The 10 Best Military Experiences in America

Nowhere Else: The Best Places To Fly a Phantom, Drive A Sherman, or Race a PT Boat


They say to truly understand someone you need to walk a mile in their shoes. What was it like to be a young Lt. John F. Kennedy in command of a PT boat in the Pacific? Could you handle the claustrophobic feeling inside a Sherman tank? How about jinking in an F-4 Phantom fighter jet in the skies over Vietnam? ? Here  are those undiscovered destinations that let you experience a Sherman tank, fly in a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter, take to the skies in a F-4 Phantom – and roar across a lake in a restored PT boat just like the one Jack had in the Pacific.


  1. (Tie) Ox Hunting Ranch/, Uvalde, TX

Nowhere Else: Drive one of several tanks. Fire the main gun. . Spend the night in  recreated WWII barracks, or fly home in your own jet leaving from their private runway.


  1. (Tie) Wings of Freedom/Collings Foundation, Stowe, MA/Houston, TX

Nowhere Else: Fly in a real F-4 Phantom fighter jet or an TA-4 Skyhawk jet.  Highly trained professionals let you experience flight unlike anywhere else in the nation.


  1. PT-305, Lake Pontchartrain, LA

Nowhere else: This is the only operating PT boat in the world. With the roar of three 1200-hp engines you’ll go out on Lake Pontchartrain and zip through the waves. Coordinated through the National Museum of World War II in New Orleans.



  1. Army Aviation Heritage Foundation, Hampton, GA. (South Atlanta Regional Airport)

Nowhere else: Fly in a Vietnam-era Huey or a Cobra helicopter – or both –from the same air base. The sheer physicality of a Huey in flight  will leave you breathless.


  1. American Airpower Museum, Farmingdale, NY

Nowhere else: Fly in a WWII- era  C-47 with WWII paratrooper. You’ll start in a briefing room then fly with reenactors dressed in real WWII uniforms, ready to jump as you fly through the sky.


  1. California Overland Desert Excursions, Borrego Springs, CA.

Nowhere else: Take an Army  deuce-and-a-half out to the old training grounds for the invasion of North Africa. The sand in your teeth is half the fun.


  1. National Liberty Ship Memorial, Pier 45, San Francisco, CA

USS Pampanito, Pier 45, San Francisco, CA

Nowhere else: Feel the engines come to life as you sail on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, a true  WWII Liberty Ship. Or walk down a few yards and squeeze through the 27-foot wide hull of the USS Pampanito — a WWII electric-diesel submarine.


  1. USS Kidd Veterans Museum, Baton Rouge, LA

Nowhere else: Visit a U.S. Navy destroyer that displays true, WWII Navy colors. Walk her decks. Examine the guns. Go back in time.


  1. Stallion 51, Kissimmee, FL

Nowhere else: The only full-cockpit, dual seat Mustangs with a certified CFI as your pilot  thus allowing you to take the controls and fly a P-51. That’s right – this isn’t a cramped, jury-rigged second seat and your highly experienced pilot is also a licensed flight instructor  so you get to yank and bank the plane yourself.


  1. Drive A Tank, Kasota, MN

Nowhere Else: Drive a tank. Crush a car. Plow through a house. Use an M4 Sherman tank plus other armored vehicle.


  1. Commemorative Air Force, Dallas, TX

This Texas-based organization has chapters across the United States offering flight experiences in more than a dozen different types of warbirds based at airports  in  a dozen different states.