We arrived 9:30 am at Dulles Airport for our first visit to DC. We knew that we wanted to visit the Udvar Hazy Center before we headed to the Arlington area. We found the connector bus #983 with no issue, within five minutes of waiting we were on the bus. We had ordered our metra cards online a month earlier so we could step right onto the bus.
A ten minute bus ride, the Udvar Center is the next stop after the airport and very convenient to use the bus. IF you drive to Udvar the parking cost is $15. We poked around for a few minutes while we waited for the 10am opening. The museum offered large lockers that held all three backpacks and our coats for $.25 deposit.
We chose to first visit the mockup of the control tower. The view is amazing, it was fun to watch planes land and take off in front of us. And Daughter liked to watch the radar and hear the radio transmissions of the flights.
The elevator operator asked us if we were interested in a highlights tour? She advised us one was beginning at10:30 at the information desk. We joined a tour with 6 others and enjoyed the hour and a half highlights walk.
Our guide started with the earliest planes, moved on to warfare and ended with the space race. It was the best way to see the planes and hear the stories. I don’t think we would have enjoyed the Udvar as much if we had just walked around on our own.
I was happy to see a concord and hear more about the spectacular plane.
And the reason we came…
The shuttle Discovery! I was very pleased with the space hanger area. Everything was very well done and it offered a very impressive viewing of the Discovery.
After the tour we really needed to eat, it was a little after noon for us. The only food option at the Udvar is McDonalds. I really wish they had something besides McDonalds but we shared fries and a drink to save some money on the higher prices.
All three of us really enjoyed our time at the Udvar Center. It was clear the volunteers loved their jobs! We ran out of time on our trip to compare this museum to the Air and Space on the National Mall. Hopefully in a future trip we can visit and compare.
10:00 am to 5:30 pm
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway Chantilly, Virginia 20151
More information can be found here: http://airandspace.si.edu/visit/udvar-hazy-center/