Unexpected delays when you're flying are the worst! Lucky for you, there is plenty to do at Reagan National Airport if you find yourself with some time on your hands.
That dreaded announcement about a delayed flight doesn't have to put a screeching halt to your vacation. As far as airports go, Reagan National (DCA) has just the right mix of vendors and restaurants to keep you occupied.
Shopping spree, anyone?
In addition to the typical airport kiosks and newsstands, you can shop for clothes, luggage, sunglasses, and more at DCA. Take a look at their store directory for a full listing of vendors.
Have one last supper.
Didn't get a chance to try Ben's Chili Bowl in the city? You're in luck – they have a DCA location! As a bonus, they're one of the newer sit-down options in the main terminal, so the dining room is bright, shiny, and spotless. You can't go wrong with a half-smoke with chili and cheese, and their fries are unbeatable. If you want other local fare, Lebanese Taverna has excellent Middle Eastern food, and Smashburger has delicious burgers and shakes.
XpresSpa has you covered if you're looking for a massage, manicure, pedicure, or facial. They are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for relaxation at all hours.
See an exhibit.
The Exhibit Hall in Terminal A contains models and artifacts from the airport's long history in the region. History buffs will love seeing the photography displays of how the airport expanded over the years.
Terminal A is just a short walk from the main terminal, to the left if you're facing the Metro station in front of you.
The Made in D.C. kiosk features items from D.C.-based artisans. Read more about the vision behind it and some of the products on offer here.
Visit Arlington National Cemetery.
If you have a few hours on your hands, you can take the Metro from DCA to Arlington National Cemetery. Give yourself at least 30 minutes each way to get there and back, just in case.
Once you're there, take a look at our tips for visiting this national landmark and how to make the most of your visit.
Head to Pentagon City Mall.
Another great destination if you have a few hours is Pentagon City Mall. It's just two Metro stops away! Have tea at the Ritz-Carlton or do some last-minute shopping.
Practice your photography skills.
The ceiling in the main hall at DCA is beautifully intricate. Practice your landscape shots or motion shots of planes taking off.
Watch a movie.
Settle in and use DCA's free wifi to stream a movie. This might be the most relaxing, turbulence-free way to enjoy the airport!
Get your steps in.
Walk inside or out – the area around DCA is full of sidewalks and interesting things to see. Both levels are well-designed and open so you don't have that smoggy air feeling like you get in some of the larger airports (LAX, I'm looking at you!).
For more information about how to make the most of your DCA layover, visit their website at flyreagan.com.
What are your favorite ways to pass the time at DCA? Do you have a favorite restaurant? Let us know in the comments!