There is an absolutely excellent air museum located in beautiful Sonoma County California. The Pacific Coast Air Museum located at the Charles Schulz Sonoma County Airport in the Sonoma Valley has a terrific display of military aircraft and as an added bonus it’s right in the middle of the popular Sonoma County wine country. Because of this, a visit to the many wineries in the area and a side trip to the Pacific Coast Air Museum makes for a great weekend outing. The Sonoma County Airport is about three miles northwest of Santa Rosa California and just south of the town of Windsor. The Pacific Coast Air Museum operates as a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the acquisition, restoration, safe operation and display of historic aircraft. In addition, the museum serves as an educational venue for students and the community. This aviation museum is a must stop.
The Pacific Coast Air Museum was very fortunate to receive one of the first two fighter jets that scrambled over New York City during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The historic “First Responder” aircraft, designated “102”, was retired to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ on July 31, 2006 after nearly thirty years of service.This aircraft “102” was the wing commander’s aircraft and was the lead aircraft that responded from the alert shelters at Otis ANGB that day. In 2009 the National Museum of the United States Air Force awarded the Pacific Coast Air Museum with this same aircraft “102” . The aircraft was partially disassembled and transported from AMARC in Tucson to the Pacific Coast Air Museum in December 2010. Since that time the aircraft has been reassembled and is now on exhinit at the Sonoma County air museum. As you can imagine this is probably one of the most unique historic aircraft exhibits on the entire West Coast and I think you’ll find it quite interesting.
The Pacific Coast Air Museum also hosts the “Wings Over Wine Country Air Show each August which draws thousands of people. The air show features both military aircraft demonstrations along with some of the best civilian aerobatic displays found at any air show in America. I have attended this air show several times and it’s a good one.A visit to the Pacific Coast Air Museum makes for a great Sonoma Valley wine country vacation or weekend trip.
The Santa Rosa airport is in the popular Sonoma Valley and is very near some of the best wineries in the area. The Kendall-Jackson is about a five minute drive away to the south. The Francis Ford Coppola Winery is just to the northwest and the city of Healdsburg is about a ten minute drive north of the airport.
The Sonoma County Airport is also served by Horizon Airlines which allows Sonoma Valley tourists the opportunity of flying directly to Santa Rosa to begin their Santa Rosa Sonoma County wine and air museum tour.
Driving directions to the Pacific Coast Air Museum from Santa Rosa California: Take Highway 101 north and exit at Airport Blvd and drive west. Turn left on N. Laughlin Road and then turn right on Becker Road. Parking is located right at the museum entrance.