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“Definitely a must see!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151
703-572-4118
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Ranked #1 of 12 Attractions in Chantilly
Type: Science Museums, Specialty Museums, Museums
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Oakland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Definitely a must see!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

This one is great, it's free, lots of parking, tons of air planes and it has a space shuttle! I came here by myself but saw many many families. I'm from LA and we have our own space shuttle but this was still impressive. There are so many planes to look at but my favorite part was the exhibit with all of the space program items like space suits, equipment and vehicles.

Visited February 2013
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Brookfield, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Home of the Space Shuttle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

I almost missed this opportunity because it is a little inconvenient to get to this museum. There used to be a shuttle from the downtown DC museum but it was discontinued. There is a shuttle from the Dulles airport but it makes little sense to use that 'till the Metro gets out there. The $15 parking fee is reasonable compared to what you pay in the city. The collection here is priceless and mostly represents the largest aircraft of the Smithsonian collection including the prototype of the 707, the Concorde, the Enola Gay B-29 and the Space Shuttle Discovery. Seeing these and all of the other military and commercial displays was awe inspiring. The ex-military people they have doing tours are great to talk to and handle young and old very well. After visiting Air Museums in Seattle, Tucson, Wright-Patterson OH, and DC, I really like this one the best for it's broad collection and the size of the facility. Don't forget to take a ride to the top of the observation tower to see the take-offs and landings at Dulles but you might skip the air traffic control exhibit one floor below if you have children as it is fully enclosed and not very intuitive.
Take in an IMax film for a rest half way through your stay if three to five hours on your feet is not easy for you. This place is a national treasure that is not visited as much as it should be.

Visited June 2013
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Must See!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

This is an incredible Museum! I've visited many times over the years and it generally just gets better!

The addition of the shuttle Discovery is just awesome! Seeing that alone is worth the trip. There are so many terrific aircraft it's really hard to take it all in.

Having said the above there are a few downers:

First you pay $12 to park (the museum is free). This doesn't go to the Smithsonian but to the contractor running the parking lot. Bummer.

Second the only food is from McDonalds. On a good day it's singularly forgettable. On a bad day, well, it's bad. Bring your lunch -- there are picnic tables.

Finally, and most disappointing, there are multiple errors of fact in the single case devoted to military women. Errors include: a blue patch identified as a WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots) patch is a contemporary fake and has very little similarity to the real thing. Next, a flight nurse uniform jacket is identified as a WAC uniform. Any woman who's ever served, WAC or nurse, knows darned well that a flight nurse is not a WAC and visa versa. There are other inconsistencies, but the lack of attention to historical fact is unexpected for the Smithsonian and is very unfortunate.

Visited June 2013
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Louisville, Kentucky
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“National Air and Space Museum near Chantilly”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

We liked everything about this museum. The variety of aircraft, the friendliness of the staff, the modest parking fee, and especially the docent guided tours. We did not get to experience the variety of IMAX films during this visit. This is a facility that can be enjoyed by persons of all ages.

Visited April 2013
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Turangi
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Outstanding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013 via mobile

Finally managed to peel the grin off my face from the air and space museum and then got told about this place. Caught the shuttle out (directions available from the air and space museum) and walked in to find the place almost empty. I tried not to get distracted by the Blackbird and space shuttle and managed to walk around most of the rest of the museum to see plane after plane, including the Enola Gay but eventually I had to go and see the two major show pieces. The SR71 and shuttle take centre stage and rightly so. The volunteers know their stuff and some have flown on the SR71 or support craft. Walk and talk tours are carried out by the volunteers and I tagged along with one to learn a little more. They are excellent. Lets make no bones about this; for kids, adults, space and air travel nuts and pretty much everyone in between, this place is not to be missed. The trip from DC out to the airport obviously puts a few people off but do yourselves a favour and take the time to make the effort. Just to top it off, it's free.

Visited June 2013
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