Previewing the 2017 Washington Redskins Season

Now that fall is here, America’s favorite sport is back! All of the capital area is hoping for a strong Redskins football season – but with the loss of talented receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, plus an NFC East division that looks competitive, their path won’t be easy.

30-17 Week 1 Loss to Eagles Recap

Facing their division rival Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener at home, the Redskins lost a disappointing game with a final score of 30-17. Quarterback Kirk Cousins struggled to get the offense going, primarily due to the tremendous pressure the Eagles were able to bring: Cousins was sacked four times and seemed to be constantly scrambling to keep plays alive. On the other side of the ball, the defense gave up over 300 yards and two touchdowns to second-year Eagles QB Carson Wentz.

Notable Upcoming Home Games in the Redskins 2017 Schedule

  • Sunday, Sep. 24 vs. Oakland Raiders – This primetime game at home is the first of the Redskins’ five night games this season, against a Raiders team considered to be one of the top contenders to win the AFC.
  • Sunday, Oct. 29 vs. Dallas Cowboys – This is the first time the Redskins will face their longtime rival Cowboys in 2017. Dallas won the NFC East last year with a 13-3 record and are widely considered the best team in the division.
  • Thursday, Nov. 23 vs. New York Giants – A late season primetime home matchup against a division rival, this game will be the last of three played on Thanksgiving Day.

What To Do Around FedEx Field

The Bud Light Party Pavilion on the stadium’s exterior plaza opens three hours before kickoff and features music, food, and other concessions. The pavilion is only open to game ticket holders. Tailgating before the game is another popular activity – it’s permitted in every parking lot at FedEx field. They’re open four hours before the kickoff of every game. Six Flags America is also located just 15 minutes from the stadium.

Finding a Hotel Near FedEx Field for the 2017 Season

If you want to make your game day experience a memorable one, choose a hotel that offers easy access to the stadium, comfortable accommodations, and competitive rates. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is a quick 20-minute drive from FedEx field – let us take care of you and your guests while you take care of rooting for the home team this year.

August 24, 20172 months ago

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.

August 18, 20172 months ago

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.

August 9, 20172 months ago

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.

July 28, 20172 months ago

Hot Spots for Summer Shopping in Alexandria

The city of Alexandria is often portrayed as a hotbed of history, government activity, and culture. All those things are true, but one of the most overlooked characteristics of our city is its destination as a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for a hip outfit, a piece of memorabilia, or a new piece of furniture to tie together your living room, the shops in and around Alexandria have you covered. We’re running down some of our favorite places to shop in the area:

King Street Boutiques

In March of this year, the online publication Where called Old Town Alexandria “one of the best indie boutique scenes on the East Coast.” Our favorite stores in the King Street shopping district:

  • Pacers Running Store – Though its 1991 founding makes it relatively young in a town full of buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, Pacers is still a well-established name in northern Virginia athletics. From shoes to apparel to running memorabilia, it’s easy to get geared up for your next run at Pacers.
  • Hooray for Books! – An independent bookstore focusing on children’s selections, Hooray for Books! also hosts regular events and works with teachers to get them the right books for their students.
  • The Lucky Knot – This classic American-style clothing store features dresses that can be worn for all occasions, from casual hangouts to formal dinners. Don’t forget to grab an accessory while you shop!


Tanger Outlets at the National Harbor

Just across the Potomac River from Alexandria is one of the most prominent shopping destinations in the area. The Tanger Outlets boast dozens of jewelry, apparel, and home furnishings stores, as well as specialty outlets for fragrances and chocolates. All your favorite brands like Michael Kors, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Swarovski, Coach, and Nautica can be found at the outlets, as well as local shops you may not have previously heard of. Check out the store directory for a full listing.

Cady’s Alley

This 120,000-square-foot mixed-use development in the historic Georgetown District in D.C. is known as much for its breathtaking design as its wonderful shops. With lofted ceilings, exposed brick, and walls made of glass and steel, you’ll enjoy being in Cady’s Alley as much as you’ll enjoy shopping there. It’s no wonder the project earned an AIA Honor Award for Urban Design back in 2005. Today Cady’s Alley features local jewelry, furniture and apparel stores.

Need a hotel for shopping in Alexandria or D.C.?

If you’re planning on visiting Alexandria or Washington, D.C. this summer or fall – for shopping or any other reason – you need a superior hotel. With a complimentary shuttle to the metro, easy access to D.C. and Old Town, and a friendly, welcoming staff, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is the ideal destination for you. For the best shopping value, check out our shopping package to receive a $50 gift card for each night of your stay!

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