June 22, 201710 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, 201710 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, 201710 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.

May 17, 201711 months ago

2017 Tinner Hill Blues Festival

If you love music with soul, Northern Virginia is the place to be. This June 9 through 11, the Tinner Hill Blues Festival will take over the town of Falls Church. Over 10 different acts will be playing a variety of blues, folk, and rock tunes at different locations throughout the city. Here’s what you can expect at this family-friendly, three-day musical experience:

Tinner Hill Blues Festival Schedule

The festival kickoff begins Friday, June 9 at 5 PM at Mad Fox Brewing Company. Several bands will be performing at the brewery until 8 PM, when Blues on Broad begins. Live music is featured at several bars and restaurants on Broad Street in Falls Church. Venues will have free or low admission cost.

Saturday is the official welcoming ceremony from the City of Falls Church, including a performance of God Bless America. Blues acts will be playing all afternoon until 8 PM, when the festival turns into a Blues Crawl to the most popular spots in Falls Church. JV’s Restaurant will host the after party featuring saxophonist Kareem Walkes & blues guitarist Slam Allen.

On Sunday, the festivities move to the Tinner Hill Historic Site in Falls Church for a free gospel blues picnic. From 2 PM to 5 PM, rain or shine, come out and enjoy tunes from The Carter Singers and The Barbour Travelers, plus complimentary lemonade and sweet tea. Lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets are welcome – food will be available for purchase if you get hungry.

Other Information About the Tinner Hill Blues Festival

There are three tiers of admission: General Admission tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate, VIP tickets $30 advance and $35 at the gate, and Platinum VIP tickets are $250 for a pair. VIP comes with special reserved seating and free non-alcoholic beverages, while Platinum VIP includes complimentary meals, two festival T-shirts, reserved seating, and 4 drink tickets, as well as free non-alcoholic beverages.

Besides the blues festivities there will also be a Farmers’ Market, BBQ vendors, craft beer for sale, and kids’ programs including an Instrument Petting Zoo.

Picking the best Tinner Hill Blues Festival Accommodations

If you need a place to rest after an exciting day of blues, BBQ & beer, look no further than the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir. We’re just a few miles down the road from Falls Church and offer great amenities like free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, and a shuttle to the metro to help you get around. When you stay with us at the Holiday Inn Express, you can focus on enjoying your experience at the festival – we’ll make sure your lodging doesn’t give you the blues!


May 11, 201711 months ago

3 Fun Ideas for Memorial Day 2017 in D.C. and Alexandria

Memorial Day is May 29 this year, and there are few better places to honor fallen U.S. military members than the nation’s capital. Not only are there dozens of memorials, galleries, and collections paying respect to our country’s bravest men and women, the events that take place here in D.C. are some of the most important in the U.S.

Here are three of our favorite ways to celebrate Memorial Day in the District and Alexandria:

2017 National Memorial Day Parade

Now in its 12th year, the Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C. is the country’s largest and most prominent. This year’s parade begins at 2:00 PM on Memorial Day and runs until 4:00 PM. The parade runs down Constitution Ave from 7th to 17th street; celebrity participants this year include filmmaker Ken Burns, Air Force General Richard Myers (ret), and chef Robert Irvine. Musical performances by acts like Daughtry, Tom Dixon, and the USO Show Troupe will take place throughout the parade. The event will be broadcast live across the nation, but if you want to see it in person, get there early – there are no reserved seats or tickets.

National Memorial Day Concert 2017

The evening before Memorial Day, the National Mall will be rocking as some of the most famous performers in the country put on a show honoring fallen soldiers. The concert, held on the West Lawn of the Capitol, will be on TV from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM and is free and open to the public. Hosted by award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne, performers this year include Vanessa Williams, Renee Fleming, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

40th Annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival

If you dig the smooth sounds of jazz music, head over to the Waterfront Park in Alexandria for an afternoon of great tunes. The Memorial Day Jazz Festival happens on May 29 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM and is free for anyone to attend. Performers include the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, the Blue Crescent Syncopators, Al Williams, and the Tom Cunningham Orchestra. Food and drinks will be served on-site; in the event of inclement weather, the show will take place at the Lee Center Richard Kauffman Auditorium on Jefferson Street.

Need a hotel in Alexandria VA for Memorial Day 2017?

If you want to stay somewhere accessible to D.C. with plenty of fun events for Memorial Day, Alexandria is an ideal choice. At the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir, guests enjoy a complimentary shuttle to the metro, daily hot breakfast bar, and free wireless internet. Whether it’s a return trip to the city or you’re a first-time visitor, there’s no place like D.C. for Memorial Day, and there’s no better place to hang your hat for the long weekend than the Holiday Inn Express.

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