With over three airports to choose from, people really have no reason not to come and visit our Nation’s Capital. It’s a city of history, changes, and conflict all rolled into one; but, the beauty of it is, as President Kennedy said, “Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.”
Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) is based in Arlington, VA, although it is considered Washington’s main hub to fly into since it only takes about 10 minutes to enter the District of Columbia. However, don’t expect to fly into the city after 10 p.m., as there are aircraft noise regulations in place until 7 a.m. There are some flights that fly in during that time frame, but very few. With views of the Potomac River, this airport has to be one of my favorites, as the Metro greets you immediately when you exit. Nonetheless, make sure to book your flight during the evening–flying over the national monuments for the first time, the White House lit from afar, will make anyone feel a twinge of patriotism.
Dulles International Airport (IAD) is very different. Still located in Virginia, it is about 30 minutes from the heart of D.C. There are no regulations and no beautiful views, but if you travel internationally frequently, this is the airport for you. You can travel to tropical destinations like Puerto Rico for less than $150 each way–is that a pina colada I see in the horizon? Don’t be discouraged about the distance. Service by the Silver Line a new addition to the metro will begin in 2018.
Now for those who are adventurous, Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is excellent. A quick ride on either Amtrak or the MARC train will take you directly to the airport (with the exception of a quick bus shuttle.) In the heart of crab country, the airport corridors are lined with restaurants like Phillips Seafood and the famous Obrycki’s established in 1944. The airport is small but effective, and as of yet, doesn’t get too many cancellations nor delays–perfect for you jet-setters!
Personally, I would recommend flying into either BWI or DCA. BWI is friendly and welcoming to travelers who are not into the hustle and bustle of larger airports. DCA is the quintessential airport–it’s located in the heart of the city, it’s beautiful and it’s efficient with proving transportation to get into the city. It also sits close to George Washington Memorial Parkway, protected by the U.S. National Park Service. The parkway running from Mt. Vernon, President George Washington’s home into Maryland (along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal) is your direct connection to travel within two states and Washington, D.C. in less than an hour. Now that, my friends, is pretty awesome.