Fly-Outs: Splash and dash, or stay awhile

From waterpark to wineries, McMinnville has it all

October 1, 2012

McMinnville municipal airport

In the heart of Oregon’s wine country, McMinnville Municipal Airport (MMV) is just a fun flight away from Portland, Salem, or the Oregon coast. A World War II-era field, the airport is now home to about 150 general aviation aircraft and some of the friendliest people around—like Airport Manager Graham Goad. “Folks are welcome to fly in and pick up a courtesy car,” he says, “there’s plenty to do in McMinnville.”

If you have only a few hours to spare, the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is a must-see. It’s the home of the Spruce Goose and other aviation treasures. On the ground or from the air, you can’t miss the jumbo jet perched on top of the building adjacent to the museum. That’s the Wings and Waves Waterpark, where kids of all ages can climb into the belly of the retired Evergreen Airlines Boeing 747 and then plummet down one of four “emergency” slides into a huge swimming pool.

If you’d rather have a splash of wine, McMinnville is the center of the pinot noir wine region. The valley has more than 90 wineries, most of them with tasting rooms in picturesque locations.

McMinnville always has something going on, including the annual Antique Fly-in and the UFO Festival, the largest after Roswell, New Mexico. Shopping, strolling and dining are also favorite pastimes in the McMinnville Downtown Historic District, which has numerous shops and restaurants.

“McMinnville is a great little town with all sorts of activities and events to enjoy throughout the year,” says Bill Miller, a local photographer. “With our small airport right here, it’s the perfect place for a fly-in weekend or vacation.”

Land at MMV, and see for yourself. And be sure to pack your swimsuit.

Want to know more?

  • CTAF: 123.0
  • Free shuttle to museum/waterpark: 503-472-9361 Ext. 4380
  • Transportation: Courtesy rental cars (call ahead)
  • Dining: Cafés in the museum and waterpark
  • Museum information: evergreenmuseum.org
  • Event information: mcminnville.org