National Air and Space Museum
- Type: Museums
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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A favorite among children, the National Air and Space Museum is reportedly (Fodor's) the second most visited museum in the world. Attracting somewhere around nine million people each year, the museum contains a trove of celebrated aircrafts, including Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Villa, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and 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 (open daily) is free, the IMAX Theater and planetarium do charge admission.
Visitors recommend getting to this museum early to avoid the heaviest crowds, which are sure to pour in. The closest metro station to this National Mall museum is Smithsonian.
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 Virginia, the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center contains another treasure chest of spaceships, planes and exhibits. If you flew into IAD Airport, you might want to make a stop here.