GETTING TO THE DISCOVERY FESTIVAL
Discovery Festival activities will be held at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. The Center is located south of Washington Dulles International Airport along route 28, approx. 1/2 mile north of the intersection of routes 28 and 50. Please note, the Smithsonian does not provide shuttle bus service between the Museum in downtown Washington, DC and the Udvar-Hazy Center.
From Washington, D.C., and points south: I-66 West to Route 28 North (Exit 53B): Travel on Route 28 North for 5.3 miles. Exit at Air and Space Museum Parkway and follow the signs to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
From Washington, D.C., and points north: I-495 West (Capital Beltway) to the Dulles Toll Road West (Route 267). Exit the toll road at Route 28 South (Exit 9A) and travel south 3.5 miles. Exit at Air and Space Museum Parkway and follow the signs to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
From points west: I-66, Route 29 or Route 50 East to Route 28 North (Exit 53B).
$15 per car per day
Free parking after 4:00pm
The Udvar-Hazy Center's parking lot can accommodate 2,000 vehicles. We expect a lot of visitors on April 17 and 19, and the parking lot will be closed when it reaches capacity, so please plan accordingly. We highly recommend carpooling, taking the VRTA bus, or riding local hotel shuttle buses.
On April 17 and 19: There will be no parking refunds for any reason.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION & SATELLITE PARKING OPTIONS
Bus Service from Dulles International Airport to the Udvar-Hazy Center:
Virginia Regional Transit (VRTA) provides connecting bus service between Dulles International Airport, Dulles Town Center and the Udvar-Hazy Center. Free transfers from other VRTA routes that transit the Dulles Town Center are available. Schedules, fares and information are available on the VRT website. More information: phone: 540-338-1610.
The Udvar-Hazy Center is located approx. 2.5 miles from the Washington Dulles International Airport terminal. Visitors may consider parking at the airport and taking a taxi to the Udvar-Hazy Center.
Satellite Parking & Shuttle Buses:
The Museum is working with local businesses to identify satellite parking and shuttle bus options for visitors. We will list recommendations here. Please check back for more information as it becomes available.
School groups are welcome to attend the Welcome Discovery Festival and there will be plenty of things for the students to see and do. Please note that the Museum will not be scheduling reserved programs for school groups on April 17, 19 or 20. On April 19, bus parking will be very limited and the lot will be closed when it reaches capacity, so please plan accordingly. See more tips for planning a field trip.
TIPS FOR PARTICIPANTS
- Parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center, which is $15 per car, is limited. Drivers are asked to allow ample time for traffic congestion. Cash payment is preferred, in the exact amount. Carpooling is suggested.
- Casual, comfortable dress is recommended, particularly shoes designed for walking.
- Sunscreen and hats are also advisable as many of the activities will take place outdoors.
- For outdoor activities, especially viewing Discovery's approach, binoculars are suggested.
- Bring your mobile device!* Stay up-to-date on the Museum's events and get the latest info on the go. Visit this site as the event nears or follow @airandspace on Twitter.
- Share your experience via your favorite social network. Remember to use the #SpottheShuttle hash tag for sightings of Discovery flying in on April 17, and the #OV103 hash tag throughout the celebration.
*please note, the Udvar-Hazy Center does not offer free wifi inside the building. Most activities will be outdoors.
- Food and drink are only permitted outside in the parking area and may not be taken inside the Museum.
- Additional prohibited items
* You may use monopods and tripods outside on April 17 to photograph the landing. They may not be brought into the Museum.
** Coolers are permitted as long as they remain in your car. They cannot be set up in the parking lot or brought into the Museum.
VIEWS FROM THE TOWER
Visitors love to watch airplanes takeoff and land from the Donald D. Engen Tower. A few things to note about Tower operations during the Discovery Festival:
- The Tower may not be open to the public on the day Discovery lands, but photographers say the best views will be from the parking lot anyway.
- While the Tower will be open on April 19, the celebration outside will not be easily visible.
Safe Driving Tips
For motorists, the Museum recommends Safe Driving Tips for spotting the shuttle, provided by AAA:
- Don't let anyone or anything—even a space shuttle overhead—distract you.
- For safe shuttle-spotting, pull off the road and park your car.
- Do not text or share your impressions on your cell phone until you have parked in safe spot.
- As always, drive defensively to avoid distractions from pedestrians or other motorists.
- Consider going to one of these gathering places to spot the shuttle.
These Spot the Shuttle safe driving tips are made possible by the New Lincoln MKS.
Visit these local tourist bureau websites for helpful visitor information.