We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we say “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. Should I go for Ivar’s chowder or Beecher’s mac & cheese at SeaTac? Do I have time to do yoga at SFO’s Terminal 2? How long will it take to get to ATL’s Concourse E for a cocktail at One Flew South?
If you’re anything like us, then these are the types of questions you have. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to America’s airports. Today, we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).
Washington Dulles International Airport is located 27 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. and is one of three major airports that serve the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. It’s one of the Mid-Atlantic’s busiest airports and is a hub for United Airlines. IAD has one main terminal (featuring the international arrivals building and Z gates) and two concourses, A/B and C/D (exclusively for United Airlines). The airport’s AeroTrain transports passengers between concourses and the Main Terminal, while Metrorail’s Silver Line serves Dulles via the Silver Line Express Bus, with public bus service available via the 5A DC-Dulles Line. The rental car lot is located just beyond the airport, featuring many of the major rental car companies. Complimentary Wi-Fi is offered throughout Washington Dulles International Airport. IAD is also equipped with CLEAR lanes so members can breeze through security.
Eating at Washington Dulles International Airport first begins at Bar Symon (Concourse D), coming from James Beard award-wining celebrity chef, Michael Symon. The menu features many of Symon’s signatures, such as his highly touted Fat Doug burger and pierogi. Other restaurants are D.C.-inspired, such as Chef Geoff’s (Concourse C), where you can find a wide selection of burgers and other classic American staples. Continuing with the burger trend is Five Guys in Concourse B. For something a little classier, there’s Bistro Atelier (Concourse D), which has a burger menu but is known for its French cuisine. Other locally-inspired restaurants include District Chophouse (Main Terminal), &Pizza (Concourse C), the Bracket Room (Concourse B) and Be Right Burger (Concourse B). Additionally, you’ll find a number of franchise restaurants including Smashburger (Concourse A), Chipotle (Concourse B), Carrabba’s (Concourse B) and Potbelly (Concourse D).
Craft beer lovers rejoice at DC Craft Brews (Concourse D), which is just that, a brewpub featuring a selection of local craft beer from the area. Wine lovers, too, have options with Vino Volo (Concourse C), which is an airport wine bar that features a large selection of wines that are available by the glass, flight and bottle. Otherwise, many of IAD’s best places are at some of the restaurants mentioned above such as Bar Symon, which features local craft beer as well as a selection of wine from around the world. Bistro Atelier also features a full bar including a number of wines and draft beers. Lastly, there’s The Firkin & Fox (Concourse A), which has a small selection of beer (draft and bottled) and wine, as well as a martini menu.
While public art has become the norm at many international airports, Washington Dulles International Airport ups the ante with its art program that features live dance performances, musicians, rotating exhibits and other events. IAD has a number of interesting art installations, including the “Wonder of Wonders” permanent abstract art display near the Concourse A train station and a series of skylight sculptures in the baggage claim area. If you have some time before your flight, Be Relax (Concourse A) offers a variety of spa treatments. If you have even longer between flights, there are some attractions nearby such as the companion center to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which is within a few miles of IAD.
Being a hub for United, Dulles has a number of United Club lounges, including a United Global First Lounge, all of which are in Concourse C. Other airline lounges include Air France (Concourse A), British Airways (Concourse B0, Etihad (Concourse A), Lufthansa (Concourse B) and Virgin Atlantic (Concourse A). Additionally, TripIt users can easily access information and whereabouts of IAD’s airport lounges thanks to the new LoungeBuddy feature in the TripIt app.
Note: TripIt Pro’s LoungeBuddy perk will end on April 15, 2019. If you have redeemed your $25 credit, you will need to use it through the LoungeBuddy app. For information about when the credit expires and how to use it, please contact LoungeBuddy customer support.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he’s not traveling, he’s perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.