Estrella Warbirds Museum and Woodland Auto Display
The cockpit of a 1965 Bell UH-1D Iroquois, known as the “Huey” helicopter, one of the aircraft you can visit up close and personal at the Warbirds museum in Paso Robles. Photo courtesy of Estrella Warbirds Museum.
If you’re wine-tasting in Paso Robles, or even if you’re not, make a stop at the fascinating Estrella Warbirds Museum and Woodland Auto Display, just off Highway 46.
This museum, a labor of love begun more than 25 years ago by two men with two airplanes as an aviation museum, today comprises six buildings on more than 13 acres of land housing not only aviation history – including fighter jets (“Top Gun” Tomcat among them), helicopters, missiles, tanks, amphibious troop transport ships and even a flight simulator that you can operate – but an extensive collections of race cars, classic cars, complete military uniforms, armaments and memorabilia from World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War, as well. The newest addition is a building devoted to the Red Ball Express Motorpool, with vintage U.S. World War II military vehicles from 1941-45.
There is also an extensive military library with rare and priceless documents, photographs and newspapers of the era, staffed by knowledgeable volunteers.
This nonprofit museum, one of the fastest-growing in California, is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles and memorabilia of those who served and sacrificed in the armed conflicts of the past 100-plus years, as well as a testament to the Valley’s legendary auto-racing history.
It’s worth a visit.
4251 Dry Creek Rd. Paso Robles 805-227-0440