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Washington Dulles International Airport is located 26 miles outside of downtown Washington DC. Named after John Foster Dulles, President Eisenhower's secretary of state, the airport has 139 airline gates all connected to its main terminal. This iconic terminal was designed by Finnish American architect, Eero Saarinen and opened in 1962.
One of the innovations introduced by Saarinen at Dulles airport was the Mobile Lounge. More than a modified bus the Mobile Lounge allowed passengers to transfer in comfort directly from the Terminal building to their aircraft and satellite gates without the need for walking across the apron which was the norm in that era. The advent of the Air Bridge made these Mobile Lounges largely redundant however they were still in use at Dulles up until 2010.
Whilst not quite in the grand style of the Mobile Lounge you’ll find transportation to your preferred rental company just as easy at Dulles.
Car rental at Washington Dulles International airport is particularly convenient, with the airport's shuttle system. After you've collected your luggage at the baggage claim level, head towards doors 2, 4 or 6 where you’ll find a series of rental company operated shuttle buses to take you to your chosen rental provider’s branch located on Autopilot Drive.
The proud capital of the United States, Washington DC has a population of over 600,000 people. Home to the President, Congress and the US Supreme Court (as well as countless international embassies), the city is the heart of politics in North America.
As the site of numerous important historical events, you'll have no shortage of things to do. With the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian and of course, the White House, all in such close proximity, a trip to this city is sure to give you a rich taste of North America's history.
The Smithsonian, probably the world's most famous museum, is also the world's largest research facility. Skipping a trip to this museum if you're in Washington DC is unthinkable. With 19 museums and galleries as well as the National Zoological Park, you'll find everything from ancient artefacts to stuffed woolly mammoths. Open every day except for Christmas, there is no entry fee, so you'll be able to spend as much time there as you want.
If you've ever seen a movie set in Washington DC, you'll likely recognise the Lincoln Memorial. When you're in Washington DC make sure to go see it in person - it's much more impressive. Made of marble and limestone, the Lincoln statue is 5.8 metres tall (19 feet for Americans) and has Greek and Roman stylistic influences. This is also the site of Martin Luther King Jr's famous 'I have a dream' speech.
Taking a tour of the White House when you're in Washington DC only makes sense. It is, after all, perhaps the most iconic building in the entire United States. These tours do, however, need to be booked well in advance (often up to six months), so start planning before you leave.