Whether you are flying out of Dulles International Airport or have a few extra hours to spare during a layover, Chantilly’s convenient shopping district and diverse dining options are only a ten minute drive away.
If you’re looking for a quick meal, you’ll have no trouble finding a spot to eat. SGD Tofu House and BBQ, just off the Lee Jackson Memorial highway is ideal for anyone looking for large portions of authentic Korean food. Also off the same stretch of highway is Santini’s New York Style Deli, a popular lunchtime spot for workers in the surrounding area. If you’d rather unwind with a cold beer, check out Mustang Sally Brewing Company, a hidden gem in Chantilly’s industrial strip. The craft brewer is always launching new beers and you can enjoy sample flights or a pint of your favorite. While there is no food served on site, patrons are encouraged to bring their own food, and nothing pairs with a beer quite like Willard’s Real Pit BBQ. A local favorite that consistently pleases the palate and wallet, Willard’s is located a short drive from Mustang Sally’s next to the Dulles Convention Centre.
Only two minutes from Mustang Sally’s is the showroom for online retailers eStarland, a video game, pop culture and anime paradise for anyone looking to add to their retro gaming collection or looking for unique items to add their collections. The selection is unparalleled in the area and a great place to spend an hour browsing the packed shelves.
If you’d rather spend a few hours in a single location, consider a visit to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Centre, a companion institute to the Smithsonian National Space and Aviation Museum in Washington DC. Adjacent to Dulles Airport, the facility has two enormous hangars where there are thousands of space and aviation artifacts on display, including a supersonic Concorde airliner, a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and the retired Space Shuttle Discovery. You can spend an enjoyable layover or pre flight jaunt around the museum experiencing the interactive science and technology displays or perhaps if you are more adventurous, practice barrel rolls in an F-18 Hornet or launch into space with the facility’s flight simulator capsules.
In addition to the vast museum space, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Centre also boasts a bird’s eye view of the Washington Dulles International Airport where, from a 360-degree viewing deck inside the Donald D. Engen Tower, you can watch planes take off and land on the runways below. Exhibits over two levels of the tower demonstrate the basic workings of the airport and US air traffic control, a unique opportunity to turn an otherwise monotonous layover or preflight wait into an engaging experience.
If you still have time to kill or would prefer to relax during your wait, directly next door to the tower is the Airbus Imax Theatre, which screens visually striking 3D films several times a day.
Overall, Chantilly is a great, one-stop place to spend a short layover, with lots of ways to spend your money and your time.
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