While you’re in D.C., reserve time to explore this beautiful city!
In the local neighborhood:
If you prefer to stay close to the conference hotel, you’ll have plenty of options right out your doorstep. Woodley Park – where the conference hotel resides – is home to restaurants featuring everything from Italian, American, and French, to Cajun, Afghan, and Japanese cuisine. Head north a few blocks up Connecticut Avenue and you’ll stumble right into the heart of the Cleveland Park neighborhood, with equally as many dining options. If you’re looking for a little walk after a long day of sessions, cross the Calvert Street bridge from Woodley Park and find yourself among countless dining options, not to mention abounding character and funky style, in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.
If you find yourself with some free time, don’t miss the National Zoo, located a short walk from the hotel. As part of the Smithsonian Institution, this zoo offers free admission!
Ready to explore more of DC? You could spend weeks experiencing all this city has to offer, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
Climb the Washington Monument – the views of the monuments, the Capitol, the city and Virginia are spectacular from here! Tours are offered daily from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Advance reservations are recommended: http://www.nps.gov/wamo/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm.
Tour the Capitol Building. History happens here every day! Get a tour to learn the ins and outs of this fascinating place. The Capitol Visitor Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Tours of the U.S. Capitol are free, but advance reservations are advised as spots fill quickly. Book a tour here: http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/plan-visit/book-tour-capitol.
Be inspired at the White House. Tours are possible, but difficult to reserve – find information here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events. Even if you can’t go inside, take a stroll past the site; the views from outside the gates are awe-inspiring nonetheless.
Peruse the vast collections of the Smithsonian museums – check out some of the 19 free museums that make up the Smithsonian Institution, including favorites such as the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. Notably, the new National Museum of African American History & Culture opened in September 2016 and is worth a trip. With the exception of a limited number of walk-up passes available on weekdays, the museum requires timed passes for admission – book your visit at https://nmaahc.si.edu/visit/passes.
Visit the historic Georgetown neighborhood – home not only to its namesake university, but also charming architecture, abundant high-end shopping on M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, great restaurants, the serene C&O Canal, and the Washington Harbour area tucked along the river – a picturesque spot to socialize and people-watch on a pleasant evening.
Visit the many beautiful memorials paying tribute to significant people and moments in our nation’s history: MLK memorial, FDR memorial, Lincoln memorial, WWII memorial, Vietnam memorial – all located along or right near the National Mall, making for a perfect walking tour on a nice, DC spring day or evening.
Do as the locals do. If you’d like to break off the tourist path, make your way to neighborhoods loved by the locals – full of activity and vibrant dining and nightlife that is sure to please. Some favorites are the Dupont Circle area, the 14th Street and U Street corridors all in the Northwest DC quadrant, and Capitol Hill, including Barracks Row at 8th Street SE.
Want to trek beyond the borders of the District itself? Take the opportunity to explore some of the treasures of Virginia and Maryland, including:
Old Town Alexandria – as charming as it is historic, definitely worth a visit! http://www.visitalexandriava.com/about-alexandria/old-town-alexandria/
Arlington National Cemetery – visit this breathtaking memorial to those who made the greatest sacrifice for our nation. Open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/
National Harbor (across the river from Old Town Alexandria) – visit this huge waterfront resort destination set on the banks of the Potomac for an excursion filled with shopping, dining and fun: http://www.nationalharbor.com/.