Aviation buffs can get a close-up look at how Boeing puts together its giant 747, 767, 777, and future 787 jets at its gargantuan Everett  factory plant. Big planes need a big building—this structure is the largest building by volume in the world. The facility is so huge, in fact, that you'll sometimes see workers riding on one of the bicycles the company keeps to get them around in a hurry.
The tour begins at the slick Future of Flight Center (8415 Paine Field Blvd., 425/438-8100 or 800/464-1476, www.futureofflight.org , $15 adults, $8 children under 15), where kids and kids-at-heart flock to the 727 flight deck to imagine they’re at the controls. Visitors will also encounter narrated videos on Boeing innovations of the past and the near future, flight simulators, and a 200-yard runway with the nose of a 727 about to take off.
Then it is on to the assembly line tour, a 90-minute walk through the building and onto an observation deck that overlooks shiny airplanes under construction.
For security reasons, visitors are not allowed to bring cameras, cell phones, purses, or other personal items on the tour. Babies and toddlers are also banned from the tour and there is no daycare on premises, so plan accordingly. Tours begin on the hour starting at 9 a.m., with the last tour departing at 3 p.m.
Boeing has grown from the tiny company formed by William E. Boeing in a Seattle  barn into the second-largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world. While it is no longer headquartered in Washington, Boeing is still a major employer here.