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Layover Ideas

Reagan National Airport DCA

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Top Recommended Layover Activities:

1. Lincoln Memorial
900 Ohio Dr SW, West Potomac Park, 23rd St NW, Washington, DC 20242 · 202-426-6841
This well-known DC landmark overlooks the Reflecting Pool, with the Washington Monument and the US Capitol looming in the distance. Anyone visiting DC for the first time should take the scenic walk by the pool, up the long marble staircase to the19-foot high statue of the 16th president. Inscriptions of his Second Inaugural Address and the famous Gettysburg Address are on the walls.

2. Korean War Veteran's Memorial
Independence Ave at French Dr SW, West Potomac Park, Washington, DC 20242 · 202-634-1568
This memorial was established in honor of the nearly two million Americans who served in the Korean War. People from each branch of the service are depicted by 19 statues facing a black granite wall etched with images of US soldiers. The Pool of Remembrance invites reflection and prayers for the men and women who were killed or wounded while serving.

3. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
23rd St and Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001 · 202-426-6841
Inscribed on the black granite walls are names of the 58,209 Americans missing or killed in the Vietnam conflict. The innovative, V-shaped memorial designed by Maya Lin is breathtaking and sobering, drawing crowds who look for the names of relatives or who simply take in the enormity of the war and its aftermath. Also see Frederick Hart's "Three Soldiers," a life-sized bronze sculpture of three young servicemen.

4. Washington Monument
Constitution Ave and 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 · 202-426-6841
Located at the western end of the Mall, the 555-foot Washington Monument is one of the tallest masonry structures in the world. Dedicated in 1885 to America's first President, the obelisk provides a dramatic focal point on the Mall's skyline between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol. A free elevator ride takes you to the top floor for an amazing view.

5. World War II Memorial
Located on 17th Street, between Constitution and Independence Avenues, it is flanked by the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.
The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people. The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mall’s central axis. The memorial is operated by the National Park Service and is open to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about visiting the memorial, accessibility, parking, directions, special events and other details, please visit the National Park Service Web site at www.nps.gov/nwwm or call the Park Service at (202) 619-7222.

6. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima)
Marshall Dr, Arlington, VA · 703-289-2510
This evocative Marine Corps War Memorial, often called the Iwo Jima Memorial, was put up in honor of all the Marines who have given their lives in service since 1775. The statue depicts the dramatic moment when US Marines raised the American flag on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II. It was officially dedicated in 1954 by President Eisenhower on the 179th anniversary of the founding of the US Marine Corps.

7. White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500 · 202-456-7041
No trip to Washington would be complete without a visit here. With the exception of George Washington, every US president has established residence in this definitive American landmark. Public tours are available for groups of 10 or more people. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress and are accepted up to six months in advance. All tours scheduled on a first come, first served basis approximately one month in advance of the requested date. Tours are limited be sure to submit your request as early as possible. Call to confirm any last minute changes in tour schedule.

8, Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE, at 1st St SE, Washington, DC 20540 · 202-707-5458
Established in 1800 as one of Thomas Jefferson's legacies, the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. Three buildings house more than 115 million items in 470 languages, and some 7000 items are added daily. The library has a new visitors center and a 90-seat theater where you can watch an informative documentary about the facility. You'll also find a gift shop, performing arts gallery and special rooms displaying some of the library's important collections. Guided tours are offered Mon-Sat at 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

9. Jefferson Memorial
East Basin Drive, SW, Southernmost end of 15th St SW, Washington, DC 20024 · 202-426-6841
The marble rotunda houses a 19-foot statue of the third president of the United States. Read passages from the Declaration of Independence and other famous Jefferson writings. Ranger on duty 8am to midnight. Located at the south bank of the Tidal Basin, south end of 15th Street SW.

10, Washington National Cathedral
Wisconsin and Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-5098 · 202-537-6200
Founded in 1907, this Gothic cathedral is the sixth largest in the world. It sits on 57 acres, towering over the city. It's 1/10th mile long, contains more than 200 stained glass windows, and has a central tower 301 feet tall. Teddy Roosevelt was an onlooker during construction, and every subsequent President has attended services here, including President Bush (Sr.), who also spoke at a national prayer service in September 2001. See spectacular views from the observation gallery, or take a tour and learn about the church's mission, history and architecture. Also plan to visit the Bishop's Gardens, greenhouse, herb cottage and gift shop.

Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:

1. National Air And Space Museum
7th and Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560-0321 · 202-357-2700
Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 lunar command module, the Wright brothers' airplane, and a lunar rock sample that visitors can touch are just a few highlights of this museum's collection. The five-story Samuel P. Langley Theatre shows aviation-related IMAX films daily, while the Albert Einstein Planetarium presents programs exploring outer space. Temporary exhibits have touched on everything from Copernicus to Captain Kirk. This popular museum is currently undergoing renovation to expand its offerings even further, though most exhibits will remain open.

2. United States Capitol
Capitol Hill, Washington, DC 20002 · 202-225-6827
The city's tallest building, the Capitol is one of DC's most impressive structures; its majestic architecture is legendary. Most inspirational is its legacy of hosting more than 200 years of landmark policies. While on your tour, enjoy a meal in the Congressional dining room, sit in on a Congressional session, and visit the Old Senate Chamber. To avoid lines and have the opportunity to see rooms not included on the standard tour, try to obtain a VIP pass from your congressman or by writing in advance.

3. National Geographic Society – Explorers Hall
17th & M Streets NW, Washington, DC 20036 · 202-857-7588
At the marble-and-glass headquarters of the National Geographic Society, this museum delves into archaeology and exploration of land and sea. The interactive Geographica exhibit is a highlight, allowing visitors to learn about primitive man, undersea life and the solar system. The 34-foot globe is said to be the largest in the world, and in the surrounding amphitheater, the Earth Station One show simulates space flight via high-tech special effects.

4. National Museum of Natural History
10th St and Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560 · 202-357-2700
This world-renowned museum offers endless opportunity for exploration and discovery, with an astounding 120 million objects ranging from an eight-ton stuffed African bush elephant to the Hope Diamond - at 45.5 carats, it's the largest blue diamond in the world. Geology, botany, zoology, anthropology and paleontology are just a few of the subjects covered in depth here, and every display is accessible and kid-friendly, especially the insect zoo and the hall of dinosaurs.

5. National Aquarium
14th St and Constitution Ave NW, Dept of Commerce Bldg, Washington, DC 20230 · 202-482-2825
Here at the oldest aquarium in America, you can get face-to-fin with more than 250 species of marine life in 80 tanks. There are numerous varieties of salt and fresh-water fish, as well as colorful eels, and (every kid's favorite) the shark tank. Don't miss the American alligator exhibit - now there's something you can really sink your teeth into! Metro: Federal Triangle

6, National Zoological Park
3001 Connnecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 · 202-673-4800
The National Zoo, part of the Smithsonian Institution, offers glimpses of more than 5,000 animals. Home to many rare and endangered species, the zoo shelters residents in natural habitats on 163 acres. The newest attractions are giant pandas, who were introduced to the public in January, 2001. Informative displays are scattered throughout the zoo, and special events, lectures, and shows are frequent.

7. Mount Vernon
George Washington Pkwy, Mt. Vernon, USA 22309 · 703-780-2000
This charming colonial estate overlooking the Potomac River was home to George Washington, the country's first President, and offers a well-preserved glimpse into the life and times of the Father of the Country. The home and surrounding 500 acres were designed and landscaped by Washington. They include a farm, gardens, guest lodgings and other buildings. George and Martha Washington are buried on the grounds.

8. Arlington National Cemetery
George Washington Pkwy, Memorial Bridge, Arlington, USA 22211 · 703-695-3250
Arlington is America's second largest national burial ground and contains the gravesites of 250,000 Americans who died in service during wars. Some of the most visited graves include those of President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and boxer Joe Louis. Another must-see is the dramatic Tomb of the Unknowns. The 612-acre site along the Potomac once belonged to Robert E. Lee and was commissioned as a military cemetery in 1864. Visit the informative visitor's center and take a self-guided tour or a shuttle tour. Located across Memorial Bridge, less than a mile from the Lincoln Memorial.

9. US Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW, Washington, DC 20024-2126 · 202-488-0400
Though this highlights a part of history many would like to forget, this 250,000-square-foot museum serves as a powerful reminder of the destruction and horror of war and cultural persecution. Since its opening in 1993, people have made this one of the most-visited sites in Washington, and the often-haunting experience is made even more vivid when you draw a name of someone in your age range who lived during the Holocaust. As you exit, you find out if the person you chose survived - a powerful reminder that these exhibits aren't fiction but recent history. The orientation films are informative and well done, the collection of personal effects from prison camps is sensitively displayed, and the Hall of Remembrance is a fitting place to pay respects.

10. Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE, at 1st St SE, Washington, DC 20540 · 202-707-5458
Established in 1800 as one of Thomas Jefferson's legacies, the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. Three buildings house more than 115 million items in 470 languages, and some 7000 items are added daily. The library has a new visitors center and a 90-seat theater where you can watch an informative documentary about the facility. You'll also find a gift shop, performing arts gallery and special rooms displaying some of the library's important collections. Guided tours are offered Mon-Sat at 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

Helpful Tips & Resources

Need help navigating your way through an unfamiliar airport? Look no further than iFly.com for expert tips and advice. Here are some helpful tips to help you travel stress-free through DCA Airport: 

  • Don't let heavy bags slow you down! Make use of our airport's complimentary baggage carts, available for all travelers in the baggage claim area.
  • If you have some time before your departure, relax, grab a bite, peruse the shops, or jump on the free wifi and surf galore!
  • Are you a frequent flyer or traveling in business or first class? Check out where the airline lounges are located.
  • Once you have passed through security, you can use the interactive terminal map to find your gate, as well as the various restaurants and shops that are available on your route.
  • Need some cash for your trip? Check here for the location of in-terminal ATMs or currency exchangers.
  • If you're flying in from out of town and need transportation to your destination, consider renting a car from one of these rental car providers.