After landing at 7am and hanging around Dulles airport for three hours, we got a cab to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, when they opened their doors at 10am. Public transport to this thing seems not to exist. It was also a public holiday for Memorial Day.
Our timing could have been better.
The museum was fantastic. The only reason I really wanted to go was to see the Space Shuttle, which I did. Elyse was bored stiff through most of it and we were both shattered from the previous nights flight.
There’s some fantastic stuff to see here if you’re into aviation, like a Blackbird, The Space Shuttle Enterprise, a Concorde, as well as artefacts from a bunch of space missions- suits, spacecraft, moonrocks…. whatever USA aviation bit you can think of – these folks have it.
Seeing The Enola Gay was quite sobering. On 6 August 1956, The Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing over 100,000 innocent people. Also, it must be noted, that move was also the beginning of the end of World War 2.
If you’re interested in aviation, then The Udvar-Hazy Center is definitely worth going to. Pre-purchase a tour to avoid queueing.
You can read more about it on TripAdvisor.
I must point out that this museum is not actually in Washington, but around 50km from DC, in Chantilly, Virginia.
There is another Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, located near many of the other museums DC is famous for. We didn’t make it to that one, but I have heard it is excellent.
Apparently the Space Shuttle Discovery is moving to the DC facility in the coming months, so if Space Shuttles are what you’re after, then you could just go to that one and not have to leave town. The Concord and Enola Gay were pretty cool to see though.
When we were done with the planes, we again cabbed it into town for an exorbitant sum (if anyone from DC is reading this- ask your friendly councillor to put on some Public Transport out there).
I’d recommend going here if you’re hiring a car, or can work out another way to get there without cabs. Unless of course you’ve got cash to burn, in which case- go nuts.
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is open every day except Christmas Day from 10am – 5:30pm. It’s located at 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway Chantilly, Virginia 20151 (just around the corner from Dulles Airport).