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For The Air And Space Enthusiast

   By: Dennis Watson

If you are looking for a vacation idea and are an air and space enthusiast, look no further. The National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the place for you.

I am fortunate enough to live in the Washington, DC area, so I can take advantage of all the available free attractions offered. Today (2/19/2006) I wend on a field trip to the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. This center is full of historical aircraft and spacecraft enough to fill a modern building the size of 3 to 4 football fields.

The center has two I-Max theaters, one space walk simulator and two flight simulators in which I enjoyed immensely.

But the attractions I enjoyed most was the he Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber used in the atomic mission that destroyed Hiroshima, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and of course the Space Shuttle, Enterprise.

If you love aviation like I do, I highly recommend you taking your next vacation to Washington, DC to visit this center and the downtown space museum as well.

Important Information:

Location: Located in Chantilly, Va., off Route 28 north of Route 50, near Washington Dulles International Airport. The distance between the two museum sites is 28 miles. You can find a map and directions to the Center on Yahoo! Maps and you can try using the following coordinates at Mapquest: Latitude: 38.9111; Longitude: -77.4425 (select zoom level 8 for best results, no directions provided).

Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Closed Dec. 25.

Admission Charge: There is no admission charge but there is a $12 fee to park at the Udvar-Hazy Center and there are neither rail stations nor bus stops nearby. There is also no shuttle service at this time from Dulles to the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Local Accommodations: There are several hotels, shopping centers and car rentals near the Dulles International Airport.

Miscellaneous: You may take stills and video for private use in the center. There is a restaurant in the center. The museum's Web site home page address is The tour office phone number is (202) 633-2563.

Your tax dollars help fund the two museums, so take advantage of being in the area and visit the original Air and Space museum down town. It is 28 miles from the Udvar-Hazy Center and will enhance your experience. Have fun.

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