Archive for August 2017

What’s Happening at the MGM National Harbor for the Rest of 2017?

It’s now been open for nearly nine months, and reports indicate that the MGM National Harbor is a smashing success so far. The Baltimore Sun reports that the MGM did over $50 million in revenue for the month of July, surpassing Maryland Live and the Baltimore Horseshoe as the leading casino in the state.

With gourmet restaurants, an exciting array of musicians and artists performing, and 125,000 square feet of gaming space, it’s no wonder that so many locals and visitors are flocking to the MGM. Here are a few of our favorite things going on through the rest of the year:


  • Military Tuesdays & Senior Wednesdays: Every Tuesday, active duty military members with a valid identification will get 20% off at several casino bars and restaurants. On Wednesdays, guests 55 and older will receive the same discount. Participating locations include National Market, Starbucks, Voltaggio Brothers Steak House, Fish, TAP, Ginger, Marcus, and more.
  • Summer Breeze Slots Tournament: Between August 25 and August 26, buy into this late summer tournament for $99 to get a crack at a $75,000 prize pool.
  • M Life Rewards: With M Life, frequent guests can earn rewards on almost everything they purchase at the casino, from gaming to meals to spa services. For a limited time, new members receive the chance at winning $10,000 in free play.

Upcoming 2017 Shows at MGM National Harbor

One of the casino’s biggest draws is the many huge acts that headline the theater, which has quickly become one of the D.C. area’s top entertainment venues.

Just a few significant upcoming performances include:

  • Tom Jones – the famous crooner with a string of hits over the years like “It’s Not Unusual”, and “What’s New Pussycat” comes to the MGM for a rocking weeknight show after Labor Day on September 12.
  • Cher – The iconic pop diva rose to prominence in the 60s singing with her husband in the duo Sonny & Cher. She later achieved hits on her own, including the smash single “Believe”. Cher will be at the MGM for a total of 6 dates: August 31 and September 2, 3, 7, 9, & 10.
  • Chris Rock – The legendary comedian stops by the MGM National Harbor for his Total Blackout Tour, one of the most highly-anticipated comedy events in years. Rock will be performing four nights in a row, from October 18 through 21.

Other attractions at MGM National Harbor

  • Pizzapalooza – On September 10 between 3 PM and 8 PM on Potomac Plaza, get a taste of Italy in the National Harbor as a top-flight lineup of chefs come together to show off their culinary abilities and share their passion for pizza and other Italian cuisine. The event will also include live music and yard games.
  • Happy Hours – Almost every restaurant and bar in the casino offers a happy hour special on food, drinks, or both. Ginger, Voltaggio Brothers Steak House, National Market, and Tap are just a few venues with daily discounts on tasty bites and relaxing drinks.
  • Retail – Fink’s Jeweler, an official Rolex retailer, is the latest retail brand to carve out space in MGM’s shopping district. Other stores include Ella Rue, SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker, and Stitched.

Finding a hotel for MGM National Harbor

Staying at the resort itself is an option, but rooms go quickly and are priced at a premium. If you want to enjoy all the great gaming, entertainment, and retail amenities available at the MGM National Harbor while staying at a comfortable hotel with some great amenities of its own, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is your destination. Located just under 6 miles from the casino across the Potomac in Alexandria, the Holiday Inn Express also boasts a complimentary hot breakfast bar, free WiFi in every room, and a shuttle to the metro, perks that will ensure that even if your casino trip is unlucky, you’ll win big with your accommodations.

Ideas for Labor Day 2017 in Alexandria

Labor Day is a federal holiday to honor the advancements and accomplishments that have come about thanks to the U.S. labor movement. It also signifies the end of summer – public school students in Alexandria begin the school year the day after Labor Day.

Even though the season is coming to an end, there’s still plenty of fun shows, festivals and events to partake in, whether you prefer books, beer, or music.

17th Library of Congress National Book Festival

If you’re a bookworm, make sure to mark down September 2 in your calendar; the 17th annual National Book Festival sponsored by the Library of Congress will take over the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on this day.

Beginning at 9:30 AM (doors open at 8:30) over 100 different authors, poets, and illustrators will give presentations about various genres of literature and other related themes. The offerings include panel discussions, family-friendly activities like trivia sessions, interactive maze illustrations, a hunt for Waldo, and more.

Some of the biggest names attending this year’s festival include J.D. Vance, author of the popular memoir Hillbilly Elegy, Michael Lewis, who wrote The Big Short, and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. A full schedule of events and appearances is available on the festival’s website.

National Symphony Orchestra: Labor Day Capitol Concert 2017

For a musical Labor Day celebration, head to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, September 3 to enjoy the NSO’s 2017 concert. This year, guitarist and songwriter Aoife O’Donovan sits in with the orchestra, led by conductor John Morris Russell. At this free concert the NSO will be playing hits penned by O’Donovan like “Red & White & Blue & Gold,” and “Magic Hour,” plus other traditional tunes by artists like Bob Dylan. The concert will last 90 minutes and begin at 8 PM. The gates open at 3 PM and there will be an open rehearsal at 3:30.

Alexandria Seaport Cruise

With summer coming to a close, it’s important to enjoy the outdoors while you still can. The Potomac Riverboat company offers exciting 40-minute cruises that will take you past historic landmarks of Old Town, Reagan Airport, the National Harbor, and more. Cruises leave from the Alexandria City Marina, located behind the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town. More information is available on Potomac Riverboat’s website.

Where to stay in Alexandria for Labor Day 2017?

Even if you’ve already got an idea of how you want to celebrate Labor Day in D.C. or Alexandria, it’s important that you arrange for proper accommodations. At the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir you can enjoy a complimentary shuttle to the metro to get around, free WiFi in every room to keep you connected, and competitive rates on each night of your stay. Come see why so many travelers in the Alexandria region have chosen us to make their long weekends less stressful in the D.C. region.

Highlights from Alexandria Restaurant Week 2017

It’s the best time of year to be a food lover in Alexandria! This year’s Restaurant Week features over 60 different local restaurants serving a $35 3-course dinner for one or two. Many establishments are also offering lunch specials at prices ranging from $10 to $20 per person. For full menus and details, check out the Alexandria Restaurant Week website.

Here are our top picks for this year’s Restaurant Week, which runs from August 18 through 27:

Redrocks Neapolitan Bistro

If you’re in the mood for pizza, Redrocks is the spot for you. This award-winning Old Town establishment includes Neapolitan-inspired pizzas, plus an extensive selection of beer and wine.

$15 lunch – includes one appetizer, entrée and drink per person. Appetizers include tomato basil and potato leek soup. Entrée options include a Cuban sub and 8” personal pizza.

$35 dinner for 2 – includes two appetizers, one entrée and a drink. Appetizers include bruschetta, and mixed green salad, with an entrée of either pepperoni, Neapolitan or Funghi pizza (11”).

King Street Blues

Comforting soul food is the name of the game at King Street Blues in the heart of Old Town. The popular establishment, which also has a location in Crystal City, serves southern staples like BBQ, country fried steak, and po’boys.

$35 dinner for 2 – includes choice of a jambalaya pasta with chicken, shrimp, and sausage, country fried chicken, boiled crabcakes, and a half rack of slow-smoked BBQ ribs. Cool key lime pie is served for dessert, with a glass of house wine or draft beer.

Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge

Vola’s is one of the top options in the city for waterfront dining. The restaurant features 87 outdoor seats on the water and a retro-cool décor with over 100 pictures of historical Alexandria.

$15 lunch – includes one entrée and appetizer per person. Appetizer options are crab dip or heirloom tomato salad; choose from a crispy fried chicken sandwich or pulled pork sandwich for entrée.

$35 3-course dinner – includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert for each person. Starters are the same as the lunch selection. Entrée options include shrimp and grits and blackened Mahi Mahi, while dessert is either a chocolate brownie or key lime pie.

Need a hotel in Alexandria for restaurant week?

If you’re planning on visiting for restaurant week – or any other upcoming occasion – it’s important to have your accommodations settled well in advance. At the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir, you’ll enjoy a free shuttle to the metro, easy access to Old Town and D.C., as well as great amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi and hot breakfast. We’re also offering a new Uber package that provides complimentary gift cards to help you get around. Come see why so many in the area choose the Holiday Inn Express for a dependable place to hang their hat in Alexandria.