By Whit Honea
If you need a reason for last minute travel this month, check out Washington DC and the upcoming WalkingTown DC, May 22 – 23. WalkingTown DC is a biannual celebration of the District of Columbia’s history and treasures through two days of free walking and bike tours across the eight wards of the city. The event attracts thousands, and while many Washington DC hotels along the routes may be booked, don’t let that keep you from trying to reserve a room!
Take advantage of cancellations and try your luck at some of the finer hotels the city has to offer. After all, you’ll need a place to kick off those shoes and soak your feet in style at the end of the day. Each of these hotels offers a convenient home-base for attending the event:
- The Willard Washington DC, an Intercontinental Hotel is called the “Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania Avenue” for a reason. This Washington, DC hotel is only two blocks from the White House and the National Mall, and its grandeur is impressive and awe-inspiring. The famous Round Robin Bar and the relaxing atmosphere of the Red Door Spa are perfect ways to unwind after a day of walking.
- The Mandarin Oriental Washington DC has a breathtaking view of Capitol Hill, the Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. It’s also walking distance to the extensive museums of the Smithsonian. Institutional Investor magazine ranked the Mandarin Oriental as one of the top 100 hotels in the world, so yes, it’s nice. The Spa is a Zen-filled tribute to eastern culture and features amethyst steam rooms, experience showers, a burnished bronze ceiling, oak floors, and light sycamore walls.
- The JW Marriott Washington DC has convenient access to the Metro system so that you can easily join any of the walking tours in the eight wards. The lure of the JW Marriott is in its accessibility, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hold its own in terms of ambience and comfort.
Cross the river for more options
If your last minute travel searches turn up only booked hotels in Washington, DC, try hotels in Alexandria, Va., located just across the Potomac. This historic town has easy access to the capital and all the eight wards via the Metro. And if you still can’t find a room in DC for May, book one in advance for the next WalkingTown DC event in early fall, September 25-26.
Whit Honea is a travel writer living in Seattle with his wife and two children. He packs light and travels often to far-away places, exotic lands and more than a few theme parks.