You can’t help but look up with awe at the historic aircraft suspended in the atrium–the 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum details the history of flight from first attempts to far-reaching space missions.
The museum, including its sister facility, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, near the Washington Dulles International Airport, has the world’s largest collection of historic air and spacecraft.
In the Mall museum, the galleries exhibit rockets, replicas of missiles, a lunar lander, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia that carried astronauts to the moon, and other icons of flight.
Tip: Check the museum’s schedule for special events. At select times, the museum’s Observatory allows visitors to admire the skies through the facility’s telescope.
Nearby: Now on to something completely different: When you leave the Air and Space Museum, you’ve got the National Museum of the American Indian on one side of you, the Hirshhorn Museum with its avant garde art on the other side, and the National Gallery of Art calling to you from across the National Mall.
Metro: L’Enfant Plaza on the Yellow and Green Lines (Smithsonian Museums/Maryland Ave. exit) or Smithsonian on the Blue and Orange Lines (Mall/Jefferson Dr. exit).