Archive for September, 2009

Follow the Lost Symbol

September 28, 2009

If you’re reading Dan Brown’s latest thriller Lost Symbol, you’re probably curious to trace Harvard Professor’s Robert Langdon’s route through Washington, DC.  Many of the locations in the book are easily reached from the Hamilton Crowne Plaza (and one is just steps away).

You can visit the new US Capitol Visitor’s Center, Statuary Hall and the Rotunda by taking the Metro. Explore the grandeur of the Library of Congress Reading Room. (Note: The Library of Congress stacks are closed to the general public.) There are free daily guided tours of the Library explaining the art & architecture and the highlights of the collection.   (Metro: Capitol South)

See the treasures housed at the Smithsonian Museums. Be sure to stop at the Castle first for a map and a tour. Don’t forget to stop and get your timed tickets for a trip to the top of the Washington Monument. (Metro: Smithsonian)

Visit Freedom Plaza and see the Washington DC street plan (Metro: Federal Triangle) before you head down to Alexandria to see the George Washington National Masonic Memorial. (Metro: King Street)

Take a short walk up 16th Street to the House of the Temple (weekday tours are available 10 am – 4 pm) where you can also explore the lovely residences of Embassy Row and Kalorama.  A little farther north, you will find Washington National Cathedral. (Metro: Tenleytown)  Check the calendar for tour times including the gargoyle tour.

Walk the four blocks to the White House, explore Franklin Square and see the Almas Shriner’s Temple next door to us.

Then when you’re done sightseeing and codebreaking, enjoy a drink and a snack on the patio of 14K where you can monitor all the action in the city at night.

Fun Fall Festivals in Washington DC

September 8, 2009

Are you planning a trip to Washington DC this month? There are some great fall festivals happening in September. And if you’re staying at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza, you’ll be right downtown with easy access to these events:

The Kennedy Center Open House Arts Festival is Saturday, September 12th and includes street performances, behind the scenes tours, and a children’s book festival with opportunities to meet the authors and illustrators. (Metro: Foggy Bottom. Free Shuttle Buses to the Kennedy Center)

Then head across the Potomac to Rosslyn for the Rosslyn Jazz Festival and enjoy free jazz in Gateway Park. Holly Cole is headlining the festival this year. Other acts include Spanish Harlem Orchestra and Lafayette Gilchrist.  (Metro: Rosslyn)

Or if you’re feeling more artistic, head  to Penn Quarter for Arts on Foot kicking off the fall arts season with an outdoor art festival plus cultural activities, cooking demonstrations, entertainment and a neighborhood showcase. (Metro: Gallery Place / Chinatown)

The 9th Annual Library of Congress Book Festival will be held on the National Mall on September 26th.  Authors are grouped into Pavilions by genre (Children, Mysteries & Thrillers, Fiction & Fantasy, History & Biography etc.) to read from their latest works and many authors will also be available for signings. Authors include Judy Blume, John Irving, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Sue Monk Kidd, Azar Nafisi and many more. See a complete list of authors. (Metro: Smithsonian)

If you feel like escaping the City (and the 21st Century), visit the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, Maryland. Running every Saturday and Sunday through October 25th, the Renaissance Festival is a well known tradition in the area. This year, Henry VIII has just lost his 5th wife – Katherine Howard and is looking to wed. The festivities are taking place in Revel Grove. Grab a turkey leg, watch a joust, and enjoy the show.

For more information about any of these activities or for directions from the hotel, just ask the concierge or any of the front desk staff.


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