Inside Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Beauty is not a word that often comes to mind when you think of airports, but Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is an exception. The main terminal was designed by Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen, and it’s commonly thought to give a suggestion of flight, especially with its graceful curves.
Though the terminal has been extended since its original construction, it remains an attractive regional landmark. Named after President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John F. Dulles, IAD airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia area. It carried 23.2 million passengers in 2011, of whom 6.4 million were international.
History of Dulles International
Dulles International began operations in 1962. At the time, its out of town location meant that there were few flights from the airport and in that year it carried just over 52,000 passengers, a far cry from the large numbers carried today. The airport has expanded considerably since its original construction, adding new runways, gates and a control tower. An expansion of the regional Metrorail system will give passengers access to the airport. Full details of the airport’s history and expansion are available here.
Dulles Airport Services
Dulles Airport has a number of passenger services available. In particular, it offers free Wi-Fi throughout the airport. There are a number of hotels near the airport for those needing an overnight stay. If you stay at Fairfield Inn & Suites you can take advantage of our latest Dulles airport parking deals. Another feature of the airport are the many art exhibits at different locations.
Things to Do Near Dulles International
If you’re flying into Dulles and plan to spend some time in the area, you have lots of choice of activities and attractions.
- If you love cute buildings and cobblestoned streets, then you will love Harpers Ferry. There are lots of museums and historic buildings and it’s a good chance to explore some of the Appalachian Trail.
- Leesburg, VA is a picturesque town with a number of attractions including the Civil War Medical Museum and the historic downtown area.
- Great Falls offers an opportunity to explore the natural side of the region’s history and culture. It is truly spectacular and you won’t want to miss it.
- The geology of Shenandoah National Park goes back a billion years, and habitation of the mountains about 9,000. That makes it another great place to enjoy natural beauty and soak up the history of the area.
- Want to see how people lived in the 18th century? Then check out Colonial Williamsburg. It’s a real treat for history lovers.
This area is chock-full of history, culture and natural beauty – what are your favorite attractions?
Flying into Dulles Airport? Make an airport parking reservation with Park Ride Fly USA.
Image: Joe Ravi