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Lyon Air Museum

See some of the rarest flying machinery left over from World War II and learn about the United States’ role in aviation history.

The Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana, Orange County, is home to some of the rarest aircrafts and vehicles in the world, with a strong emphasis on World War II. War veterans can reminisce and tell stories, while younger generations learn about aviation history in the United States.

The veterans who volunteer here are knowledgeable and friendly guides. They’ll happily share information and stories while showing you around the museum.

See the B-17 Flying Fortress named Fuddy Duddy, a famous aircraft that featured in films including Tora! Tora! Tora!, the 1970 dramatization of the attack on Pearl Harbor. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the aircraft’s most famous passenger; he later became a president of the United States.

All of the airplanes on display still fly. If you are lucky enough to be around at the right time, there are occasional events where visitors can watch the machines take to the skies.

American machines are not the only ones on display at the Lyon Air Museum. Take a look at a 1939 Mercedes Benz Touring Wagon developed for the German army. The particular vehicle displayed at the museum was originally delivered to Adolf Hitler during the war. He used it until it was seized by the French Army.

The museum was founded by Major General William Lyon, a retired member of the U.S. Air Force and successful businessman.

Lyon Air Museum is located on the west side alongside the tarmac of John Wayne Airport, a 10-minute drive from the California coast and South Coast Plaza, and a 15-minute drive from downtown Santa Ana. Free parking is available on-site. Several Orange County Transportation Authority buses service the airport.

The museum is open daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Group tours and discounts are available.


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Ayres Hotel & Suites Costa Mesa/Newport Beach $105
Ayres Hotel & Suites Costa Mesa/Newport Beach

Ayres Hotel & Suites Costa Mesa/Newport Beach

325 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Costa Mesa hotel is located near the airport, within 2 mi (3 km) of The Camp and Orange County Fairgrounds. Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Plaza are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Extended Stay America Orange County - John Wayne Airport $85
    Extended Stay America Orange County - John Wayne Airport

    Extended Stay America Orange County - John Wayne Airport

    4881 Birch St, Newport Beach, CA
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Airport Area, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Irvine Museum and 2.5 mi (4 km) from University of California-Irvine. Bren Events Center and Boomers are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport Newport Beach $126
      Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport Newport Beach

      Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport Newport Beach

      4545 Macarthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Airport Area, this hotel is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from University of California-Irvine and within 6 mi (10 km) of South Coast Plaza and Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Fashion Island and Sherman Library and Garden are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton-Irvine/Orange County Airport $101
        Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton-Irvine/Orange County Airport

        Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton-Irvine/Orange County Airport

        2192 Dupont Drive, Irvine, CA
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Airport Area, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.7 km) from Irvine Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of University of California-Irvine and Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Boomers and Bren Events Center are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa Orange County $85
          Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa Orange County

          Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa Orange County

          3131 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Costa Mesa, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Plaza. University of California-Irvine and Huntington State Beach are also within 9 mi (15 km).

            Newport Beach Marriott Bayview $143
            Newport Beach Marriott Bayview

            Newport Beach Marriott Bayview

            500 Bayview Cir, Newport Beach, CA
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated near the airport, this hotel is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Orange County Fairgrounds and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from University of California-Irvine. Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa $101
              Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa

              Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa

              3050 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Camp and The LAB Antimall. Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Plaza are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                Travelodge by Wyndham Orange County Airport/ Costa Mesa $74
                Travelodge by Wyndham Orange County Airport/ Costa Mesa

                Travelodge by Wyndham Orange County Airport/ Costa Mesa

                1400 Bristol Street, Suite A, Costa Mesa, CA
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in East Side Costa Mesa, this motel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from The Camp and within 3 mi (5 km) of Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Plaza. Orange County Fairgrounds and Orange Coast College are also within 3 mi (5 km).