To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing coming up this month, TripAdvisor has compiled a list of the top-rated space-themed attractions in the US, giving the top spot to the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, a companion site to Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.
The US space shuttle Discovery at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, USA. (AFP)
For its range of interactive activities and exhibits, more than 1,325 TripAdvisor members gave the Chantilly air and space museum a five out of five bubble rating.
In addition to vintage WWII fighter planes, 3D film projections on IMAX screens and interactive flight simulators, the museum is also the final resting place for the retired Discovery Space shuttle.
After 39 flight missions from 1984 to 2011, Discovery is the longest-serving orbiter.
The museum also houses the world’s first supersonic airliner, the Concorde, which like Discovery, has also been retired. Visitors also have access to an observation tower, which provides 360-degree views of the nearby Washington Dulles International Airport.
In second place, members gave top marks to Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, the largest privately-funded aerospace museum in the world.
A graveyard turned museum for 4,00 grounded planes, the exhibit includes a supersonic spy plane and the world’s smallest bi-plane, the Starr Bumble Bee.
Here are the top air and space museums in the US:
1. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia
2. Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona
3. Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon
4. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.
5. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California
6. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Cape Canaveral, Florida
7. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York City, New York
8. McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis, Texas
9. U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama
10. Sedona Star Gazing, Sedona, Arizona