The Spruce Goose
A local museum hosts perhaps one of the most bizarre aircraft ever produced. Howard Hughes, an eccentric rich person, had gotten it into his head to build a transatlantic freight flying boat in order to sell it on lucrative military contracts as a cargo airplane. However, due to wartime restrictions on the availability of aluminum, the prototype had to be built from birchwood to achieve a lightweight airframe. The prototype only ever achieved a single test flight in 1947 (by which point all hope of military contracts was of course gone) but remained the holder of the "largest wingspan of any aircraft" record into the 2010s.
Private automobile is the easiest way in to McMinnville. State Highway 99W enters from the north and south. State Highway 18 bypasses town along the south from its junction with Hwy 99W southwest of town and ends at Hwy 99W east of town.
1 McMinnville Municipal Airport (FAA LID: MMV) has two runways, one of which is in good repair. There are no scheduled commercial airline services but the airport is open to general aviation. It is located on 4000 SE Cirrus Rd, across Hwy 18 from the Evergreen Aviation Museum south of town.
The main bus station for Yamhill Transit's local public transportation and intercity buses is at the 2 Yamhill Transit Center on NE 2nd & Irvine St (800 NE 2nd St). They operate intercity and local buses to:
- 11 to West Salem via Amity along Hwy 99W & 22. Cherriots #17 bus continues from the W Salem Transit Center into the downtown Transit Center.
- 22 to Grand Ronde via Sheridan, Willamina & Spirit Mountain Casino along Hwy 18. Onward connections to Lincoln City or Salem with Tillamook Transit #60x or 70x from the Grand Ronde Community Center or Spirit Mountain Casino.
- 33 to Hillsboro via Lafayette, Carlton, Yamhill, Gaston & Forest Grove along Hwy 47 & 8. Onward connections to Portland via the 'MAX Blue Line' train from Hillsboro.
- 44/44x to Tigard (nearest point to Portland) via Newberg & Sherwood along Hwy 99W. Tri-Met #12 or 94 bus continues into Portland from Tigard.
- 1-4. Local public transportation within the McMinnville area on 4 separate routes.
- 1 Evergreen Aviation Museum, 500 NE Capt. Michael King Smith Way, ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM. Closed on major holidays. This is really three attractions in one: museums of aviation and space travel, and an IMAX theatre. Howard Hughes' H-4 (HK-1) Flying Boat, better known as the Spruce Goose, is the most well-known, but there are over 60 other aircraft and spacecraft to see. The space museum has a pleasantly even-handed coverage of the international history of space exploration, with unique exhibits such as an ICBM in a simulated silo. There is a good café here. Enough to see that aviation fans will want a whole day. $27 both museums and 1 movie; discounts for youth, seniors, and veterans.
- Spruce Goose Café, 500 NE Capt. Michael King Smith Way, ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM. Closed on major holidays. Located in the Evergreen Aviation Museum. A range of quite respectable grilled and cooked fare, especially by museum cafe standards.
- Rooftop bar at Hotel Oregon, 310 NE Evans Street, ☏ .
- 1 Baker Street Bed & Breakfast, 129 SE Baker St (1st & Baker.), ☏ . The oldest single owner bed and breakfast in McMinnville (18 years). The main inn has three rooms, each with en suite bath. The private two bedroom cottage located behind the inn is a fully equipped unit. For more independence, a two bedroom vacation rental is located a few blocks away. If coming with children, note this is located within 2 blocks of the city park, library and indoor swimming pool). Discounts for extended stays.
- 2 McMenamins Hotel Oregon, 310 NE Evans St (NE of intersection of NE Evans & 3rd.), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. $60-$145.
- 3 McMinnville Best Western, 2035 SW Hwy 99W (Near Jct Hwy 99w & Hwy 18 southwest of tow.), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- 4 McMinnville Inn, 381 NE Highway 99 West (Hwy 99W & NE Baker Creek Rd/Evans St north of downtown.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Rates includes complimentary continental breakfast.
- 5 Motel 6, 2069 SW Hwy 99W, ☏ .
|Routes through McMinnville|
|Portland ← Newberg ←||NE S||→ Monmouth → Eugene|
|END ← Jct ←||NE SW||→ Sheridan → Ends at N S|
|Forest Grove ← Carlton ←||N S||→ Ends at Jct|