"Boring" doesn't need to describe your layover at Dulles International Airport.

Maybe you're dreading your five-hour layover at IAD, but you might be surprised to find out that your time in-between flights need not be misery. There are options – six to be exact.

At the top of the list is food. Why not take a food tour, sampling from the many options of different cuisines? A map of the airport will reveal the various places to dine, including sit-down places like The Chef's Table by Wolfgang Puck, Carrabba's Italian Grill, or The Firkin & Fox. Want something cheaper and faster? IAD offers a Chipotle, Pei Wei, a DC-3 Hot Dog Joint, and many others. There is even a Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks if you've got a hankering for coffee and pastries.  

After you sample the food, maybe a little shopping spree is in order. Buy gifts or supplies for your trip, duty-free, at the many boutiques and specialty shops. Bluwire, Vera Bradley, Estee Lauder, InMotion Entertainment and Ralph Lauren Polo (to name just a few of the shopping options). For a complete list of shopping and dining locations at Dulles, go to flydulles.com

Shopping at Dulles Airport

Photo courtesy of flydulles.com

Craving a little pampering? Why not treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure, facial, or even a massage? Men and women both can enjoy a little relaxation and spiffing up at Be Relax Spa located in Concourse B.  

Maybe you're needing time for prayer and meditation. If so, an interfaith prayer chapel can be found in Concourse A, across from gate A32. The chapel remains open 24 hours, and chaplains are available if you should need prayer. Various programs are held regularly, including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic prayer services. You can find their schedule on the flydulles.com website.  

Lounges are another option if you're needing a place for some R&R. These little escapes are located throughout the terminal and include internet access, fax services, wifi, newspapers, magazines, showers, television, and beverages. For an hourly or daily fee, you can enjoy time away from the bustle of the rest of the airport, and you don't have to be a member of an elite club to do it! For more information on the various airline lounges or for the USO lounge, which is free to active duty military members and their families, click here. If you're a smoker, free smoking lounges can be found throughout the airport.   

Needing something even more private? A sleepbox lounge might just be the thing. These sound-proof rooms contain an oversized, memory foam twin bed, a fold-down desk, wifi, charging ports, dimmable lights, and Bluetooth speakers – a great place to catch some z's and regroup. The rooms are rentable by the hour, and by 15-minute increments after that if desired. The sleepbox lounge is located in Concourse A near the Aerotrain.

Sleepbox Interior

Photo courtesy of flydulles.com

Whether you're needing soul restoration, nourishment, a little pick-me-up, or good ol' fashioned sleep, Dulles International Airport's got you covered. 

What's your favorite way to spend a layover at Dulles? Tell us in the comments!