Discounted Train Travel, New Hotels & More: What's Happening in Washington, D.C.

by  Karen Gardiner | Apr 1, 2014
Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C.
Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. / BackyardProduction/iStock

Although some of the biggest news from Washington, D.C. is the long-awaited reopening of the Washington Monument on May 12, there's much more than history and politics to tempt you to visit the nation's capital this year.

Getting There
Train travel in the United States rarely comes cheap, but you can at least get the best possible fares to D.C. via Amtrak's Northeast Regional route by booking 14 days in advance. Doing so saves 25 percent on regular fares. Current advance purchase fares to Washington start at $38 from Philadelphia and $49 from New York City. Amtrak has also recently launched new evening service on its fast train, the Acela Express, between New York City and Washington, D.C., leaving at 8 p.m. from Washington Union Station, arriving at New York Penn Station at 10:45 p.m. – which could give you a little extra time in the city without having to spring for a hotel.

When it opens on May 1st, the Marriott Marquis, Washington D.C. will become the biggest hotel in the city, occupying almost an entire city block and featuring an underground concourse connecting it to the Washington Convention Center. Early June rates at the 1,175-room hotel start at $199 per night – reasonable for a city where rates rarely dip below $200.

Museum Exhibits
On display through August 31st, the Newseum, in partnership with Paramount Pictures, presents Anchorman: The Exhibit, featuring more than 60 props and costumes from the 2004 movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Items on display include newscaster Ron Burgundy's "I'M #1" license plate, jazz flute, and mustache brush, as well as his iconic burgundy business suit, prominently displayed in a revolving glass case, and a re-creation of the KVWN-TV anchor desk and news set where visitors can pose for photos. The exhibit also takes a more serious tone by telling the story of the challenges women faced when they arrived in newsrooms in the 1970s. A Newseum-produced film features interviews with contemporary news anchors Connie Chung, Maury Povich, and Melba Tolliver.

The American Cool exhibit at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery examines the meaning of "cool" through photographs of American icons from Billie Holliday to Debbie Harry; from Miles Davis to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Madonna, and Patti Smith, by photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe and Diane Arbus. Runs through September 7.

Opening in the lively Adams Morgan neighborhood in February, 2014, Roofer's Union offers a fun menu of sophisticated takes on classic childhood favorites including andouille corndog with cheddar whiz ($10), two dirty water dogs ($8), and a pretzel hot fudge sundae ($6).

The upscale Italian seafood restaurant Fiola Mare opened up on the Georgetown waterfront this March. Menus are created using the freshest sustainable ingredients available, so they change daily and seasonally. They may include a gourmet selection of east and west coast oysters, middleneck clam, Blue Bay mussels, Maine lobster, prawns, tuna tartare, and a Catalina Island sea urchin that serves up to three people and costs $55.

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