Airport guides

IAD: 5 Things We Love about Washington Dulles International Airport

Our “5 Things We Love About…” series celebrates features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

Today, we are landing at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).

We know that right now some of the features we mention might be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns. But we are confident they will be back.

Did we miss your favorite amenity at Dulles International Airport (IAD)? Let us know in the comments section below.

Have an airport you’d like to see featured in the “5 Things We Love About…” series? Make your nomination in the comments section as well.

5 Thing We Love About Dulles International Airport

1. The IAD Main Terminal Building

Opened in 1962 as the country’s first ‘jet-age’ airport, Dulles International Airport is perhaps best-known for architect Eero Saarinen’s iconic curved-roof design for the main terminal.

2. The mobile lounges at IAD

These days, many passengers at IAD move between concourses on the underground AeroTrain, a 3.78-mile underground people mover system.

But IAD’s historic mobile lounges are in still in use.

IAD’s mobile lounges transport international arriving passengers from their arrival gate to the International Arrivals Building. The mobile lounges shuttle passengers between the main terminal and the concourses, and between concourse. And when airplanes are parked on a remote hardstand, the mobile lounges ferry passengers to the main terminal.

3. The historic FAA air traffic control tower at IAD

The original Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) at Dulles International Airport dates to the airport’s opening in 1962 and remains on-site because of its historical significance to the airport’s design.

A new tower was dedicated in 2007 and is about one mile from the original tower.

4. Kids play area at IAD

What can we say? Sometimes kids have all the fun at the airport.

5. Only airport with Chipotle breakfast

Want a breakfast burrito made by Chipotle? The only place you will find that on the Chipotle menu is at Dulles International Airport.

Bonus: Pat Nixon christens 1st 747

Back on January 15, 1970 then-First Lady Pat Nixon christened the first commercial Boeing 747 during a ceremony at Dulles International Airport.

She also got to sit inside the plane’s cockpit.

White House Photo
White House photo

Take a look at some of the other airports in the “5 Things We Love About...” series.

BOI: 5 Things We Love About Boise Airport

Our “5 Things We Love …” series of features and amenities at airports around the country and the world continues today with Idaho’s Boise Airport (BOI)

Keep in mind that right now some features and amenities at BOI may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns. We are confident they will be back.

If we miss something you love about BOI, please drop a note in the comments section below.

Let us know, too, if there’s an airport you’d like us to include in the 5 Things We Love… series.

5 Things We Love About Boise Airport

Flying into the Season by Louise Kodis 

1. Public art at BOI

The City of Boise’s Department of Arts and History curates a charming collection of art in the BOI terminal and in both concourses.

Slip Stream by Kelly McLain
Sky Bridge by Seth Palmiter

2. Shopping at BOI

Idaho is famous for potatoes, of course, and BOI shops have fun potato-themed gifts for sale.

3. Donation Kiosks in TSA Checkpoint


Passengers who show up at the Boise Airport security checkpoint with extra change in their pockets can donate that money to local charities at one of the donation kiosks. Choose the Boise Zoo, the Boise Library, or the local groups helping out people in the community who are experiencing homelessness.

4. The Arcades at BOI

The Boise Airport has four Family Fun Center arcades throughout the airport. Passengers can play pinball, test their luck with a claw machine, or try flying an airplane.

5. Locally Made Spirits at BOI


Boise is home to Bardenay, which claims to be the country’s first restaurant distillery. The menu at the airport branch of Bardenay includes cocktails made with locally distilled vodka and gin.

DCA: 5 Things We Love About Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Our “5 Things We Love About…” series continues today with some of the features and amenities at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

Address-wise, DCA Airport is in Virginia. But it is just a 20-minute Metro ride from the airport to the National Mall and all the free Smithsonian Institution museums.

Keep in mind that some of the amenities we love at DCA may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns. We are confident they will be back.

And don’t forget to take a look at some of the other airports profiled in the “5 Things We Love About…” series.                           

5 Things We Love About Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

1. The views of Washington, D.C.’s monuments

Nice, right?

Aviation geeks who would rather look at airplanes than landscape and monuments know what Gravelly Point Park sits at the end of DCA’s longest runway and offers great plane spotting opportunities.

2. The Historic DCA Lobby

DCA Opening Day – June 16, 1941

Washington National Airport opened for business on June 16, 1941 with service from two airlines: American and Eastern.

Back then the facility was “ultramodern” in terms of building design, air traffic control, and convenience.

Today, the historic Terminal A lobby still feels swanky, in that 1940s way.

You’ll also find photos from the earlier era along the wall in the hallway to the west of the lobby and, nearby, an exhibit area with artifacts and information from Abingdon, a colonial plantation that once stood on the airport’s grounds.

3.  Ben’s Chili Bowl restaurant

DCA has a branch of Ben’s Chili Bowl, a landmark restaurant in Washington, D.C. known for chili dogs, half-smokes, and milkshakes.

4. The Art at DCA

Floor medallion DCA by Frank Stella
Floor medallion – Sol Lewitt
Floor medallion by Michele Oka Doner

Art is an integral part of Terminal B/C, which was designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli.

The permanent artwork includes ten floor medallions on the concourse; 11 balustrades that overlook the concourse; 5 murals; 2 stained glass friezes and more.

5. The Rocking Chair Lobby in Terminal A

We love any airport that has rocking chairs. Don’t you?

Did we miss some of your favorite features or amenities at DCA – Ronald Regan Washington National Airport?

Let us know in the comments section below.

HOU: 5 Things We Love About Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport

Our “5 Things We Love About…” series celebrating features and amenities at airports around the country and the world continues today with 5 Things We Love About Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport (HOU).

Keep in mind that some amenities may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns. We are confident they’ll be back.

If we missed one of your favorite things about Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport, please leave a note in the comments section below.

And take a look at the other airports we’ve included the 5 Things We Love About… series so far.

HOU: 5 Things We Love About Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport

1. The Art At HOU

Houston’s Airport System has one of the largest collections of public art in the state of Texas and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) gets to show off quite a bit of that art.

2. The music at HOU

HOU’s Harmony in the Air program presents live music performances in the Central Concourse Rotunda.

Concerts are scheduled Monday through Saturday and include everything from classical, jazz and pop to international music.

3. Amenities for families at HOU

HOU has a 450-square-foot space-themed play area near Gate A4 with a rocket slide, comet climbing structure, and an interactive light board.

The airport also has two nursing rooms. Each room has AC and USB power outlets, a changing table and nursing glider chairs. Locations: near Gates 4 and 46.

4. NASA exhibit at HOU

Houston is “Space City,” so travelers passing through HOU airport are treated to space-themed exhibits.

5. Souvenirs at HOU

The souvenir shopping at HOU ranges from space-themed items to more traditional Texas-wear.

Did we miss one of your favorite amenities at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)? Add your note in the comments section below.

SEA: 5 Things We Love About Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) celebrated a birthday on July 9, so this is a good week to feature SEA in our “5 Things We Love About…” series celebrating features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

Keep in mind that some amenities may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns. We’re confident they’ll be back.

If we miss something you love about Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), leave a note in the comments section.

And be sure to take a look at the other airports in the “5 Things We Love About…” series.

Opening Day ceremonies at SEA – July 9, 1949

SEA: 5 Things We Love About Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

1. The Art at SEA

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was the first airport in the country to have a public art program and it began purchasing art back in 1972.

SEA’s art collection includes valuable pieces by well-known 20th-century artists such as Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg and Louise Nevelson.

Night Flight #1 – By Louise Nevelson

There are also treasured pieces in glass, sculpture, photography, painting and sound by Northwest and regional artists.

Richard Elliot’s Eyes on the World

2. The Shops at SEA

If it’s Northwest souvenirs you’re after, leave time to shop at SEA.

In addition to Northwest wines, chocolates and music, for some reason one of the most popular souvenirs at SEA is (still) these Sleepless in Seattle nightshirts.

3. Dining at SEA

SEA has more than 40 post-security dining venues, so finding something that fits your taste won’t be a problem.

Some of favorites spots include the hip vegetarian Floret, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and Lucky Louie Fish Shack, home of sweet waffle fish.

4. Live Music at SEA

SEA has a live music program that brings in top-notch performers to play everything from jazz and blues, classical, folk and acoustic pop in various parts of the airport throughout the day.

5. The special events at SEA

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport goes all out to celebrate holidays and special days.

Dancing snowmen and live reindeers show up around Christmas.

And the airport hosts celebrations for everything from the Luna Year to Dia de Los Muertos and North American Heritage Month.

Did we miss an amenity you love at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)? The mountain views, the CPR training machine or the fun kids’ play area? Let us know in the comments section below and feel free to suggest an airport you’d like to see featured in the “5 Things We Love About…” series.