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Summer/Fall 2014 Journalist eNews

We hope you enjoy this latest edition of our Journalist E-News and are inspired by the exciting things happening in Washington, DC. From the buzz-worthy dining and craft beer scene to $8.5 billion in new development to a full roster of festivals, exhibitions and special events – it’s an exciting time to be in the nation’s capital.

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Summer/Fall 2014 Journalist eNews

District Developments: New Hotels and Hospitality Inventory

DC Cool: Washington Insider Tips and DC Cool Kids Guide

Hotels: Developments, Packages and Updates – Summertime Hotel Deals

Restaurants: New and Noteworthy

Summertime: Star-Spangled Celebration, July 4th and Festivals

Summer Calendar of Events

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DISTRICT DEVELOPMENTS: HOTELS AND ATTRACTIONS 

The D.C. Skyline
The skyline above the nation’s capital hints at new developments, apartment buildings, major retail developments, as well as national monuments and hotels. Across all four quadrants, there are 60-odd cranes busily hoisting steel and glass, a testament to the $8.5billion in physical development underway. 

Hotels and retail
Several major hotel projects have recently concluded, including two in the immediate vicinity of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, attached by underground concourse to the 2.3 million-square-foot convention center, boasts 1,175-rooms and 105,000-square feet of superior function space. It is the largest hotel in Washington, DC and the largest to open in the United States this year. Nearby, the all-suite Cambria Suites Washington, D.C./Convention Center at the CityMarket at O (a mixed-use development) is currently welcoming guests but will celebrate its grand opening on August 4, 2014. The Hilton Garden Inn Washington, DC/Georgetown Area in West End, the restaurant-packed neighborhood flanking Georgetown, Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle, boasts 238-rooms, a rooftop pool and Café Deluxe eatery at the street level. 

Opening soon: Hyatt Place Washington, DC/US Capitol in the NoMa (North-of-Massachusetts-Avenue neighborhood) is scheduled to open with 200-all-suite rooms, on July 1, 2014. 

On May 31, 2014, the Trump organization took possession of the Old Post Office (Washington’s second tallest building) according to a 60-year lease with the GSA. The historic building will receive a $200 million renovation and emerge in 2017 as the luxury 271-room Trump Hotel property in Washington, DC. The Old Post Office will include street-level restaurants, a cafe and a library. Its atrium is to have a fitness center, a 4,000-square-foot Mar-a-Lago spa by Ivanka Trump, and meeting space. 

Construction also continues in the Penn Quarter at CityCenterDC, the 10-acre mixed-use development that The New York Times called “a $700 million complex envisioned as a modern-day Rockefeller Center.” Among the high-end retailers expected to open at the street level are Burberry, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Longchamp, and Louis Vuitton. 

On and near the National Mall
The cast iron dome of the U.S. Capitol is being prepped for a major renovation that will envelop the building in scaffolding through 2017. These fixes are the first major renovations since 1962, and will not affect Capitol tours, with the exception of VIP tours of the dome. 

Repairs to the Washington Monument have concluded and the obelisk is again open for tours, May 12-Labor Day, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; off-season, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The monument is closed July 3, July 4 and December 25. Visitors with timed tickets are invited to take an elevator to the top of the 555-foot monument. A limited number of tickets are available, first-come, first-served at the same-day ticket kiosk at the base of the memorial, and can also be reserved in advance online on www.nps.gov

Construction on the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture continues. The building, designed by David Adjaye, will occupy a space between the Washington Monument and the National Museum of American History, the last designated museum space on the National Mall. When the museum opens in 2016, it will be a centerpiece venue for performances and ceremonies, as well as a primary exhibition space. 

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is embarking on an expansion fueled by a $50 million gift by their chairman David Rubenstein. The new additions will create dedicated classroom space for school- and community-based residencies, as well as flexible rehearsal/performance space. Steven Holl Architects has been recommended, and designs are forthcoming. The proposed pavilions would be the first new additions to the complex in 40 years. The center hopes to begin the redevelopment this year and conclude by spring 2017. 

 

Transportation: Silver Line, Streetcars, Capital BikeShare
Summer 2014 will inaugurate a new line in the DC metro area’s subway system. The Silver Line will run from Prince George’s county in Maryland, through Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia to Tysons Corner, a shopping mecca, and on to Reston where riders can catch a shuttle to and from Dulles Airport. By the end of its first year, Metro expects the Silver Line will have 25,000 daily riders and 50,000 round trips. 

More than half a century has passed since the last streetcars rattled to a halt, but in 2014 streetcars are expected to return, at least in the Atlas District. The plan is to run cars along a 2.2 mile-long line down H Street corridor NE, from Benning Road behind Union Station. There is no targeted start date. 

DC continues to expand the number of dedicated bike lanes across the city. Capital BikeShare, a bike sharing system involving 2,500 bicycles across 300 stations in metropolitan DC, celebrated its 7 millionth trip in June 2014. 

Click here to read our release on new developments in the District.

DC COOL

Experience DC like a Local
DC Cool, Destination DC’s year-long marketing initiative engages travelers with the federal side of the nation’s capital and the delights of the District by connecting them with local experts who share their tips for living like a local. The campaign’s microsite: DCcool.com is a virtual little black book, an exciting patchwork of interviews, videos, images and recommendations. The site is divided into sections: Eat + Drink; See + Do; Stay + Go; Insiders.

Content is at once practical (five easy-to-plan date nights, for example) and surprising. DC Cool mixes evergreen tips with seasonal specials and deals. Would-be travelers can plan a trip that speaks to their personal passions by consulting lists including 10 LGBTQ nightspots, six independent bookstores or 9 museum-after-dark programs. DC Cool also posts money-saving specials such as hotel packages. Among them, the “Gal on the Go” package at the Four Seasons Washington DC; the bicycle valet at the Park Hyatt Hotel and more. 

DC Cool connects would-be visitors with movers and shakers. Scroll through the Insiders section and engage with the likes of mixologist Duane Sylvester, who discusses the importance of ice and his innovative cool creations that alter your cocktail as you drink it. Sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, co-founders of Georgetown Cupcake, share their neighborhood’s sweet side. Out-and-about artists Kate Warren and Martin Swift map their favorites throughout the city. The Washington Wizards’ point guard John Wall dishes on his favorite places to eat, and giant panda keeper Nicole MacCorkle shares the milestones of her new charge, baby Bao Bao. 

NEW for Summer 2014: DC Cool Kids Activity Guide
To drive engagement and highlight the many budget-friendly, only-in-DC experiences on and off the National Mall, Destination DC is distributing 100,000 copies of a free eight-page DC Cool Kids Activity Guide, an extension of its year-long marketing campaign DC Cool. A printable PDF version of the guide and expanded editorial content can be found on www.Washington.org/DCcoolkids.

Packed with class DC-themed puzzles including connect-the-dots and word search challenges, the colorful DC Cool Kids Activity Guide also spotlights family activities at five popular DC-area attractions: George Washington’s Mount Vernon; National Museum of Natural History; National Museum of American History; National Zoological Park and the Newseum. 

To further inspire visitors, guide-holders are encouraged to visit all five venues, collecting a DC Cool Kids stamp at each attraction. Participants who collect five stamps will be eligible to enter a sweepstakes to win a summertime trip for four to Washington, DC in 2015. DC Cool Kids Activity Guides will be distributed around the city at member hotel concierges and street-side boxes along with Washington, DC’s Official Visitor Guide. The guide is supported online with family-friendly content from DC Cool Kid insider picks to free things to do on www.Washington.org/DCcoolkids

The website is jam-packed with suggestions for family fun like hands-on attractions at area museums or a hotel with an in-room campfire. Roll up your sleeves and explore DC Cool: www.DCcool.com 

 

HOTELS: PROGRESS & PACKAGES

New Hotels on the Rise
The brand new, 1,175-room Marriott Marquis Washington, DC held its grand opening on June 10, 2014. With a concourse connecting it to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, five original dining concepts, innovative grab-and-go room service, and seemingly up-to-the-second technology, the hotel is the largest in Washington, DC. Marriott Marquis celebrates its 4,000th property amid a wave of new hotels set to hit the city. 

Here are three others to pay close attention to:

Cambria Suites Washington, D.C. Convention Center
As another convention center hotel, Cambria Suites is in the heart of downtown. The hotel is a part of the City Market at O mixed-use development and offers copious views of the city skyline.
Specs: 182 suites, 1,200 square feet of meeting space, bistro-style restaurant and full-service bar, rooftop terrace, indoor pool, dry cleaning service, 24-hour fitness center
Status: Accepting reservations now, official opening August 4, 2014

Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC/Georgetown Area
This new lodging option appeases big-time shoppers, foodies and Georgetown fans alike. Situated in West End, the Hilton Garden Inn is a modern-style hub designed for tourists, locals and business travelers.
Specs:
238 guestrooms, 3,000 square feet of meeting space, Cafe Deluxe restaurant, outdoor rooftop pool, garden terrace, 24-hour fitness center
Status:
Opened in May 2014

Hyatt Place – Washington DC/US Capitol
Located in the blossoming NoMa neighborhood, Hyatt Place will provide guests with a comfortable, laid-back and lounge atmosphere. The 14-floor hotel offers southern views of the U.S. Capitol building.
Specs: 200 oversized guestrooms, 1,600 square feet of meeting space, five-minute walk to Metro; outdoor pool and terrace overlooking N Street, a signature restaurant, 24-hour fitness center
Status: Begins accepting reservations on July 1, 2014

 

 

HOTEL DEALS: SUMMER PACKAGES & YEARLONG DISCOUNTS
In June, Parents Magazine executive editor Chandra Turner described Washington, DC as a “mecca of freeness.” Indeed, we’re a destination that gets high marks for free, family-friendly activities, but wallet-friendly vacations (and business trips) are sweetened with hotel room deals and value-adding packages. Destination DC’s official website, Washington.org houses a hotel booking service replete with deals and seasonal savings – also available by phone: 800-422-8644. At time of publication there were more than 99 lodging options on our hotel booking site operated by aRes. 

 

Among the deals offered on Washington.org by aRes: 

- Best Western Georgetown Hotel and Suites: Save 12% on all stays.

- Residence Inn by Marriott Washington DC/Capitol: Stay three or more nights, save 10%.

- The Dupont Circle Hotel: Advance purchase three days out, save 10%.”

- The Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters and The St. Gregory Luxury Hotel and Suites: Advance purchase 14 days out, save 15%.

Washington.org’s online booking site offers packages too, including:  

“DC Cool Kids Package” at the Palomar Washington, DC a Kimpton Hotel – Packages start at just $149 a night and with it comes a DC Cool Kids Activity Guide and $25 in credit per day towards parking or dining. The kicker is house made ice cream sandwiches from in-house Urbana, an acclaimed restaurant serving flavorful Western Mediterranean cuisine.

“Dine and Dash around Dupont Circle” at The Embassy Row Hotel - Package includes $50 dining credit (provided in a Visa gift card), two one-day Metro passes, continental breakfast for two each morning, complimentary WiFi. Rates from $189 per night (double occupancy).

“Romance or Retreat” at The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel - Package includes a bottle of Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, $50 in-room dining credit, unlimited in-room movies.  Rates from $199 per night (double occupancy).

“Washington DC Sightseeing Tour Vacation Package” at Comfort Inn & Suites near Union Station -  Package includes choice of DC sightseeing tour, complimentary hot breakfast buffet, complimentary WiFi, complimentary scheduled shuttle service to Union Station, a meal voucher for restaurants in the Union Station food court (one per person, per day).  Rates from $222 per night (double occupancy).

Some hotels celebrate their location with July 4th and American history-themed packages: 

The Jefferson Hotel’s “Spend the Summer with Tommy” package: Take 20% off the best available rate, and have some fun with the hotel’s official in-house historian, and a cartoon Tommy based on the hotel’s namesake: Thomas Jefferson.

W Washington DC celebrates July 4th with a “Boom with a View”: The closest hotel to the White House offers two tickets to the rooftop fireworks viewing party and overnight parking.

The Mandarin Oriental Washington DC offers “Fantastic Fireworks,” a July 4th offer. Receive a star-spangled amenity and in-room views from the luxury property located along the Southwest waterfront. 

July 4th Dinner and Fireworks at the Hay-Adams Hotel: Enjoy a three-course dinner for two with wine and open bar at the lobby level, then trip to the 9th floor for truly exceptional views of the July 4th fireworks. The historic hotel is across Lafayette Park from the White House. This experience is limited to hotel guests only.

Arts-rich Washington, DC is also inspiration for culturally themed hotel packages, several inspired by the Phillips Collection’s “Made in the USA” show, a retrospective of the gallery’s landmark holding of modern American art (thru August 31, 2014). 

Kimpton’s Dupont Circle property, Hotel Palomar has a Phillips Collection package inspired by “Made in the USA.” Among the guest amenities: two tickets to the exhibition, desserts for two at Urbana, and an artist’s sketch pad and pencils. 

In celebration of the spirit of American excellence that pervades the Park Hyatt Washington, the luxury West End property has dedicated a “Made in the USA” suite, inspired in part by the block buster exhibition at the nearby Phillips Collection. Guests are welcome to book the suite, decorated with artisanal crafts by American artists (available for purchase) in a package that includes amenities such as a pair of tickets to the exhibition and breakfast for two at Blue Duck Tavern, a seasonally-driven fine dining restaurant.       

Kimpton’s recently renovated Hotel Rouge has a culture package of a different stripe, inspired by Netflix. Binge-watch the second season of “Orange Is the New Black.” Groups of up to 10 guests are invited to power through the near-addictive drama (or any television event of their choosing) for three hours of television in either the private Red Hot or Lava lounges. Additional food and beverage catering add-ons are available too. 

What’s black and white and cute all over? Giant panda baby Bao Bao, currently on display daily with her proud mama Mei Xiang at the Smithsonian National Zoo.  We’re entranced by the baby’s roly-poly antics, but nothing beats enjoying her in person. Several District hotels have created panda-themed, family-friendly packages designed to underline the family fun in Rock Creek Park, including:Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown; the Ritz-Carlton Washington DC and the Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters.

We encourage you to explore all offerings here

 

RESTAURANTS: INCREASING THE MID-ATLANTIC FEAST 

New and Noteworthy DC Dining, Spring-Summer 2014
The restaurant scene in Washington, DC is booming. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington estimates there were 200 openings (and counting) between 2012 and 2014. According to the Washington Business Journal, food and beverage sales totaled more than $68 million in the 14th Street-Logan Circle corridor in 2013. Area foodies feel the difference: there are just so many new places to discover. Locals and visitors are hungry for unique experiences, chic and private places to host colleagues and to taste the world in the Mid-Atlantic.

NEW in 2014

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (January)
The grand lobby of the 20th-century Union Trust building near the White House is now home to a meat-and-crustacean palace, an offshoot of the Miami institution. Here, you’re as likely to see lobbyists powwowing over prime cuts of aged Chicago-style chops as you are tables of girlfriends cracking into the pale pink claws.

Menu MBK (January)
Three concepts under one roof from Belgian chef Frederik de Pue. M is for Market: fine foods (muffins, coffees, soups, sandwiches, cookies and gourmet extras) to go on the first floor. B is for Bistro: a third floor fine-casual restaurant with a beer bar that opens after 5 p.m. And K is for Kitchen: a six-seat chef’s table where de Pue and crew serve a five-course ($65) feast. 

El Rey (January)
An all-weather beer garden with a retractable glass roof, El Rey serves tacos by the basket, pitchers of margaritas and sangria as well as Central and South American beers. The joint, co-owned by the team that operates Marvin and Brixton, hosts live music and broadcasts Mexican wrestling. A late night snack window serves crowds for an hour after last call.

Fiola Mare (February)
Take in Potomac River views from the sophisticated Georgetown dining room and bar where Chef Fabio Trabocchi treats seafood with a light Italian touch. There are pale rainbows of crudo, grilled lobster, smoked gnocchi and grilled fish. The menu changes daily according to the catch. Tom Welling’s desserts are not to be skipped. 

Lupo Verde (February)
Trip to 14th Street for casual southern Italian fare in a two-story Victorian with an exposed brick-meets-Carrera marble interior. The team behind Station 4 serves warm welcomes, pizzas and Negronis with house-made vermouth. A mini-market on the first floor sells pastas, meats and cheeses to go. 

Aggio (February)
Inside Range, Bryan Voltaggio’s 14,000-square-foot restaurant, is a 82-seat Italian restaurant-within-a-restaurant. The innovative Top Chef favorite serves a la carte (refined pastas $14) and a six course tasting menu ($95) in Friendship Heights. The location – inside the Chevy Chase Pavilion is unexpected – but the food, with touches like fried oysters masquerading as croutons in a Caesar, is witty. 

The District Fishwife (February)
A sustaintable seafood counter opened by Australian Fiona Lewis inside the ever-expanding Union Market (market and artisanal food court) serves some of the best fish and chips in the city.

Roofers Union (February)
Classic American bar fare served on three stories including the eponymous roof in Adams Morgan. Chef Marjorie Meek Bradley whips up treats like French onion dip, snap peas dressed with tahini, Andouille corndogs, steak frites and fudgy sundaes. Cocktails are imaginative, many featuring amaro. 

Dolcezza Factory (March)
What was originally a small gelato experiment started in a Georgetown basement has become an empire serving Argentine-style ice cream by the scoop at four locations and to 50-plus fine restaurants. The factory, near Union Market in NoMa, features a tasting station with views of the production floor. There is also an elaborate coffee lab, true to Rob Duncan and Violetta Edelman’s passions for honest, responsibly sourced fine food. 

Mission (March)
Look for the twinkling lights to the north of Dupont Circle to find this fancy taqueria. Order a “Champerita” or split a quartito of tequila (there are 50) in the space that was formerly One Lounge. The Caliente Burger is topped with ghost pepper cheese. 

Red Apron and The Partisan – Penn Quarter (March)
DC’s favorite butchery has opened a flagship in the heart of the Penn Quarter that serves breakfast and lunch and then morphs into a steak house once the sun sets. There’s a meat counter to inspire home cooks but the burgers, sandwiches, tigeles (an English muffin by way of Italy) are not to be missed. The Partisan spoils carnivores with 40 varieties of cured meats. Great for groups, it offers dishes to share like a whole rotisserie fish, double cut pork chops and a roasted pig’s head that serves 2-6 adventurous eaters. 

Toro Toro (March)
Chef Richard Sandoval’s pan-Latin steakhouse specializing in churrasco meats served tableside in a lounge setting downtown at Franklin Square. This large restaurant serves lunch and dinner and boasts private dining spaces and a downstairs party room. 

GCDC (April)
The trend for upscale-casual is embodied by this grilled cheese and wine bar in downtown’s lobby corridor. Expect fanciful interpretations of the classic comfort (Korean style-steak and kimchi) with a side of tomato soup.  

Soi 38 (April)
Thai street food served with verve in the West End. The small plates pack a punch and the joint is dressed to the nines. It’s playful, noisy and spicy. There’s Mekong whiskey-tamarind punch to wash down red curry duck, pineapple fried rice and sweet pandanus leaf-wrapped milk jelly. 

STK (May)
The modern steakhouse with a Vegas vibe brings the bling to Dupont South. Think swanky nightclub with a serious steak menu.

Café Deluxe-West End (May)
A local chainlet, this friendly bistro serves American classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a decidedly kid-friendly spot (crayon and sippy cups are provided) but just as good for groups of friends in need of a relaxed bite. This West End outpost in on the ground floor of the Hilton Garden Inn Washington, DC/Georgetown Area.

Tico (June)
Michael Schlow brings his taco y tequila concept to the bustling restaurant row along 14th Street NW. Like Schlow’s original Tico in Boston, this restaurant will reflect the chef’s travels through Latin America, Mexico and Spain. 

Still to Open in 2014:

The delicious collision of Mid-Atlantic craft food and drink culture with neighborhood redevelopment projects continues in the second half of 2014 with hotly anticipated restaurant and bar openings. Among the still-to-open spots are:

America Eats Tavern at the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner (June)

James Beard honoree José Andrés resurrects his spin on an American eatery but reenergizing the cannon on classic domestic eats inside the Ritz Carlton at Tyson Corner, VA. There’s an Andrés spin on breakfast, with dishes like maple-glazed scrapple, a take on shrimp and grits and more. The lunch and dinner menu emphasizes home-grown dishes with a twist, with plays on chicken and dumplings, jambalaya, pot pie and hush puppies. Ever-playful, Andrés even offers a Hudson Valley foie gras s'mores dessert. Lucas Paya is in charge of the wine program. The list will be entirely made up of U.S. wines with an emphasis on Virginia. Think Food Group’s cocktail inventor Juan Coronado has developed a drinks menu of classic cocktails and contemporary drinks (the Hen House, for example, includes Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, lemon juice, honey syrup and egg white). Those who choose not to imbibe can try out an egg cream, homemade soft drink or a milkshake.

Brookland Pint (possibly July)
A beer-lovers pub in the Monroe Street Market area of Brookland, near the National Catholic Basilica, from the team behind Meridian Pint. There will be 20-plus American craft brews, salads, burgers and vegan options.

Rural Society (Summer 2014)
Chef Jose Garces will open an Argentine steakhouse inside the Loews Madison Hotel in downtown DC. There will be wood-fired meats and fish prepared on a grill in the center of the restaurant, a South American wine list, whiskey and Italian aperitifs. The cocktail program will show influences from Argentina and South America in general.

Maketto (possibly Summer 2014)
Erik Bruner-Yang, the maverick behind the lauded ramen shop Toki Underground, is buddying up with Will Sharp of the clothing label DURKL and coffee roaster Chris Vigilante to open a mixed-use restaurant inspired by an Asian night market. The new business will be located near Toki on H Street NW. 

China Chilcano (possibly Fall 2014)
James Beard Award-darling José Andrés will open a second restaurant this year, his sixth downtown on the block of 7th Street NW near Jaleo-downtown and Oyamel, this one inspired by the Chifa cuisine: the unique food culture of Chinese immigrants in Peru. Dishes will include ceviche, dumplings and aeropuerta (a mix of chow mein and fried rice). 

Penn Commons (opening date TBD)
Passion Food Hospitality (DC Coast, Ceiba, District Commons) presents another upscale casual American eatery, this time in the Penn Quarter. Dishes will include a brick-pressed chicken with rainbow chard, shrimp and grits and other American fare from chef Jeff Tunks. There will be 50 beers on tap, 50 wines by the glass. 

Rare Sweets (opening date TBD)
Patisseur Meredith Tomason will open a shop at CityCenter DC, the large, luxury mixed use development in the Penn Quarter near Metro Center. It will be her first brick and mortar location for the Union Kitchen operator, selling cakes, ice cream, sorbet and candies. The craft veteran plans to hold pop-up events before the opening.

Review DC’s food scene: http://washington.org/topics/restaurants-food-wine

LOOKING AHEAD: Summertime Festivals

JUNE

AFI Docs, June 18-22: Dubbed the “pre-eminent documentary festival in the U.S.” by Screen International, the AFI Docs Film Festival showcases DC’s role as “Docu-wood” during this weeklong festival. Held at AFI International in Silver Spring, Md., AFI Docs includes screenings, discussions and parties.

National Capital BBQ Battle, June 21-22: The contest along Pennsylvania Avenue features a cook-off between top barbecue purveyors, great barbecue restaurants from the DC region and around the country, cooking demonstrations, free food samples, interactive cooking displays and children's activities.

DC Jazz Festival, June 24-29: Jazz lovers gather in the nation’s capital to enjoy more than 100 performances at more than 40 venues over 10 days. Jazz can be heard throughout DC’s neighborhoods and on the National Mall. Events also include Family Fun days. This year celebrates ten years of this popular festival.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival, June 25-29; July 2-6: A global showcase on the National Mall, this popular festival features several different countries and topics of focus each year. Held over several weekends, it typically overlaps with Fourth of July for some family fun while waiting for the evening fireworks. The 2014 themes are “China: Tradition and the Art of Living” and “Kenya: Mambo Poa”.

JULY FESTIVALS

Independence Day Festivities, July 4: More than 100 marching band units step out at noon along Constitution Avenue for the Fourth of July parade. Musical groups entertain from mid-afternoon until evening. The National Symphony Orchestra and all-star guests perform at 8 p.m. before a spectacular fireworks show at 9:20 p.m. - See more at: http://washington.org/DC-guide-to/annual-events-festivals#sthash.qeeMRBP...

Capital Fringe Festival, July 10-24: Throughout the two-and-a-half-week festival, audiences can choose from more than 500 audacious and inventive performances of theater, dance, music, poetry and puppetry performed by more than 120 local, national and international artists at more than 30 of the city’s unique venues.

Washington Kastles Tennis Tournament, July 9-22: Tennis champs Martina Hingis and Venus Williams lead the team as they represent DC in this local summer tennis tournament. The 2014 season has moved from the pop-up stadium along the Southwest waterfront to the Smith Center on George Washington University campus. 

Citi Open, July 26-August 3: One of the top 20 men’s tennis tournaments in the world, the WTA International Level is played simultaneously with the ATP World Tour 500. Andy Roddick, James Blake and Andre Agassi have all competed in this Washington, DC tour stop from late July through early August.

AUGUST FESTIVALS

Summer Restaurant Week Metro DC, Dates TBA: For one week in August—and one in January—more than 200 of DC’s best restaurants offer three-course, prix fixe meals. Don’t miss this chance to dine at some of the city’s most buzzed-about restaurants. Reservations are strongly encouraged.  

DC Beer Week, August 17-24: Seven days of brews-you-can-use celebrating DC’s burgeoning craft beer movement. Find tap take-overs, beer tastings and brewing seminars held in taverns, pubs, restaurants and unexpected spots.  

DC Blues Festival, August 30: The nation’s capital celebrates the blues with the 26th annual DC Blues Festival. The one-day event features a who’s who in the jazz world. Plus, kids will love the family-friendly workshops and instrument “petting zoo.”

National Book Festival, August 30: The Library of Congress hosts a celebration of books and reading at this popular weekend festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The event features award-winning authors, illustrators, poets, readings, signings and family-friendly activities.

National Symphony Orchestra Labor Day Concert, August 31: The National Symphony Orchestra performs a free concert in a DC Labor Day weekend tradition, beginning at 8 p.m. For an in-depth guide on all there is to do Labor Day weekend in DC, click here.

SEPTEMBER FESTIVALS

The Nation’s Triathlon, September 7: The Nation’s Tri invites athletes to run, bike and swim their way past DC’s famous monuments and memorials in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

AT&T Nation’s Football Classic, September 13: DC’s newest college football tradition renews the longstanding rivalry between Howard University and Morehouse College. The football game is the anchor of a weekend of festivities.

DC Shorts Film Festival, September 11-21: The DC Shorts Festival spotlights independent short films with screenings, plus discussions with the established and emerging filmmakers who created them.

H Street Festival, September 20: Discover the up-and-coming H Street, an area known for its performing arts venues and quirky nightclubs, and its surrounding neighborhood has to offer at this annual fun festival. The H Street corridor will be home to the soon-to-launch streetcar initiative. 

Walkingtown DC & Bikingtown DC, Dates TBD: It’s OK to be car-free in the nation’s capital, and Cultural Tourism DC showcases that annually with Walkingtown and Bikingtown DC. The 10-day event features walking and bike tours that introduce participants to the District’s unique neighborhoods.

Find a calendar’s worth of editorial inspiration on our festivals page.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS 

From star-spangled celebrations to cool brews, summertime offerings are crowd-pleasers.  The sunny season is jam-packed with festivals: jazz, theater, international culture and literature to name a few. Find more events on Washington.org and our insiders’ site DCcool.com.

Disney’s The Lion King
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts/June 17- August 17
Imaginative puppetry, Elton John tunes and Broadway belters make the coming-of-age musical about Simba one to experience when it returns for a limited engagement.  

Quicken Loans National
Congressional Country Club/June 23-29
The PGA Tour touches down with a new sponsor and a $6.5 million purse. The invitational tournament is hosted by Tiger Woods and benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. 

10th Annual D.C. Jazz Festival
Citywide/June 24-29
More than 125 performances tap the long history of America’s music and its roots in the city, birthplace of Duke Ellington. 

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
National Mall/June 25-29 and July 2-6
The annual museum of living culture (music, storytelling, cooking, craft and labor, sport and art) takes over the National Mall between the Smithsonian Institution museums.

This Land is Your Land
U.S. Botanic Garden/ July 1-October 13
The home grown talents of members of the Garden Club of America are showcased in a display of photographs of plants, gardens and landscapes. 

A Capitol Fourth
West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol/ July 4
Celebrate Independence Day on the National Mall with a cavalcade of American songs. The concert, to be simulcast on PBS, will feature Patti LaBelle, Jordin Sparks and Michael McDonald. Conductor John Williams will mark the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with a new arrangement. Fireworks follow follies. Locals know the full dress rehearsal on July 3 at 8 p.m. has just as much pomp with fewer crowds. 

One Life: Grant and Lee
National Portrait Gallery/ July 4-May 31, 2015
This exhibition, a nod to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, presents a compelling comparison of rival generals. Find more commemorative events on Washington.org/cwcr. 

Community Day
National Museum of Women in the Arts/ July 6
Enjoy free admission to the only museum in the world dedicated to women artists at the monthly open house. Tour the permanent collection and two special exhibitions: “Total Art: Contemporary Video,” a collection of art films by 10 pioneers and “Meret Oppenheim: Tender Friendships,” a consideration of the Surrealist genius. 

Carrie: The Musical
Studio Theatre/ July 9- August 3
The intimate 2ndStage presents a rocking take on Stephen King’s tale about a terrifying, telekinetic teen.

Capital Fringe
Citywide/ July 10-27
DC lets its freak flag fly at this stage and street theater celebration with 100 new madcap works.  

Brew at the Zoo
Smithsonian’s National Zoo/ July 17
Sip among the sloths, quaff among the quail and chug among the cheetahs with beer-lovers of all predilections. Sample 60-plus brews to raise monies for conservation efforts. 

Salvatore Scarpitta: Traveler
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden/ July 17 – January 11, 2015
The first major East Coast retrospective of American sculptural artist who served during WWII as one of the “Monuments Men” finding and preserving treasures stolen by the Nazis. 

U.S. Mid-Atlantic Air Guitar Championships
9:30 Club/July 26
Goofy and sweaty, this two-round contest will determine the three Mid-Atlantic champs who will compete at the national level. There’s only one rule: All guitars must be invisible. 

Citi Open Tennis Tournament
FitzGerald Tennis Center/July 26- August 3
The ATP tournament warms the pros up for the U.S. Open at the gorgeous and intimate tennis arena in Rock Creek Park.

DC Beer Week
Citywide/ August 17-24
A celebration of beer “from conception to consumption” involves 180+ events: beer dinners, tastings, river cruises, happy hours and more at breweries, bars and unexpected locales. 

Marketing Outlook Meeting
Marriott Marquis Washington, DC/ August 21
Destination DC’s senior leadership presents a state-of-the-union of tourism and hospitality in the District, as well as a look ahead at the marketing platforms including DC Cool for 2014-2015. 

Bao Bao Birthday Event at the National Zoological Park
Smithsonian’s National Zoo/ August 23
Everybody’s favorite baby giant panda celebrates her first birthday with fanfare and fruitsicles. 

National Book Festival
Walter E. Washington Convention Center/ August 30
The Library of Congress’s celebration of the written word moves to a new home for its 14th iteration. Meet dozens of well-known authors, poets and illustrators as they read and discuss their work. 

Nation’s Football Classic
R.F.K. Stadium/ September 13
This football game between two historically black colleges is one element of this weekend of African-American alumni culture.

Craft2Wear
National Building Museum/ October 25 – 26
This popular event put on by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee offers clothing, jewelry and accessories created by artisans from all around the country.

Free and Almost Free

Washington, DC remains a city closely associated with multi-generational leisure travel inspired by the national museums and monuments. Among the exciting must-sees and new additions to our popular list of 100 Free and Almost Free Things to Do in DC.

Civil War to Civil Rights
With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War drawing to a close in 2015 there are still plenty of events and commemorations throughout the coming year. Explore itineraries, sites and exhibitions devoted to DC’s role in this important period in the dedicated Civil War to Civil Rights section of the website. 

Meet Bao Bao the baby panda at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
The cuddly giant panda cub made her debut at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on Jan. 18th, and she’s on the zoo’s panda cam. She’s the only baby panda on display at a North American zoo without admission, and a must-see.  

Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History
A think-tank for tweens and teens, this hands-on laboratory debuted at the end of 2013 and  is a treasure house for curious minds on the ground floor of the museum. There are hundreds of treasure-filled boxes to open filled with 6,000 objects, a scavenger hunt featuring bird song karaoke and an insect  zoo. Check it out here

Michelle Obama’s Second Inaugural Gown
The cherry red Jason Wu gown is on display to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s First Ladies collection. The gown will be on display for one year in the National Museum of American History, and then stored for eventual display in the Obama Presidential Library. 

NPR Tours
Tour National Public Radio’s LEED certified headquarters. The NPR world headquarters is the home base for NPR News, digital, NPR Music, technical and administrative staff. It is also the center of a network of 17 domestic bureaus, 17 international bureaus and a partner to Member Stations broadcasting NPR programs. Register in advance for the free weekday tour that departs the lobby of the NoMa building at 11 a.m. and accommodates 20 visitors at a time. 

Date For List and Archive Sort: 
Monday, June 16, 2014