April 20, 20179 days ago

Help the Environment: Celebrating Earth Day 2017 in Alexandria and D.C.

Earth Day is an important holiday when people take active steps to understand and reduce their impact on the planet. In Alexandria and the greater D.C. region, locals and visitors alike can celebrate the day with many different exhibits, hands-on demonstrations, and activities for all ages.

Earth Day 2017 at the United States Botanical Garden

On Friday, April 21 the National Garden will host a festival for Earth Day that includes exhibits about green habits, meet-and-greets with environmental organizations, and more. This free event takes place from 10 AM to 2 PM – the rain location is the Conservatory Garden Court.

March for Science

This year’s March for Science takes place on Earth Day itself, April 22. The annual event involves a massive gathering of scientists and those enthusiastic about science. The march is designed to show that scientific principles matter and must be incorporated into government policies. Marches will happen all around the country – D.C.’s march begins at 2:00 PM near the Washington Monument, but Earth Day festivities will take place on the Mall beginning at 9 AM (grounds open at 8). Additional information is available online.

Alexandria Earth Day 2017

The city of Alexandria will hold its celebration on April 29, the weekend after Earth Day. At Braddock Park, visitors can enjoy family-friendly activities, exhibits from local organizations, live music, and a fashion show. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Clean water starts with YOU!” The festival runs from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Want the best accommodations at a Hotel in Alexandria Virginia or D.C.?

Anyone planning on coming to the region for a local Earth Day celebration has to find a relaxing, peaceful place to stay. No matter what you’ll be doing for Earth Day this year, if you’re in the D.C. region consider the Holiday Inn Express Alexandria – Fort Belvoir. With a complimentary shuttle to the local metro stop, easy access to D.C., and great amenities, the Holiday Inn Express is an excellent hotel in Alexandria to stay while you’re celebrating the importance of our planet.

April 13, 201716 days ago

The Museum Capital: 2017 Exhibits in D.C.

Anyone who’s visited or is even familiar with the D.C. area knows it’s one of the best places in the country for museums and galleries. From the free Smithsonian museums to the immersive adventures of places like The International Spy Museum, the collections you’ll see in Washington-area museums are second-to-none.

This year, new exhibits are opening at several of the top museums in the region. Below are some of our favorites in D.C. and Alexandria.

Ella Fitzgerald at 100

The famous jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald would have been 100 years old this year. To celebrate her illustrious seven decades in music, the National Museum of American History tells Fitzgerald’s story through records, photographs, passports, contracts, and other actual items owned by the First Lady of Song and people in her personal and professional circle. The exhibit opened on April 1 in conjunction with several other jazz-related events at the Smithsonian.

Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography

In post-WWII America, many population groups moved from urban cities to the suburbs. This cultural transition, plus the construction of new highways through major cities, created isolation, upheaval and demographic changes in America’s urban jungles. Beginning on May 12, a showcase of work by ten photographers will be on display at the American Art Museum Renwick Gallery in Chinatown near the Verizon Center. The artists, including Frank Espada, Oscar Castillo and Ruben Ochoa, attempt to capture the human side of their subjects in contrast with their changing urban environments.

Mercy Uncovered: Archaeology in Civil War Alexandria

The new PBS show Mercy Street tells the story of nurses, laborers, and Confederate loyalists living in Civil War-era Alexandria, which was controlled by the Union. For 2017, the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, located at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town, unveiled a new set of exhibits and walking tours to help people understand what things were really like in Alexandria during the mid 19th century. Objects on display include a loaded musket, medical supplies, and military equipment. The exhibits opened on April 11 and run through December – check out the museum’s website for more information.

Choosing from the top hotels near Washington D.C.

If you’re visiting the District from out of town, you’ll need a quality place to hang your hat while here. With a free shuttle to the metro, complimentary hot breakfast bar, and helpful, attentive staff, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is one of the best hotels near D.C. for visiting the rich trove of galleries and exhibits on display here.

April 7, 201722 days ago

Spring 2017 Events at National Harbor

When it’s nice outside, residents and visitors of the D.C. region have lots of great options for recreation. Top among those options is the National Harbor, a lovely waterfront area that includes retail outlets, a 180-foot Ferris wheel, and many great restaurants. Now that temperatures have risen for the season, here are a few exciting events we’re looking forward to at National Harbor:

2017 Wine and Food Festival

This exciting culinary event showcases some of the top food, wine, and beer from both local and national chefs, vintners and breweries. The two-day festival offers ticket options for Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30. Over 150 different wines, beers and spirits will be served to guests, while local food trucks dish out tasty treats. The festival also includes a Bier Garten for craft beer tasting and hands-on cooking demonstrations.

Movies on the Potomac 2017 Schedule

Beginning next month, the popular Movies on the Potomac series returns to the waterfront plaza at National Harbor. On Thursdays at 7 PM and Sundays at 6 PM beginning May 4, guests can bring blankets or chairs to relax and watch classic movies on a massive projector at the water’s edge. Thursday’s theme is Date Night; movies include Mother’s Day, La La Land, and Dream Girls. Sunday’s movies are more family-oriented, including flicks like Moana, The Secret Life of Pets, and Mary Poppins.

Spring Shows at MGM National Harbor

Opened in December 2016, the D.C. region’s first casino has already proved to be a hit with residents. Even if you’re not a gambler, the Theater at MGM National Harbor is a beautiful entertainment venue that attracts nationally-known musicians, comedians, and singers. Some of the most exciting upcoming dates include:

  • April 22 – Sarah Silverman
  • May 5 & 6 – Ricky Martin
  • May 21 – R. Kelly

Choosing from the hotels near National Harbor

If you are going to be coming into the DMV any time soon to visit the National Harbor or any of our other great attractions, it’s important that you arrange suitable accommodations. Whether you want a hotel near the Tangier Outlets or a place you can relax while checking out a show at MGM, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir should be high on your list of prospective hotels near National Harbor. With wonderful amenities like a complimentary breakfast bar and free shuttle to the metro, plus a friendly and accommodating staff, you’ll be sure to enjoy your time at the National Harbor even more when you know you have a comfortable place to return.

March 31, 201729 days ago

Spring 2017 Events in Old Town Alexandria

Everyone knows Old Town as the place in Alexandria where American history and modern culture collide. It’s easy to find a chic new outfit or dine at an exciting restaurant off the banks of the Potomac River. As the weather gets warmer, the community and its local organizations will be holding some great tours, markets, and exhibits for the whole family.

Old Town Farmers Market

The Farmers Market at Market Square in Alexandria is one of the oldest continually-operating markets in the country. You can buy fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, snacks, and other goods from local farmers, growers, and artists. The market runs every Saturday from 7:00 AM until 12 noon at 301 King Street.

Civil War Sundays

Beginning on March 30, the Alexandria Archaeology Museum is sponsoring an ongoing showcase of events centered on a New York Tribune issue from 1861 reporting the death of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth. This series taking place every Sunday from 1 to 5 PM includes a diorama of a Civil War-era heating system, a loaded musket, and a diorama illustrating the circumstances of the colonel’s death.

Firefighting History Walking Tour

On April 22 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM you can trace the history of Alexandria and fires starting with a visit to the Friendship Firehouse Museum. The tour will cover how volunteer firefighters worked in early Alexandria, the city’s first five firefighting companies, and the devastating fires here, including one in 1827 that destroyed 53 buildings.

Choosing a hotel near Old Town Alexandria

Besides the attractions in Old Town itself, there are lots of things to do in neighboring Washington, D.C. Whether you plan on visiting the District or Alexandria, you should book a high-quality hotel near Old Town for your stay. With its free metro shuttle, affordable pricing, and guest amenities like a free hot breakfast, the Holiday Inn Express Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is an outstanding choice for travel to the D.C. region this spring.

March 24, 20171 month ago

2017 Washington Nationals Season Preview

Now that spring’s warmer temperatures will soon be here for good, baseball season is just around the corner. Despite a ho-hum 10-11 record in MLB Spring Training, sports fans in D.C. are hopeful the team can make this the year the Nats’ young sluggers finally take them past the first round of the playoffs.

How did the Nats do last year?

The Nationals had a great regular season in 2016, finishing with a 95-67 record that was second in the league to only the Cubs, who went on to win the World Series. Outfielder Bryce Harper, the MLB’s 2015 MVP, finished the season strong with 24 home runs and 86 RBI. Second baseman Daniel Murphy, who finished second in last year’s MVP race with a phenomenal .347 batting average, ended the season with 25 home runs and 104 RBI.

Despite a successful regular season, the Nationals were eliminated by the Dodgers in the 2016 NLDS. Here’s a preview of some of this year’s biggest upcoming home games and a few other things to do around the stadium in the Navy Yard/Southwest Waterfront area.

Exciting early-season home series

  • Monday, April 10 – Wednesday, April 12 – St. Louis Cardinals
  • Friday, April 28 – Sunday, April 30 – New York Mets
  • Monday, May 8 – Thursday, May 11 – Baltimore Orioles

Other attractions around Nationals Stadium

The Southwest/Navy Yard area of D.C. is one of its trendy, up-and-coming areas. Here are a few places to hang out before or after a game:

  • The Bullpen at Half Street Fairgrounds – this open air plaza of shipping containers, food trucks and lawn games is a popular tailgating destination. The land it sits on was purchased in 2015 and may be re-developed soon, so visit while the Bullpen is still around.
  • Gordon Biersch – a popular burger chain with an assortment of beers brewed on-site as well as upscale American pub fare.
  • Bluejacket – one of D.C.’s biggest local breweries has a pub and tasting room with great pretzels, salads and charcuterie.

Finding a hotel for a Nationals Game

Those traveling to the area to catch the Nationals play should find a hotel that suits all their needs. With a free shuttle to the metro into D.C., easy access to other top sights around the city, and comfortable rooms at affordable prices, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is a perfect home base for any baseball fan this spring and summer.

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