Air Shows in Florida

With superb weather year round (except for those nasty tropical storms every now and then of course), and a steady stream of tourists eager to spend their hard earned vacation dollars, Florida makes an ideal locale for the grand spectacle that is the Air Show. So much so, there are no less than 19 air shows scheduled to take place in Florida during 2014 alone. Since most of these are annual events, don’t worry if you can’t make it there this year, you can plan to take in one of the shows during your next Florida holidays.

Here are a couple of air shows definitely worth looking into:

Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo

US Navy Blue Seals formation

With performances by the United States Navy’s Blue Seals, a nighttime air show, and even an F-22 fighter jet performing aerial maneuvers, the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo is “doing it up” big time this year — it’s the 40th anniversary of this air show, a staple in Lakeland, Florida’s annual social calendar.

While you’re there, you can also take in the Florida Air Museum also located in Lakeland. It’s the “Official Aviation Museum and Education Center” of Florida and as such offers state of the art interactive displays, one of a kind airplane designs, and a multitude of activities and weekly events for kids and adults alike.

The jewel in the crown of the museum’s collection is arguably its extensive Howard Hughes memorabilia. The famed millionaire, known as much for his role in producing more than 65 films as his later mental illness and reclusiveness, was one of the key aviation innovators of his time. The museum was bequeathed more than 180 crates of Hughes’ personal belongings following his death, and it makes for one of the most interesting displays out there.

Stuart Air Show

Vintage airplane

Big on aerial acrobatic displays as well as group formations, the Stuart Air Show is the little air show that could. Situated about halfway between Orlando and Miami, Stuart scored a huge coup this year by securing the US Marines to demonstrate the abilities of an AV-8B Harrier — the same type of craft recently used in Iraq. It’s only of the only air shows the Marines will be participating in in 2014, so it’s definitely not something you’d want to miss if you happen to be vacationing in the area.