Things to Do During an IAD Layover

Discussion in 'BWI/DCA/IAD | Washington D.C. Area Airports' started by Waterstrider, Feb 19, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Waterstrider
    Original Member

    Waterstrider Silver Member

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    I like to take advantage of long layovers to see a little bit of whatever area I'm in, or at least explore the airport a bit rather than just sit at the gate/lounge. I would find it useful to have threads of things you can reasonably do from an airport with a few hour layover.

    I'll start with some ideas from Dulles since that's where I'm based (though that means I've never HAD a layover at IAD so others may know more) Please add more ideas! Would love to see these for other cities (a la the Whirlwind column in Hemispheres).

    There's always the Udvar-Hazy Center to see lots of different aircraft (as the mobile lounge audio track will tell you).

    Ride the mobile lounges at 5pm and see lots of planes heading out in the 5pm bank.

    If you're into history, there are some nearby Civil War battlefields and the Sully Plantation.
    Misplaced Texan, mowogo and WaterSki like this.
  2. I often do the same thing, but more often on a bump.
    Other times, like in AMS, PAR, LAX and ATL; I will go into the city for a few hours or even just a coffee with a friend.

    At IAD, the museum is all that might be good. Normally for me, I cant get a long layover there anyway. (mostly wouldn't want to)
  3. gvdIAD
    Original Member

    gvdIAD Silver Member

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    Just a cautionary note: I'd only consider leaving IAD for an excursion if I was going to be there for a minimum of 3 hours. Security lines at IAD can be notoriously long and unpredictable -- especially if you've got an evening flight. For a 3-5 hour layover, probably the only really viable excursion is to Udvar-Hazy. It's accessible by taxi, while most other possible attractions would require a rental car. (Sully Plantation, which could also be visited by taxi, requires timed tours, which are only offered on the hour between 11am and 4 pm, so unless you time things really well, Sully would be difficult). I'm not really sure about baggage storage at Udvar-Hazy. I know there's none at IAD. You will have to go through security screening to enter Udvar-Hazy. If you have at least 6 hours, a trip into DC city by Metrobus 5A ($6 each way) becomes viable.
  4. Rob
    Original Member

    Rob Gold Member

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    When I went over to Udvar-Hazy, I left my carry-on in a locker at the Lufthansa lounge (must have lounge access to use). I dropped it off in the morning and picked it up in the afternoon, even though the lounge closed over the lunch hour.

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