Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

#4 in Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
PictureNet/Getty Images

Key Info

600 Independence Ave. SW

Price & Hours

Free
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Details

Museums, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Attracting millions of people each year, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum contains a trove of celebrated aircraft, including Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and Wilbur and Orville Wright's 1903 Wright Flyer, among others. Exhibits include a flight simulator, an IMAX theater and the Einstein Planetarium. And parents beware: The three-level gift shop is huge, so get ready for pleas from your kids.

Visitors recommend arriving in the morning to avoid the heaviest crowds, which are sure to pour in, especially once summertime rolls around. Some say parts of the museum are also starting to look worn but insist this is a must-visit site for families and aviation enthusiasts.

There is no fee to visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, but the IMAX theater and planetarium do charge for shows. However, a free show is offered at the planetarium every day at 10:30 a.m. Tickets for other shows cost $9 for adults and $7.50 for kids ages 2 to 12. The museum can be found on the eastern end of the National Mall and is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, excluding Christmas Day. The closest Metro station is Smithsonian, accessible via the Blue, Silver and Orange lines; the National Mall bus route for the DC Circulator also has a stop by the museum. For more information about this Smithsonian, visit the attraction's website.

See all Hotels in Washington, D.C. »

More Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.

Lincoln Memorial
Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 16
#1 Lincoln Memorial

Although the Lincoln Memorial is just one of the District's many monuments, the larger-than-life Honest Abe is also among travelers' favorites. History buffs might enjoy the man of few (albeit powerful) words' two famous speeches, the second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address, which are both etched into the memorial's

Read more
Kevin Voelker Photography/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C. »

Explore More of Washington, D.C.

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019