seafood Festival takes place in mid-October.

Looking for something a bit more exclusive? Check out Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida.

Airport: Cedar Key Airport

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