Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum's B-25
Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum's B-25 "Maid in the Shade"

The Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum offers a remarkable journey through the early days of combat aviation with restored planes, historical personal artifacts and docents with plenty of jaw-dropping stories.

The museum’s collection — which started in 1977 with a single plane, the B-17G “Sentimental Journey” —includes a range of vintage World War II planes, including a B-25, B-17G and a C-47, along with bi-planes, an F4 Phantom, and plenty more.

The World War II planes are almost all in working order, and you can climb to take a look around. As you tour, may see mechanics at work restoring and maintaining the aircraft, and you might even hear the engines fire up.

Speaking of which, during the summer many of the working planes tour the country’s air shows. However, they return for winter and, for a fee, you can actually go up in one. Learn more about this novel opportunity.

Throughout the year, the museum hosts traveling exhibits that focus on aviation and the life of plane crews during the various wars. It also puts on events, such as dances, fly-ins, veterans talks and more.

Location: 2017 N. Greenfield Rd., Mesa
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost:  $15 adults, $12 seniors and veterans, $5 ages 5-12, Free for kids under 5, active military and disabled veterans

– Justin Ferris,