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Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

Smithsonian Air & Space Museum: Our most recommended tours and activities

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

1. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Learn about American history on a tour of Washington DC and Philadelphia, both of which played important roles in the development of democracy in the USA. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, Independence Hall, and more on a guided day trip with roundtrip transfers from NYC. Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

2. Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

Named "Washington's Best Tour" by the Washingtonian Magazine and one of the top 10 hop-on hop-off tours in the world by Forbes, the Old Town Trolley offers the most comprehensive tour of the nation's capital. Relax while expert tour guides help you discover the beauty and majesty of Washington, D.C. This popular tour covers Washington's major attractions such as the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. Expert guides share colorful anecdotes, humorous stories and well-researched historical information. Upgrade to include a trolley tour of Arlington National Cemetery, an enduring tribute to those who’ve dedicated their lives to defending the nation. You’ll be transported to some of the most notable graves and memorials. DC City Tour Trolley stops: 1. 1001 E. St. NW: Washington Welcome Center/Ford's Theatre/Peterson House 2. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave: The White House/The White House Visitor Center/WWI Memorial 3. 701 Constitution Ave NW: National Archives (West/East Gallery of the NGA, Navy Memorial) 4. 400 New Jersey Ave NW: Japanese American Memorial/Hyatt Regency 5. 50 Massachusetts Ave NE: Union Station and the Smithsonian Postal Museum 6. 1st St. NE: US Capitol (Botanic Gardens, Supreme Court and Library of Congress) 7. 600 Independence Ave SW: Air/Space Museum, Museum of the American Indian/Eisenhower Memorial 8. Maine Ave SW at 9th St. SW: The Wharf 9. 700 L'Enfant Plaza SW: International Spy Museum 10. 1398 Independence Ave SW: Washington Monument, Smithsonian Museums and Castle, Holocaust Memorial Museum 11. 16 E Basin Dr SW: Jefferson Memorial/George Mason Memorial 12. 1964 Independence Ave SW: Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial/Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial 13. 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir. NW: Lincoln Memorial/Vietnam Veterans Memorial/Korean War Veterans Memorial/World War II Memorial 14. 1400 Constitution Ave NW: National Museum of American History/National Museum of African American History & Culture/National Museum of Natural History 15. 800 F St. NW: National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum (temp closed for Holiday Market) Arlington Cemetery Trolley stops: • Arlington National Cemetery • President John F. Kennedy Gravesite • US Coast Guard Memorial • John J. Pershing • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier • Arlington House • US Marine Corps War Memorial Iwo Jima • Arlington Niche Wall Columbarium Courts

Washington DC Day Trip by Bus from New York City

3. Washington DC Day Trip by Bus from New York City

Discover the monuments of Washington DC on a day trip from New York City. Learn about the government and dive into key historic moments like the American Revolution and Civil War. See sights like Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Arlington Cemetery.  Depart New York City and travel in a spacious and air-conditioned bus to Washington DC. Relax on the scenic drive and head to Capital Hill once your get to DC to find out where congress meets.  Stop at the White House to see the official home of the President of the United States, including the West Wing where the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, Situation Room, and Roosevelt Room are located.  Admire the memorials to Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and Lincoln who ended slavery in 1860. Visit the Iwo Jima and Vietnam Veterans Memorials to understand how these events changed the country. Visit Arlington Cemetery where over 200,000 soldiers since the Civil War and the Kennedys were buried. Finally, spend some time at the magnificent Union Station.

From NYC: Guided Day Trip to Washington DC by Van or Bus

4. From NYC: Guided Day Trip to Washington DC by Van or Bus

Journey from NYC to Washington on a full-day trip to see the sights of the nation’s capital with a Spanish-speaking guide. Visit the most important monuments, memorials and buildings like the White House and the Washington Monument. Head down South from NYC in a comfortable air-conditioned bus, passing through New Jersey and Delaware, with a stop in Delaware to stretch your legs and use the restrooms. Continue on past Maryland until Arlington, Virginia. The tour starts properly at Arlington National Ceremony, where the tour guide will take you to Kennedy’s grave and explore with you the lush grounds. Then, head to the Iwo Jima memorial, with time to take photos. During the whole journey, your guide will tell you interesting facts about the city.   Next, head to Washington DC across the Potomac River. Pass along Constitution Avenue where you’ll see the State Department, the Institute of Peace, and the Albert Einstein Memorial. Go to the National Mall and walk with your guide to places that have been featured in movies and TV series. See the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. You’ll recognize the Reflecting Pool from Forrest Gump. You’ll also see the most-visited monument in the city, the World War II Memorial.   Back on the bus, you’ll continue to view offices of important organizations such as the Organization of American States, the American Red Cross, and the Treasury Department until you finally reach the White House. Take some time to take pictures in the gardens before continuing on to see the FBI buildings, the National Archives, and more. Your final stop will be the National Mall, where you’ll have some free time to visit the exhibits, have lunch, and take photos of the Capitol Building. On the way back to NYC, you’ll be treated to a night-time panoramic view of NYC from New Jersey. 

Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

5. Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

Washington D.C. showcases some of the most majestic monuments and memorials in America. With so much to see this sightseeing bus tour makes for a great orientation option, especially for those with little time. Tailored to offer you a historic journey through the rich heritage of the United States, the tour is a quick and efficient way to learn the history of the capital. Ride past the essential monuments, museums, and attractions to relive the history of America on a 3-hour tour. You will stop at the following memorials and monuments on your tour to take pictures: • U. S. Capitol (exterior only and a photo stop only) • White House (exterior only and a photo stop only) • World War II Memorial • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial • Korean Memorial • Vietnam Memorial • Vietnam Women's Memorial • Lincoln Memorial (tour ends at this memorial)

From NYC: Philadelphia and Washington DC 2-Day Tour

6. From NYC: Philadelphia and Washington DC 2-Day Tour

Day 1: NEW YORK – PHILADELPHIA – WASHINGTON DC Depart New York through New Jersey and Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Arriving in the historic area of Philadelphia, visit the famous Liberty Bell, one of the symbols of freedom in America, Constitution square, and Congress Hall. Stroll Elfreth’s alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in America. Continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia, and more. Depart Philadelphia and see the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue east to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Enjoy an authentic Amish Buggy ride through the Amish farm country. Learn how Amish culture survived centuries without the benefits of technology, to this day their towns survive without the central power and sewage systems, that modern civilization take for granted. Learn how the Amish adapted, incorporating technology to create farms that are self-sufficient and make use of renewable sources of energy. After the ride, visit the marketplace where you can shop for handmade arts crafts and products. In the late afternoon, depart east for an evening arrival in Washington DC. Day 2: WASHINGTON DC – NEW YORK Start the day with a visit of Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded by famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the Changing of the Guard, and the Kennedy family gravesite. The next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (while Air and Space Museum is closed due to renovations) before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, depart north for an evening arrival in New York.

From New York City: 4-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & US Capitol

7. From New York City: 4-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & US Capitol

Visit the American and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls. Stop at an outlet mall for shopping, continue to the historic city of Brotherly love in Philadelphia and see the famous Liberty Bell and Independence Hall Square. You will also visit Washington DC, the US Capitol and visit the US Mint. Continue to Lancaster to learn about the Amish community. Day 1: New York - Finger Lakes - Niagara Falls Your morning departure from the Big Apple takes you north where you will pass the beautiful Delaware Gap to Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Walk through Watkins Glen Canyon to visit the beautiful waterfalls and then continue to Niagara Falls passing Seneca Lake, arriving in the late afternoon (Winter itinerary goes to Montour Falls instead of Watkins Glen State Park). Tour the American and Canadian sides of the Falls including the American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Goat Island, and Sister Island. At night tour Niagara Falls where you will marvel at the colorful lighting of the waters. Overnight: Niagara Falls - Wyndham Super 8 Day 2: Niagara Falls - New Jersey As you depart the hotel, hear the thundering water of Niagara Falls. See the falls up close from Horseshoe Falls and experience the power of the current aboard the Maid of the Mist (May-October). From November through April you will tour the Power Vista Hydro-electric Station, and the Cave of the Winds. At noon depart south to New York State. On the way to New York, enjoy a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way, where you can hunt for bargains at their brand name stores. Overnight New Jersey - La Quinta Inns & Suites  Day 3: New Jersey - Philadelphia - Washington DC Depart New Jersey to Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Arriving in the Historic area of Philadelphia you will visit the famous Liberty Bell, and Constitution square and Constitution Hall, one of the symbols of freedom in America. Stroll Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest inhabited street in America) then continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia and more. Departing Philadelphia, see the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue north to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Ride on an authentic Amish Buggy, visit an Amish market place of handmade arts and crafts and learn what it's like to live without the benefit of modern technology, electricity, running water or telephone service. Overnight at: Wyndham Garden, Washington DC. Day 4: Washington DC - New York  Start the day with a visit to Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded with famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the changing of the guards and the Kennedy family gravesite.  Next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Air and Space Museum before visiting the Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Korea and Vietnam Memorials.  In the late afternoon, depart north for an evening arrival in New York.

From NYC: Niagara Falls, Washington, and Philadelphia Tour

8. From NYC: Niagara Falls, Washington, and Philadelphia Tour

During your visit to New York, don’t miss the allure of visiting one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls, and two of the nation’s capitals, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. On your first day of this combo tour, you will travel by comfortable bus to Niagara Falls, enjoying the scenic landscape of upstate New York (travel time is approximately 7-8 hours, each way. Upon arrival at your destination, you will begin experiencing the adventure, beauty, and natural wonder of Niagara Falls on board the historic Maid of the Mist boat cruise or from other observation points such as the Gorge Walk or other available observation points (when the Maid of the Mist is not running). During your visit, you will learn about the interesting history of these mighty waters and enjoy spectacular views of the falls from different vantage points. After an unforgettable experience and wonderful memories, you will return to Times Square in Manhattan arriving back between 11:00 PM and midnight. Two days later you will depart again from Times Square now heading south to two of the nation’s capitals. Your first destination visit will be Washington D.C. the current capital, where your tour will begin with a visit to the Iwo Jima Memorial, dedicated to honoring the US Marines. You will continue with a visit to the impressive Lincoln Memorial honoring the president who promoted the abolition of slavery in the United States. Washington D.C. is the center for all three branches of the U.S. government. During this tour, you will stop for a classic outside view of the seat of two of them, the White House, home and office of the U.S. President and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress and where the laws of this country are made. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination is the first-ever U.S. capital, chosen during the Revolutionary War, Philadelphia, PA. After an approximately 3-hour journey, you'll arrive directly to Philadelphia's historic Old City neighborhood. Your first stop will be at the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. You will have the opportunity to see some of the main historical sites such as the Liberty Bell, the famous symbol of America's independence, and Independence Hall, the birthplace of the United States. It was within its walls that America's founding documents, the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) and Constitution, were debated and adopted. Your visit to Philadelphia concludes with a stop at the Rocky Steps, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where you'll have an opportunity to re-enact the famous scene from the 1976 movie by ascending to the top of the steps.

From New York City: 5-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & White House

9. From New York City: 5-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & White House

Embark on a 5-day trip to Niagara Falls, Toronto, the 1000 Islands, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and the Amish Country in Lancaster from New York City. Witness the magnificent Niagara Falls, visit the Arlington National Cemetery, and enjoy the convenience of included accommodation and entry tickets. Day 1: NEW YORK – FINGER LAKES – NIAGARA FALLS Depart from the Big Apple heading north where you will pass the beautiful Delaware Water Gap to Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Walk through Watkins Glen Canyon to visit the beautiful waterfalls and then continue to Niagara Falls passing Seneca Lake, arriving in the late afternoon. Tour the US side of Niagara including the American Falls, Goat Island, and Luna Island. Experience the power of Niagara aboard the Maid of the Mist. At night, you can appreciate the colorful lighting of the waters. Stay at the Ramada by Wyndham. Day 2: NIAGARA FALLS – TORONTO – 1000 ISLANDS Start with the magnificent Horseshoe Falls view followed by the visit to the picturesque village of Niagara on The Lake. Continue to Toronto, the financial capital of Canada. Visit the HTO Park, Brookfield Place — home of the Hockey Hall of Fame — City Hall, and The Distillery Historic District. Towards the evening, depart Toronto east along the world-famous Lake Ontario for an evening arrival to the 1000 Islands area (in April, based on weather conditions the tour may return to Niagara Falls for overnight). Stay overnight at Gananoque – Comfort Inn (April, Niagara Falls – Ramada by Wyndham). Day 3: 1000 ISLANDS – NEW YORK Start the day with a cruise through the amazing 1000 Islands along the St. Laurence River. See the houses of the rich and famous built atop private islands — such as Boldt Castle and Heart Island. Enjoy a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way. Arrive at your hotel in New Jersey at the La Quinta Inn and Suites. Day 4: NEW JERSEY – PHILADELPHIA – WASHINGTON DC Depart from New Jersey to Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Visit the famous Liberty Bell, Constitution square, and Congress Hall. Continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia, and more. See the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Enjoy an authentic Amish Buggy ride through the Amish farm country. In the late afternoon, depart east for an evening arrival in Washington DC where you will stay at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Alexandria. Day 5: WASHINGTON DC – NEW YORK Start the day with a visit to Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded by famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the Changing of the Guard, and the Kennedy family gravesite. The next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (while the Air and Space Museum is closed due to renovations) before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, depart for an evening arrival in New York.

Smithsonian National Museum of Air & Space: Guided Tour

10. Smithsonian National Museum of Air & Space: Guided Tour

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum doesn’t just cover extraterrestrial exploration. It covers everything from the early history of flight to the Space Race and moon landings. Your local English speaking guide will not only be an expert on the museum, but they will also share a mix of historical & scientific information, background stories and surprising details with you.   Tour highlights:  • Seeing the Apollo 11 Command Module • Touching real moon rocks • Learning about Buzz Aldrin’s spacesuit and moon boots • Exploring a model of the International Space Station • Seeing world-famous early planes like the 1903 Wright Brother’s aircraft and the Spirit of St. Louis • Discovering the history of the world’s leading air & space program and the innovative technology that made it possible to land a man on the moon • Getting the chance to purchase freeze-dried ice cream • Learning what it's like to be an astronaut today With over 760,000 square feet of space in the collection, you’ll be thankful for your passionate and engaging guide for navigating you, bringing a personal touch to each tour, adding their own favorite anecdotes and tips along the way. Please note: the Air and Space Museum is currently under massive construction and will remain so for many years. This means that many of the exhibits described may not be on display. The tour will be adjusted based on the changing stages of the renovation and the available exhibits. Here is a link to the museum's website if you would like an updated list of what you may see during your visit: https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/now-view. Thank you for understanding.

  • Guided tours
  • Multi-day trips
  • Day trips
  • Hop-on hop-off tours
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What people are saying about Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,744 reviews

This is definitely an experience that is worth the cost. If time is limited but your trying to fit in as much as possible this is a great adventure. You will pass through multiple states which is interesting and nothing felt rushed. We had plenty of time to site see at the monuments. You do have to pack your own food. At a couple of stops you can find food from food trucks but they do not make a stop for food other than the morning coffee. I do recommend taking your own snacks especially if you are not ok with just grabbing food from a food truck or food from a fast food market

The bus tour is a wonderful way to orient yourselves to the city. You will see a number of here wrenching memorials that maKe you question why have we not lived up to the ideals of our forefathers. We lost some very great people who would be disappointed by the lack of progress we have made.

This was an excellent overview of what the National Mall has to offer in terms of the monuments and attractions. The information shared was insightful and can inform what you choose to explore later in more detail.

David and Chris made an excellent team. David's incredible knowledge of Washing DC made this one of our best experiences in D.C. They even brought granola bars and bottled water for everyone.

Richard was so knowledgeable and entertaining. We hit all the major exhibits. The tour was the right amount of time,