Parking at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Parking at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is difficult, but not impossible. Your best chance to find free parking at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is to arrive by 10:00 AM and look for free parking spots on Jefferson Drive. All parking on Jefferson Drive is free. Be careful to read the signs. There are a multitude of special parking spots on Jefferson Drive. Most importantly, do not park in handicapped parking. If you do not have tags, you can count on a $250 ticket when you come out of the museum. Parking in a taxi stand, a loading zone or other special zones will usually set you back $30 for a ticket.
Your next best option is to try for free parking on Madison Drive, across the Mall. This is also free.
Top 5 Washington DC Museums
Tours of the National Mall and Memorials
Once you have parked, you are free to take a pedicab tour of the National Mall and all the Memorials. Nonpartisan Pedicab offers the best private tours. We can stop at each monument and memorial, where you can get out to take pictures and walk inside. We can visit all the memorials in 2-3 hours.
Commercial Parking Garages for Parking at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
The nearest commercial parking garage for parking at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is a Colonial parking garage at the corner of 6th and C SW. Daily rates are from $20-$37. Weekends and evenings are $11. They are open 24 hours.
More info on Parking on Madison and Jefferson Drives
On weekends and holidays, it is hard to find a spot in this area unless you arrive early (before 11:00 AM).
Nobody is monitoring the 3 hour limit. However, after 1:00 AM, they will tow your car. So, you cannot leave your car here overnight.
Handicapped Parking at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
There is handicapped parking on Jefferson Drive near the entrance to the museum. If you look around to the right of the main entrance, there is a ramp entrance to get around the steps to the main doors.
Additional Information about Parking at the Smithsonian and around the National Mall.
Touring the National Mall
Your best bet is to take a tour with Nonpartisan Pedicab. Many people say that a pedicab tour is the highlight of their visit to Washington DC.
Taking the Metro to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
This is a much better option than driving. L’Enfant Plaza Metro is the closest station. This is much closer than the more well known Smithsonian Metro. The following lines all stop at L’Enfant Plaza Metro – Blue/Orange/Silver/Yellow/Green.
Opening Hours at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Summer hours are usually 10:00 AM until 7:30 PM. Occasionally, there are special events and the museum will close at 5:30 PM. During the rest of the year, the hours are from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. At busy times of the year and on some weekends, the museum will stay open extended hours until 7:30 PM.
Tickets to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Always free. Open every day of the year except Christmas. However, inside the main hall, you can get tickets to the IMAX theaters and the Planetarium. Inside the main hall, you will also find the flight simulators, which cost $7. More information on the Smithsonian Air and Space museum can be found on their website.