My wife and I spent 3 hours at the museum, but easily could have spent more time here. As you know the museum is free. Parking is $15 per car, and free after 4pm. However, coming after 4pm won’t allow you enough time to see the museum well. I would suggest coming earlier in the day and giving yourself plenty of time here. If you are staying in a hotel in the Dulles Airport area, ask the front desk if they have a shuttle to the museum (some do). We stayed at the Hyatt, and they did not. However, we took the hotel shuttle to the airport. From the airport, at shuttle area 2E, we were able to catch the Virginia Regional Transit (VRT) bus for only 50 cents per person; and it was just a short ride to the museum. I believe the VRT runs every 30 minutes, but you should double check this! Not every VRT bus runs to the museum, so check with the driver. Also, it’s exact change on the VRT. We took the VRT bus back to the airport, and then caught the hotel shuttle back to the Hyatt.
As far as the museum, it was simply INCREDIBLE! I give it 5 stars and highly recommend it! For those in DC or staying in DC, it is worth the trip out here. I believe there is a city bus that runs here for like $6 or so if you need transit here, you should look into it. The museum is huge and contains so much history. Some of the highlights are the Space Shuttle Discovery, the Enola Gay, the SR-71 Blackbird, the Concorde, various planes from WW1 and WW2, and lots of other things from old to new. We did take a free tour, but thought it was very long and too detailed on each highlight. We left the free tour at the end to explore on our own. The tour guide has some good stories and information, but in my opinion it was too long. But overall, this place is amazing and there is just soooo much to see and read. Standing in front of the space shuttle was inspiring, just knowing it had been in space. The museum also contains many missiles, weapons, cameras, space equipment, etc. There is a McDonalds on site to eat food. You can also get great views of incoming craft from either the observation tower, or even just out in front of the building in the parking lot. I got some great pictures at the museum. DO NOT miss the Udvar-Hazy Center if you visit DC!
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