Best Place to Look at Airplanes

Best: National Air and Space Museum, Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, Va.
2nd Best: Gravelly Point Park
George Washington Memorial Parkway north of Reagan National Airport, Arlington
How little-written-about is Gravelly Point? Let’s just say that if you take a 30-second cell-phone video of nothing happening there, you’ll be in the Top 10 Google results for it. Thing is, a lot happens there: Meatheads play rugby, Canada geese destroy its ecosystem, D.C. boat cops hand out whistles to kids by the boat launch. But the best reason to go to Gravelly Point is to experience airplanes screaming down toward the Reagan runway, 50 feet or so above your head. This is an intensely bad hobby for people who have tinnitus or aren’t totally over 9/11. In those cases, a better choice is the Udvar-Hazy, where the planes’ engines are quiet and the planes themselves are not moving.