What it is:
Crosswinds Café is a wonderful (and comfortable) large space to enjoy watching planes at the RDU airport while enjoying a comforting snack from INSIDE! My boys absolutely love watching the planes come in and take off at the outside park, but on a cold and windy day, the Crosswinds Café was perfect! The café feeds pilots, travelers, as well as folks that simply love watching planes. The panoramic views are fantastic!
What we liked:
It was cozy and roomy and the people were very friendly. I had two toddlers with me and we weren’t always as quiet as I would’ve liked, but the people working there did not seem to mind our “enthusiasm”. It was almost lunch time so we did not actually order a snack, but I ventured over to see a variety of small to larger snacks as well as beverage choices. The views were amazing and the boys would’ve been happy to stay there for hours. Also, bathrooms were nearby and very clean. Finally, parking was a breeze. I noticed only a couple of spaces marked for the café, but was told that I could park on either side of the gated entrances for free (up to four hours). Yay!
What we would change:
The runway we overlooked was mostly private jets and there wasn’t as much coming an going on this runway compared to the other side. However, we did see several smaller planes as well as a couple larger jets land. It may have been the time of day, but there were less planes coming and going. However, lots of workers to watch and lots of equipment moving around- all of which keep a toddler very curious and interested!
Website and other important information
Location: General Aviation Terminal
Hours: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. (closed weekends)
Phone: (919) 840-7625
Address: Crosswinds is located in the airport's general aviation terminal on East International Drive near the Air Traffic Control Tower.
To get there from I-40, follow signs to the airport terminals. Drive past Terminal A and turn right onto W. International Drive. Follow signs to General Aviation.
From US 70, take Exit 293 onto Lumley Road. The airport entrance will be on your left. Turn left into the airport on Commerce Drive. This becomes International Drive. Follow signs for General Aviation.