July 20, 20173 months ago

Mount Vernon: 3 Top Attractions for Summer 2017

Mount Vernon was originally constructed in 1735 by Augustine, George Washington’s father. Since then, it has been one of the most historic and famous estates in all of Virginia. Today, it draws visitors from all over the country who are interested in learning about our nation’s first president, his family, and what life was like in 18th century colonial America.

Whether you’re a DC local looking to make a trip down to Mount Vernon, or the estate is on your list of places to visit this year, there are some awesome events coming up over the next few months at the historic Washington family home. We’ve selected our three favorites and outlined them below:

Colonials Kids & Camp Washington

It’s critical for future generations to learn about what happened before their time, which is why Mount Vernon offers two different youth programs. Colonial Kids is their offering for rising third and fourth graders, while Camp Washington is for rising fifth and sixth graders.

Kids who participate in the program will learn not just about George Washington and his family’s legacy, but also the Piscataway Indians who lived here before the estate was built. Interactive activities include making ice cream, gardening, spinning, surveying, and other fun things kids will enjoy.

There are upcoming sessions this summer for both Camp Washington and Colonial Kids – check out the Mount Vernon Summer Camp website for more information and to register your child.

Mount Vernon Celebrates Purple Heart Day

On August 7 from 10:30 AM to 12 PM, Mount Vernon will celebrate the oldest military award still given out to active members. The ceremony will take place on the East Lawn and will include a statement from General Washington himself, as well as previous Medal of Honor recipient Captain Florent Groberg. Visit the event’s website for more information.

Sightseeing Cruise of the Potomac

If you want to see Mount Vernon from a different angle – literally – there’s no better way than a relaxing sightseeing cruise along the Potomac River. On this 45-minute narrated trip you’ll learn about the history of the river and how it contributed to local commerce, particularly the businesses owned by George Washington. Keep an eye out for eagles and ospreys – many of these large birds nest along the river banks.

Choosing a hotel near Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon and the D.C. area have some wonderful historical attractions – but taking in hundreds of years of colonial history can be tiring. You need to choose a hotel that’s comfortable, accessible, and affordable enough to allow you to focus on your trip – that’s where the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir comes in. Our hotel is located just 15 minutes away from Mount Vernon and includes a complimentary hot breakfast bar, free shuttle to the metro, and WiFi access throughout the hotel.

To make your visit less complicated, we’re now offering a Mount Vernon Package, which includes two tickets to the estate and at least two nights at our hotel. Come see why guests to Mount Vernon and other parts of D.C. have consistently chosen the Holiday Inn Express & Suites name for both value and comfort.

July 12, 20173 months ago

Top 3 Events for Summer 2017 in D.C.

Independence Day has come and gone, but here in the district there is still plenty of summer left! Besides serving as the headquarters of the U.S. government, D.C. is known as a cultural hotbed of museums, exhibits, and festivals – many of which take place in the warmer months of the year.

Here are three upcoming events in the District that we are looking forward to:

Lotus and Water Lily Festival 2017

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is the only national park dedicated to the art of growing aquatic plants. To celebrate this inspirational and educational activity, Kenilworth Park is hosting a free weeklong festival from July 15 through July 22 for locals of all ages who want to learn about and observe aquatic plants.

The excitement begins on July 15 with the Festival Kickoff, featuring an array of dazzling water lilies and lotus flowers, gardening workshops, lotus tea tastings, performances by traditional Latin, Asian, & African dancers, and so much more.

For a full schedule of the week’s events and other guidelines about the festival, visit its website.

2017 District of Comedy Festival

Looking for a laugh in D.C. this summer? Just head over to the Kennedy Center from July 20 through July 22 to visit the District of Comedy festival, a celebration that includes stand-up performances, workshops, musical ensembles, and interviews. Some of the most renowned comedians in the world will be participating and performing in the festival, including Michael Ian Black, Wyatt Cenac, Louie Anderson, and more.

Tickets for each event are sold separately; most events take place Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd. A full listing of events and performers is available on the festival’s event page.

2017 International Champions Cup at FedEx Field: FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United

Fans of football – European style – are in for a treat towards the end of this month as two of the biggest clubs in the world will clash at FedEx field. On Wednesday, July 26 at 7:30 PM, the International Champions Cup lands in D.C. as Lionel Messi and his FC Barcelona squad take on Paul Pogba and Manchester United.

Both teams are going through a transitional phase, as Manchester United looks to adjust to life without its longtime captain Wayne Rooney, while FC Barcelona attempts to bounce back from a disappointing quarterfinals exit in last season’s UEFA Champions League.

Picking a great summer hotel near D.C.

Whether you’re visiting the District for sports, culture, or entertainment (or all three!) you need the proper home base during your stay. With excellent on-site amenities like a free metro shuttle and breakfast, plus friendly staff and competitive rates, there’s no better place to stay for summer fun in D.C. than the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir and now when you book with our Uber Hotel Package, you’ll get a $10 Uber credit for each night you stay, to help you get around to all these exciting events in the region.

June 22, 20174 months ago

2017 USJN National Championships at the Gaylord in D.C.

Since the 1980s, the U.S. Junior Nationals (USJN) has been the premiere name in girls’ youth basketball tournaments. This summer, the action comes to D.C. at the Gaylord National Convention Center at the National Harbor. There are two exciting tournaments coming up next month that will draw hundreds of teams to the capital region.

About USJN

USJN has been running girls’ basketball tournaments since 1986. After AAU, they were the first privately-owned company to provide these kinds of events. Tournament groups are divided by both age and grade level. Since its inception, the USJN has enjoyed corporate support from prominent sponsors including Nike, McDonald’s, and Gatorade.

USJN 17u National Championships

The first USJN event in D.C. is the 17u National Championship tournament. In the last four years this event has drawn nearly 350 teams and more than 800 college coaches. Participating institutions in the past have included Cornell, Morehead State and Vanderbilt.

  • Date: July 22 through July 25
  • Venue: Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
  • Registration Fee: $1195


Register by 6/28/17 using the official tournament page, where you can also find information about housing policies.

USJN 15u-12u National Championships

Like the 17u tournament, the 15u – 12u tournament attracts hundreds of teams each year. It’s a great place for young girls to test their skills against the country’s best basketball players.

  • Date: July 25 through July 28
  • Venue: Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
  • Registration Fee: $895


The deadline for registration is 6/25/17. More info can be found on the tournament’s website.

Booking a hotel for the 2017 USJN National Championships in DC

While on-site housing will be provided on a first-come first-serve basis, there are plenty of other options for a great hotel near the National Harbor. At the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir, guests will enjoy competitive rates and top-notch amenities like a 24/7 exercise room, free shuttle to the metro, and complimentary hot breakfast bar. If you’ll be in town to cheer on friends or family members participating in the USJN tournaments this summer, let the Holiday Inn Express & Suites simplify your trip so you can focus on the hoops. Show or mention this blog post for a 10% discount during any of the tournament dates.

June 15, 20174 months ago

3 Ways to Celebrate Independence Day 2017 in Alexandria & D.C.

If you’re looking to celebrate the birth of the United States, there are few better places than its capital. The District and its surrounding cities offer a host of Independence Day parades, concerts, and parties for the whole family. If you’re one of the many people making a trip to D.C. for the holiday or you are a local in seek of some fun stuff to do for the 4th, here are 3 of our top suggestions.

National Independence Day Parade 2017

On Tuesday, July 4 from 11:45 AM to 2 PM, the District of Columbia hosts the National Independence Day Parade, one of the biggest displays of patriotism in the country. Beginning from the corner of Constitution Ave and 7th Street NW and ending at 17th Street NW, the one-mile parade will include floats, military bands, giant balloons, drill teams, celebrities, national dignitaries, and more. The event is free and open to the public, but if you want to watch the parade make sure to get there early. Limited seating is available on the steps of the National Archive.

A Capitol Fourth 2017

Billed as “America’s Favorite Fourth of July celebration,” A Capitol Fourth is the annual Independence Day concert held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The show runs from 8 PM til 9:30 PM and will be broadcast live on PBS. This year’s event features a star-studded lineup: The concert is hosted by actor John Stamos and will feature legendary musicians like The Beach Boys, The Four Tops, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, and more.

No tickets are required, and feel free to bring a blanket for the lawn – but alcoholic beverages are prohibited. If you want to see the show but would prefer to avoid the crowds, there will be a rehearsal show on Monday, July 3 at 8 PM.

Alexandria’s 268th Birthday Celebration

In the capital region, the fun doesn’t end after the 4th. Saturday, July 8 is the official birthday celebration for the city of Alexandria. Between 6PM and 10PM, check out the Potomac waterfront at Oronoco Bay Park for musical performances, food vendors, birthday cake, and a stunning display of fireworks over the river. Grab your friends, family and favorite lawn chair and head to the park to celebrate the city that’s 27 years older than the United States!

Which Alexandria hotel near DC is best for Independence Day?

Anyone seeking a comfortable, budget-friendly hotel in the D.C. region should visit the Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Alexandria / Fort Belvoir. Our complimentary shuttle to the metro makes it easy to get around, and while you are here you’ll enjoy top amenities like complimentary hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour business center. Choose the Holiday Inn as your home base while you celebrate the fun and festivities of Independence Day in D.C.

June 9, 20174 months ago

Father’s Day 2017: 3 Ways to Celebrate in D.C. & Alexandria

D.C. knows plenty about fathers – the country’s most famous fathers, like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, worked here to shape the U.S. into what it is today. If you are visiting or live in the District or Alexandria and still need some ideas for Father’s Day, we’ve got you covered.

#ALXBREWTOUR 2017: Historic Breweries Walking Tour & Tasting

If you and your dad are into good beers, look no further than the #ALXBREWTOUR, a walking tour of Old Town Alexandria that unearths the history of local brewing here in the D.C. region. Beginning on June 18 from 2:00 PM til 4:30 PM, beer experts Garrett Peck and Cat Portner will guide your group around 2 miles of historic brewing sites, culminating in one of the city’s current Hop Stops. You’ll also get to enjoy plenty of free samples! Tickets are $25 and still available online.

Father’s Day 2017 at the National Harbor

The National Harbor offers beautiful scenery and plenty of fun waterfront activities for you and dad. For Father’s Day this year, guests of the National Harbor can enjoy sunrise swimming beginning at 8:30, breakfast from Miller Farms at 10 AM, and then PoolBall, a life-size combination of soccer and pool, beginning at noon. Check out the National Harbor calendar for more info.

Father’s Day at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Who better to spend Father’s Day with than America’s father, George Washington? Visit Mount Vernon for Father’s Day weekend on June 17 and June 18 to enjoy costumed impersonators discussing Washington’s role as a husband and stepfather, demonstrations at George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill, plus a special menu served at the Mount Vernon Inn. Check out the Mount Vernon Website for more info.

Selecting a hotel in Alexandria for Father’s Day

Every dad needs a comfortable place to relax while traveling – or maybe your family lives here and wants to do something special. For a top-notch experience, let the Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Alexandria / Fort Belvoir take care of you and your dad this Father’s Day. With a complimentary shuttle to the metro, free hot breakfast bar, and easy access to D.C., you’ll enjoy a special day with your father in the District this year if you choose the Holiday Inn Express.

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