South of Tillamook  off U.S. 101 you can’t possibly miss the enormous Quonset hut–like building east of the highway. The world-class aircraft collection of the Tillamook Air Museum (6030 Hangar Rd., 503/842-1130, www.tillamookair.com , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, $7.50 adults, $4 ages 6–17) is housed in and around Hangar B of the decommissioned Tillamook Naval Air Station. At 1,072 feet long, 206 feet wide, and 192 feet high, it’s the largest wooden structure in the world.
During World War II, this and another gargantuan hangar on the site (which burned down in 1992) sheltered eight K-class blimps, each 242 feet long.
Inside the seven-acre structure, you can learn about the role the big blimps played during wartime as well as how they are used today. In addition, there’s a large collection of World War II fighter planes (many one-of-a-kind models) as well as photos and artifacts from the naval air station days. Be sure to check out the cyclo-crane, a combination blimp, plane, and helicopter. This was devised in the 1980s to aid in remote logging operations; it ended up an $8 million bust.
If possible, bring binoculars here to see the interesting latticework of rafters and Navy-uniformed mannequins on the catwalks 20 stories up. To get there from downtown, take U.S. 101 south two miles, make a left at the flashing yellow light, and follow the signs.