Posts Tagged ‘free things to do in washington’

Plan a trip to DC for National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15, 2011

This month marks the celebration of the National Hispanic Heritage Month, and this year’s theme is “Many Backgrounds, Many Stories…One American Spirit.” This is a great chance for Washington to focus on the contributions of the Latin, Central American, South American, and Caribbean communities – and many of the events are free, so you can spend your money enjoying the cuisine, or on souvenirs of your trip.

The Latin American spirit has a colorful vibe unlike any other. With an eclectic mix of cultures, foods, music and traditions, its difficult not to become absorbed into this vibrant community. Growing up in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I remember the colorful scenes of the Carnaval – the women dancing down the street in colorful dresses, the men lighting the fireworks, and the excitement of the children playing on the street. Although these tender memories stayed with me during my time in Washington DC, I am excited to celebrate this month with friends and family and experience the exciting events being hosted this month in the city.


The National Gallery of Art will be presenting a diverse display featuring concerts and films to honor the diverse culture, and offering guided tours in Spanish. On Sunday September 26th, Carlos Cesar Rodriguez, a renowned pianist and composer, will be playing in concert on the West Building in the West Garden Court in honor of this special month, alongside many other Latin American composers and musicians. A film series honoring the bicentennial independence of Mexico from Spain will feature various Mexican films to include Alamar, Lake Tahoe, and Presumed Guilty and will play in the East Building Auditorium of the Gallery.

The National Museum of American History will be featuring special displays, particularly focusing on the Mexican Revolution and the migration of Mexicans to the United States. Later this year the museum will be celebrating Diosa Costello, a prominent Latin performer, artist, producer, club owner, as well as the first Latina on Broadway. Costello donated 11 of her costumes to the Smithsonian for this exhibit.


The annual AFI Latin American Film Festival will be held September 22nd through October 12th at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center. The festival will focus on featuring various new films that will be premiering from 18 different Latin American regions.


On September 18th the National Zoo will be hosting a Fiesta Musical with animal demonstrations, Hispanic and Latin music, Latin dancers, and traditional foods and crafts.


Washington DC is also a great place to visit the monuments of various iconic Hispanic figures that have played an important role and contributed to many of the unique events in the history of the Americas. These important individuals include Jose Artigas, Simon Bolivar, Admiral David G. Farragut, Bernardo de Galvez, Benito Pablo Juarez, and General Jose de San Martin.

Also, the United Spanish War Veterans Memorial is located on Memorial Avenueon the west side of the Arlington Memorial Bridge outside Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.


In our own 14K Restaurant & Lounge, we will be honoring this special month with complimentary Seafood Tacos with the purchase of two dinner entrees. Chef’s special preparation of these delicious Seafood Tacos reminds me of Mazatlan in Mexico’s Golden Coast featuring fresh seafood served with tomato, shallots, jalapeños, fresh lime, and cilantro mayonnaise – a twist to the traditional Mexican ceviche with North American influence.

Discover some of the great restaurants in Washington serving Latin American and Caribbean food, just a short walk from the hotel.

Learn more about the events scheduled for the National Hispanic Heritage Month.

See our specials and book your room at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza now – be sure to book your table at 14K Restaurant as well.


Summer in the City

August 5, 2009

Washington DC is a city that attracts a lot of summer tourists and we’re delighted you’re here visiting the nation’s capital. It’s a great time to come as many residents are on vacation and things are a little quieter. Here are a few hints to make your stay more enjoyable:

It’s called “rush hour” for a reason

DC is also called a “city that works” and it’s one of the few places where people brag about the number of hours they put in at the office. Do yourself a favor and stay downtown (we’ll immodestly suggest the Hamilton Crowne Plaza, located within easy walking distance of the White House and the Smithsonian museums) or stay off the metro until after rush hour ends at 9:30 a.m. Either enjoy a leisurely breakfast or explore your neighborhood. Then buy an all day Metro pass so you don’t have to worry about how much is on your farecard – you can ride all day after 9:30.

It’s still summer

While Washington is enjoying a wonderfully temperate season so far, it is still summer, and shade can be in short supply on the National Mall. Bring hats and sunscreen and try to plan your day so you’re inside at least part of the day.

Don’t try to do too much

Many people don’t realize that the Smithsonian isn’t a single museum, it’s actually 13 different museums all over the city (and Udvar-Hazy Center is actually almost an hour outside the city) and the offerings range from the Postal Museum to the National Zoo. If you want to be sure to hit the highlights, check out this Scavenger Hunt from the Smithsonian.

Some things need to be arranged in advance

If you plan to visit the White House or your Congressional representatives, be sure to make those arrangements well in advance by contacting your Congressional representative. Even if you are unable to arrange a White House tour, you should still stop by the White House Visitor’s Center and walk by the park in front of the White House for a photo.

Not everything is expensive

There are plenty of free (and nearly free) things to do in Washington including daily free concerts at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center; National Theatre offers free family-friendly performances on Saturday mornings; visit Old Stone House  in Georgetown, the oldest building in Washington DC built before the Revolutionary War; or take a bike tour with a National Park Ranger on the National Mall (bikes not included).

Have fun!

Most of all, have fun while you’re here and enjoy.

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