"The world's largest collection but..." Top 5 Page for this destination Smithsonian Institute Museums / National Zoo Tip by matcrazy1
Smithsonian Institute Museums / National Zoo, Washington D.C.: 45 reviews and 69 photos
Favorite thing: I have both positive and negative impressions from my visit to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
It's the world's largest collection of historic air and spacecraft with a lot of attractions for kids. I have seen hundreds of original, historic artifacts on display, including the highlights:
- Wright 1903 Flyer (the first successful airplane)
- the Spirit of St. Louis (the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in history - 1927)
- the Apollo 11 command module Columbia (first manned lunar landing mission - 1969)
- a Lunar rock sample that visitors can touch
- original space suites worn during the first walk on the Moon in 1969.
There are 22 exhibition galleries, the Albert Einstein Planetarium, IMAX Theater, and flight simulators. I enjoyed especially the Early Flight, Apollo to the Moon and Space Race gallery.
The museum is large but over-crowded both by historic air and spacecrafts on display and countless number of visitors. The large size exhibits of great historical value need both some distance and peace and quite to be amazed. Unfortunarelly they are packed one by one along the overcrowded and noisy main hall of the museum. Most of the galleries I visited were much better set up but overcrowded by visitors which was inconvenient as although some of them didn't attract me much I couldn't go through them faster. I can't say a good word about their food-court-style restaurant as well, except that it was not very expensive.
It seems that Smithsonian Institution is on the way to solve the problem as the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport (in Virginia!) has been already opened since 2003. Construction and move-in continues there.
More details and pictures in my Things To Do tips # 129 - 138. Start here, please.
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