National Air and Space Museum
- Type: Museums
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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Attracting somewhere around 9 million people each year, the museum contains a trove of celebrated aircraft, including Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louisand Wilbur Wright's Wright 1903 Flyer, among others. Exhibits include a flight simulator, and IMAX Theater and a planetarium. And parents beware: The three-level gift shop is huge, so get ready for pleas from your kids. Although this museum is free, the IMAX Theater and planetarium do charge admission. Tickets for IMAX and Planetarium films cost anywhere from $9 to $15 for adults and $7.50 to $13.50 for kids between the ages of 2 and 12; prices vary according to feature type.
Visitors recommend arriving in the morning to avoid the heaviest crowds, which are sure to pour in. "This museum gets really busy, so I would recommend going early. You will not be disappointed. A lot of great exhibits where you can actually go inside the space shuttle/station," said one TripAdvisor user.
The closest Metro station to the National Air and Space Museum is Smithsonian, accessible via the Blue and Orange lines. The museum welcomes visitors everyday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You should also note that there is another air and space museum in the Smithsonian family. Located near the Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Chantilly, Va., the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center contains another treasure chest of spaceships, planes and exhibits. If you flew into Dulles Airport, you might want to make a stop here. For additional information, consult the National Air and Space Museum website.