Porcupyn's Blog

September 19, 2007

Washington D.C. – off the beaten path

Filed under: Travel — Porcupyn @ 11:42 pm

Just northwest (I stand corrected – it is North, not northwest, per the map) of Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C., along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, lies a picnic area/park called Gravelly Point. The location – depending on wind direction – provides an excellent vantage point for those interested in gazing at planes landing or taking off. We spent 15 fun minutes there last Sunday (rush hour for the planes according to the linked article). Too bad I forgot to bring my camera out – I only have video recordings :-(. Oh well …

There is another point just south of the airport too, near a Marina – take Marina Drive from the Parkway.


  1. only 15 mins? I spent full 5 hours in Frankfurt (when I used to live in Germany) airport just watching landing and take off 🙂

    Comment by shark — September 21, 2007 @ 3:18 am | Reply

  2. Shark:

    If you went to the airport just to watch planes land and take off, I am impressed! I can do the same (with trains not planes), but would be more disposed to do so at a major Indian railway station (and by myself or with other similar trainspotters).

    In this instance, I just happened to notice the park close to the highway we were driving on (i.e., it was not a premeditated stop), and decided to stop there. We were just trying to kill some time before going for a function (that said, when we left, we did have some more time to kill!).

    Comment by porcupyn — September 21, 2007 @ 9:32 am | Reply

  3. Washington Dulles airport has a similar location now, on the way to the Udvar-Hazy museum. While it does not have the water that makes Gravelly Point picturesque, it does have a lot more planes coming in 100 feet above your head.


    Comment by BPuriSKabab — September 23, 2007 @ 12:18 am | Reply

  4. BPSK:

    Hmmm … I didn’t know that, and I wouldn’t know that either, as I did not drive anywhere close to Dulles.

    That said, I think it is rare to have such locations for planespotting in the USA. I don’t recall any in either DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) or Tampa. Used to be one in Orlando long ago, but it has been since shut down.

    For trainspotting, don’t even ask! I had to go to the equivalent of the tenth floor to see the Amtrak(s) snake out of Union Station way way down below! At least, that task is much easier to perform at smaller cities/stations.

    Comment by porcupyn — September 25, 2007 @ 8:49 am | Reply

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