Washington DC meeting planning offers planners some of the most unique and historic settings and event locations. Home to some of the most recognizable monuments and buildings in the world, Washington, DC offers endless opportunities for meeting and event planning. From the 2.3-million-square-foot Walter E. Washington Convention Center to chic restaurants and unique Washington DC event venues within the various museums of the Smithsonian Institution, a plethora of meeting and event facilities await in the nation's capital. Washington, DC is also home to more than 150 embassies, chancelleries and diplomatic residencies - many of which are available for private events.
Located within close proximity to several growing cities such as Alexandria and Arlington, Washington, DC offers several alternatives to the usual downtown DC event planning. Host your next meeting in Alexandria and take pleasure in a historic waterfront community with 18th- and 19th-century architecture, unique shops, galleries, restaurants and major hotels. Select from more than 9,000 hotel rooms and 400 restaurants located in Arlington and enjoy the luxury of a small-town meeting while situated only minutes from Reagan Washington National Airport, Arlington National Cemetery and all major Washington, DC attractions.
There is no lack of transportation options when it comes to DC meeting planning. Access to the city's many attractions, DC meeting hotels, and neighborhoods is readily available through its efficient transportation system: Metro and bus service touch almost every point of interest within the city. The DC Circulator bus provides another transportation option, serving as a connection between the National Mall, Union Station, Georgetown, and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The District also prides itself in being one of the most accessible cities in the world for the physically challenged. Metro and Smithsonian guides are available to help handicapped individuals utilize public transportation, while City Scooter Tours provide wheelchair and mobility scooter rentals for any length of time.
Well-planned from its inception, the District is dotted with beautiful parks, gardens and public spaces. West and East Potomac parks comprise more than 720 riverside acres that are divided by the Tidal Basin. In addition to 1,600 cherry trees, West Potomac Park is home to many of the city's major memorials. East Potomac Park showcases more than 11 different types of cherry trees and serves as an outdoor activity center with picnic grounds, tennis courts, three golf courses, bike paths and a large swimming pool. Rock Creek Park offers an outdoor amphitheater, playgrounds, the remains of Civil War battlements and endless acres of wooded parkland to explore and outdoor locations for Washington DC meeting planning professionals to choose from. Approximately 91 acres of wilderness preserve can be found on Theodore Roosevelt Island, dedicated to the memory of the nation's 26th president. This public park is now a habitat for numerous animals including rabbits, great owls, fox, turtles and groundhogs and has over two miles of foot trails for visitors to wander.
Planning events in Washington, DC gives you options that you would be hard-pressed to find in many other cities. Washington, DC's flourishing cultural scene is influenced by people from around the world. Whether your taste buds are craving Asian, Mediterranean, Portuguese or something else entirely, choose from an eclectic blend of restaurants such as Zengo, TenPenh, Zola, Citronelle, Rasika, DC Coast and the Old Ebbitt Grill. Catch a world-class performance at the Kennedy Center, Wolftrap, Ford's Theater or Verizon Center. Watch the Nationals play ball at Nationals Park in southeast Washington along the fast-developing Capitol Riverfront adjacent to the Navy Yard, or check out a DC United game at RFK Stadium.
Secondary to the federal government, Washington, DC's primary industry is tourism. However, there are several other notable industries thriving within this metropolitan city. The law, higher education, medical research, publishing and government research industries are booming. The city also serves as the world headquarters for many well-known companies including Atlantic Media Company, Special Olympics, Inc., AARP, Inc., Gallup, Inc. and the International Monetary Fund.
View the other pages in the Washington, DC Destination Guide to learn more information about event and meeting planning in Washington, DC.
Defined by its role as the capital of the United States, Washington, DC offers visitors the unique opportunity to experience a thriving multi-cultural city while being fully immersed in the deep history of this great nation. The District is situated on the banks of the beautiful Potomac River and has a metro area population of approximately 6 million people. Characterized by lush green spaces and magnificent architecture formed by blocks of glittering limestone and granite, this metropolitan city allures over 16 million visitors every year.
Take a stroll along the National Mall and visit one of more than 10 free museums offered by the Smithsonian Institution, such as the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum, the American Indian Museum and the Air and Space Museum. For those who prefer the outdoors, get a breath of fresh air and reflect on the trials and accomplishments of the nation's forefathers while standing at the foot of the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Memorial, World War II Memorial or Vietnam Memorial.
In the fall, brightly colored leaves, flag football games, picnickers, runners, fundraising events and concerts bring the National Mall to life. During the spring, busloads of people flock to the area for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, enjoying the stunning sight of thousands of blossoming cherry trees, which were gifted to the city by Tokyo, Japan, as a gesture of friendship in 1912. Other notable attractions along the National Mall include the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument.
The National Mall is certainly only one of many areas in the city to explore; every neighborhood within this 67-square-mile city has its own personality and unique appeal. Take a Sunday afternoon outing to the neighborhood of Capitol Hill to admire the architecture of one of the city's oldest communities and to explore the sites, sounds and rich aromas of the Eastern Market - the last of DC's 19th-century markets to remain in operation. Discover Georgetown: sip a cocktail, grab a bite to eat or people watch on the streets of this delightful waterfront neighborhood. Georgetown's streets are also lined in a diverse mix of unique boutiques and high-end retailers, sure to provide an afternoon of enjoyable shopping.
Slightly to the northwest, the colorful neighborhood of Adams Morgan boasts an eclectic mix of international restaurants, sidewalk cafes, ethnic stores and late-night entertainment. Challenge the mind in Penn Quarter's modern restaurants, contemporary galleries, innovative theaters and captivating museums. Or, head out for a night on the town in Dupont Circle, known for its hip clubs and swanky bars.
From its celebrated past and patriotism to its bright future as a thriving metropolis, Washington, DC has it all. From unique neighborhoods and spectacular monuments to enlightening museums, lively festivals and award-winning restaurants, the District offers lucky visitors the opportunity to experience America and its past, while making memories that will last long into the future.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Washington, DC's climate has all four seasons. Warm weather is prevalent from April until as late as mid-October. Summers are hot and humid with average temperatures reaching the high 80s; thunderstorms are frequent. Winters can be very mild to bitter cold with average temperatures dropping as low as 35°F.
The average annual precipitation is 42 inches, with occasional heavy snowfalls during the winter, though light snowfalls are more common. Fall and spring are the best seasons to visit the city, as the air is still cool, with temperatures ranging from the 50s to 70s, but the skies remain sunny.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
There is no place like Washington, DC and no DC meeting facility or convention space like the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. With 2.3 million square feet of meeting space, the center attracts a whopping 2.5 million visitors every year. This impressive events facility in the nation’s capital boasts an impressive list of prestigious events, including six of the nine official inaugural balls for former President George W. Bush and six of the 10 official balls for President Barack Obama.
Located in the heart of Washington, DC, the Washington Convention Center facility opened in 2003 and has ushered in unparalleled residential and commercial development for the area. The original structure was erected in 1874, just two blocks away from the current site. In its first year of operation alone, the new facility hosted nearly one million visitors and generated $426.5 million in delegate spending. The facility also holds a Guinness World Record for hosting the largest sit-down dinner, a 2009 affairs for 16,206 guests.
The convention center’s range of event spaces includes 77 breakout rooms and the largest ballroom in the region at 52,000 square feet. Combined, its three concourse-level exhibit halls have 473,000 square feet of usable space. Level two halls have 230,000 square feet of continguous square feet, or room for 1,000 10-foot-by-10-foot booths.
In 2011, developers broke ground on the new 14-story Washington Marriott Marquis. This $520-million, 1,175-room convention center hotel is expected to encompass 100,000 square feet of meeting space.
Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center
The Embassy Suites Washington, DC Convention Center Hotel lies between the White House and the US Capitol in downtown Washington, DC and draws both leisure and business travelers. Each suite at the Embassy Suites Washington, DC Convention Center Hotel is beautifully decorated with a personal chamber and sitting room. The Embassy Suites is a full-service upscale all-suite hotel and walking distance from many businesses, government offices and Washington, DC attractions.
Nestled between historical Georgetown and Dupont Circle, only three blocks from the Metro, this hotel is a quick Metro ride away from many Washington, DC attractions. Guests of the Embassy Suites Washington, DC Convention Center receive a complimentary breakfast. High-speed Internet access is available throughout the hotel.
Courtyard Washington Convention Center
After a dramatic $25-million restoration, the Courtyard by Marriott Washington Convention Center has been transformed from the historic Riggs Bank Building into one of the most sought-after Washington, DC hotels.
This hotel has amenities and services tailored for the business traveler and an elegant meeting room to host smaller groups. Stunning guest rooms exude a sense of calm, offering features like luxurious new bedding and free high-speed Internet. Visitors have access to the fitness center and an indoor pool. At The Bistro, which was once a bank vault, guests can enjoy a healthy, affordable breakfast and elegant dinner. The Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant attached to the hotel also serves handcrafted beer and offers tempting fare for lunch and dinner.
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
5701 Marinelli RoadBethesda, Maryland 20852Total Meeting Space - 50,000 Sq. Ft.
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20004Total Meeting Space - 310,000 Sq. Ft.
Clyde's of Gallery Place
Clyde's of Gallery Place opened in 2005 in the heart of Washington's Chinatown and quickly became a favorite for Shakespeare and Ford's theatergoers, Verizon Center players and fans, residents and tourists alike. At Clyde’s of Gallery Place, there is a menu for every palate and show time.
The grand Victorian saloon recalls Hong Kong's Empire-era opulence and celebrates the sporting life in an impressive collection of bronze sculpture and oil paintings. The two-level restaurant comprises three bars, five dining rooms, a private dining room and Clyde’s on the Walk for carryout.
The Hamilton Crowne Plaza Washington DC
The historic Hamilton Hotel is a luxurious, completely renovated and fully restored 1920s architectural gem. This premier meeting and event venue is located in downtown Washington, DC along the K Street Business Corridor, only 4 blocks from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and 5 blocks from the White House.
Park Hyatt Washington DC
Experience unrivaled luxury and service complemented by the warmth of American heritage at the redesigned Park Hyatt Washington. A few blocks from Georgetown and minutes from shopping, Embassy Row, national monuments, the Smithsonian and The Kennedy Center, the Tony Chi-designed Washington, DC hotel offers guests uncompromising comfort with modern amenities. Relax in the largest deluxe rooms in downtown Washington, DC Awaken your senses at the Blue Duck Tavern, an award-winning restaurant featuring modern design, an elegant wine cell arand fresh regional cuisine.
Park Hyatt Washington offers flexible meeting and event space as well as five private boardrooms ideal for smaller functions. Two levels and 12,000 square feet of sophisticated yet understated elegance offer guests a distinctive setting for any occasion. Dedicated meeting professionals offering personalized service ensure the success of every event. The hotel is equipped to accommodate requests for high speed Internet connections and cutting edge audiovisual capabilities. Event sat Park Hyatt Washington are catered with seasonal recipes and dishes from celebrated chef Brian McBride.
The Henley Park Hotel
A classic name in downtown Washington DC Hotels, Serving Guests Since 1918 - Escape the monotony of standard chain hotels. Discover a retreat that artfully blends boutique-style luxury, personalized, Old World service and the modern necessities required by today's business or leisure traveler.
A prestigious member of Historic Hotels of America, the Henley Park Hotel was originally an apartment building named the Tudor Hall, a stately residence favored by many senators, congressmen and other notables of Washington society. Select from 96 fine guest rooms and suites - each a showcase of understated luxury, English style decor and contemporary amenities. Enjoy convenient access to the DC Convention Center, the White House, the Smithsonian and other nearby attractions.
Washington, DC is served by three major airports: Ronald Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore/Washington International Airport. All the airports are easily accessible from the city by ground and public transportation, and most hotels offer shuttle services.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
Approximate taxi fare: $16.82 USD
Located in Arlington, Virginia, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport sits across the Potomac River from DC. Built in 1941, the airport's original terminal, Terminal A, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Terminal B/C opened in 1997 as the first of its modernization efforts. In 2007, the airport saw 18.7 million passengers. With 44 airline gates, the airport offers non-stop service to 74 destinations.
Known for its impressive architectural elements and unparalleled views of downtown DC and key monuments, Reagan National offers a great welcome to visitors. To make their experience more comfortable, the airport features over 50 restaurants, lounges and shops. Eateries include Fuddruckers, McDonald's, Legal Sea Foods and Matsutake Sushi, while retail outlets range from Brookstone to Jos. A. Banks.
Reagan National has parking options in four lots: an hourly garage, a daily garage, an hourly and daily garage and an economy lot. Overall, space is available for over 7,500 vehicles. For easy access to downtown DC and its attractions, travelers can take advantage of the airport's Metrorail station or other ground transportation operators.
Airline carriers serving Ronald Reagan National Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Approximate taxi fare: $72.13 USD
A fine example of Beaux Arts-style architecture, DC's Union Station serves eight Amtrak routes: Acela Express, Capitol Limited, Cardinal/Hoosier State, Carolinian/Piedmont, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Silver Service/Palmetto, and Vermonter. Traveling on Amtrak, guests from major cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York and Miami can reach DC.
Union Station is open 24 hours a day. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 4:30 AM to 10 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 5 AM to close.
Located in historic Old Town, Alexandria Station serves five Amtrak routes from its Federal Revival-style terminal. The Cardinal/Hoosier State, Carolinian/Piedmont, Crescent, Northeast Regional, and Silver Service/Palmetto routes all stop at the station. From there, passengers can access the King Street station of the Metro as well as Alexandria DASH and WMATA bus lines.
Alexandria Station is open daily from 6 AM to 9 PM.
Metrobus serves passengers 24 hours a day, seven days a week with 1,500 buses covering 150 square miles in DC, Maryland and Virginia. In 2007, Metrobus provided 131.5 million trips.
Metrobus schedules vary based on route and location. Fares are $1.35 using cash and $1.25 using SmarTrip, Metro's permanent, rechargeable plastic cards. Express fares are $3.10 using cash and $3 using SmarTrip. Exact fare is required.
The 2nd busiest rapid transit system in the nation, Metrorail serves 86 stations and operates on 106 miles of track, both above and below ground. Its five color-coded lines service the downtown area and extend into Fairfax County, Arlington County and the City of Alexandria in Virginia and Montgomery County and Prince George's County in Maryland.
Metrorail schedules vary based on time and day, with high frequency service being offered during peak hours weekdays from 5 to 9:30 AM and from 3 to 7 PM. Metrorail fares vary based on distance traveled. Regular fare, in effect weekdays from opening to 9:30 AM and from 3 to 7 PM and weekends from 2 AM to closing, is set at $1.65 minimum and $4.50 maximum. Reduced fare, applicable all other times, is $1.35 minimum and $2.35 maximum. Reduced fares are available for seniors. Children ages 4 and under ride free with each adult paying full fare.
Part of a public-private partnership among the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, WMATA and DC Surface Transit, the DC Circulator bus is operated by First Transit. Buses run on three lines: the Convention Center-SW Waterfront Route (Red), Georgetown-Union Station Route (Yellow), and Smithsonian/National Gallery of Art Loop (Purple).
The Red line runs daily from 7 AM to 9 PM; the Yellow line runs daily from 7 AM to 9 PM with extended night service; and the Purple line runs weekends from 10 AM to 6 PM. Fare is $1. Exact change is required. One-, three- and seven-day passes are available. Only SmarTrip cards are accepted for transfers.
Avis, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty service all three airports in the Washington, DC area. On-site rental car counters at Reagan National are located on the first floor in Parking Garage A. At Baltimore/Washington International, the car rental facility is accessible by a free shuttle departing from lower level terminal.
Taxis are located near the baggage claim exits of each terminal at Reagan National. Fares average $15 to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. In DC, fares are set at $4.25 for the first mile and $1.50 for each additional mile.
Dulles International's Washington Flyer Taxis are located on the lower level of the Main Terminal. Charges are $2.80 for the first quarter mile and $0.45 for each additional quarter mile. Average fare to DC is $50; to Alexandria, $52; to Arlington, $45; to Tyson's Corner, $27; to Reagan National, $58.
The taxi stand at Baltimore/Washington International is located outside of baggage claim. Rates average $65 to Annapolis; $35 to Baltimore; $155 to Dulles; $100 to National Airport; and $90 to Washington, DC.
Close to Everything, Far from Ordinary
Let our fresh and inspiring venue in Northern Virginia accommodate your meeting or event. Our 10 instinctively designed meeting spaces provide unparalleled flexibility and allow you to choose the perfect venue in Northern Virginia for each and every event. Whether you are planning a seminar, meeting, training session or presentation, our distinctive spaces - from our grand ballroom and social banquet rooms to our exclusive boardroom - will exceed all of your expectations.
Earn Starwood Preferred Planner Reward Points and other special incentives when you book your next event at The Westin Washington Dulles Airport. Contact your market specialist today to learn more about our current reward programs. Be Well. Be Inspired. Be Rewarded.
NO ATTRITION. COMPLIMENTARY RECEPTION. AN OFFER YOU CAN’T MISS!
Meet at DC’s landmark hotel, Washington Marriott Wardman Park, between July 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013, and book our “Red & Blue” election year offer to receive perks and discounts you can’t afford to miss. This special offer includes a complimentary reception for your entire group including hors d’oeuvres and a full bar and no attrition. You’ll also receive triple Marriott Rewards® points, complimentary guest room Internet, 50% reduction to meeting space Internet charges, 20% off audio visual services, parking discounts, food and beverage discounts and more!
As if those benefits weren’t enough, this modern hotel – situated on 16 acres of gorgeously maintained gardens – features 195,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, 72 meeting rooms, state-of-the-art technology and on-site Metro access putting your attendees within easy reach of Washington, DC’s most iconic attractions. We provide specialized staff and systems to help with every phase of hosting innovative meetings, plus we offer green meeting options, cutting-edge technology, creative catering packages and unrivaled dedication to detail to ensure your next gathering—whether it's a trade show, corporate event, or intimate gala—will be a complete success. We are excited to welcome you with gracious amenities and impeccable service in the modern comfort of our urban oasis.
Event must have 100 booked rooms and 75% of attendees must book rooms to qualify for this offer.
Stay & Save: The Liaison Capitol Hill in the heart of Washington DC
Coming out of an inclusive hotel redesign, The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel offers guests premier Washington, DC meeting and event space in a contemporary-chic atmosphere. Conveniently located between Union Station and the U.S. Capitol, the modern-day setting provides more than 10,000 square feet of sleek meeting space, furnished with state-of-the-art equipment and technical support to your desire, and a classy event space ideal for an unconventional celebration in style!
Interested in placing a promotion? Call Cvent for information on advertising opportunities at 1-866-318-4358.