WASHINGTION DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
You barely have to leave the airport terminal to get your Smithsonian fix. The National Air and Space Museum now has a Dulles outpost, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. A cavernous hangar is filled with three floors of aircraft and space artifacts, including the famed World War II B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay. Flight simulators let you take off on your own. If you want to watch, there’s an IMAX theater and a tower to observe Dulles operations. Free. 14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy., (202) 633-1000, nasm.si.edu
Distance from airport: six miles. Best transportation option: taxi.
RONALD REAGAN WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT
Browse the bookshelves for something to read on your connecting flight at Olsson’s bookstore in Old Town Alexandria. One of several Olsson’s locations in the D.C. area, this shop specializes in Civil War and military history but also carries a wide selection of literary fiction, biographies, nature books, and music. Plus, there’s a coffee shop where you can get your caffeine injection. 106 S. Union St., Alexandria; (703) 684-0077; www.olssons.com/alex.htm
Distance from airport: five miles. Best transportation option: taxi.