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7 December 2010 1,282 views No Comment

Smithsonian Institute

1000 Jefferson Dr SW

Washington, DC


Find hours here.

The Smithsonian Institute is a national educational facility with 17 museums and a zoo in the Washington, DC area. The museums are highly popular and therefore can become crowded. Early mornings, right after they open at 10 am, are not as crowded, making that one of the best times to go. For more information, click here.

Museums in DC: African Art, Air and Space, American Art, American History, American Indian, Anacostia Community, Freer and Sackler (Asian Art), Hirschorn (modern/contemporary art), Natural History, Portrait Gallery, Postal, and Renwick (American crafts).

Museum in VA: The Air and Space Museum Udvar Hazy Center is located at 14390 Air and Space Museum Way, Chantilly, VA 20151, 20 miles from Leesburg, VA.

The museum is technically free, but you pay $15 to park (regardless of how many people are in the car).  After 4 pm, parking is free. Museum is open from 10am – 5:30pm.

Note: Transformers 2 was filmed at this museum. 

Zoo: The National Zoo is located at 3001 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington D.C. It is open from 10am-4:30pm. Admission is free. 

The zoo has parking but it fills up fast. Metro is a good alternative to driving. Take the Red Line to the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan stop or the Cleveland Park stop. The Zoo entrance is halfway between these stops and both are a short walk (about a half mile) from the Zoo.

Pricing: Most museums and the zoo are free.  The Udvar Hazy center is $15 to park; after 4pm is free.

Transportation: Parking in DC can be a nightmare on a weekend, so take the Metro. The Smithsonian Metro Station on the Orange Line will drop you off close to the Smithsonian Information Center. Most of the Smithsonian museums are less than a mile apart, from 3rd to 14th Streets between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue.

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