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The National Naval Aviation Museum is based on board the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola. Founded in 1914, it's the oldest air station in the country and it's a rite of passage for all aviators and naval flight officers. Along with exhibiting more than 150 preserved aircraft, the museum also features exhibits showcasing the people and events that defined aviation history. NAS Pensacola is also home base for the Blue Angels, a demonstration squadron perhaps best known for its truly awe-inspiring aerobatic maneuvers.
Travelers describe their visit to the National Naval Aviation Museum as impressive, and highly recommend forking over a little more coin to watch the informative movies playing in the IMAX theater, which can vary throughout the year. Other travelers recommend inquiring if the Blue Angels are practicing since those practice sessions are free to watch. Practice usually takes place Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March to November. Visitors also recommend taking the free guided tour of the museum, saying it provides a much richer experience than a self-guided spin through the museum.
The National Naval Aviation Museum is free to visit, tour and even park your car. You'll find it about 15 miles down the coast from central Pensacola. It's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Visitors ages 16 and older will need to show identification to enter the museum. Keep in mind that if you do not possess a Department of Defense ID card or if you're not accompanied on base by someone who possesses one, you'll have to enter through West Gate, located off Blue Angels Parkway. For more information, visit the National Naval Aviation Museum's website.
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