Located just five minutes outside the Washington, DC line, Silver Spring is a popular location for groups that want an affordable but accessible alternative to the nation's capital. Over the past few years, downtown Silver Spring has undergone a major transformation into a pedestrian-friendly district with more than 50 Silver Spring event venues, including restaurants, shops and entertainment.
Silver Spring is easily accessible from any of the three Washington, DC area airports. The closest, Ronald Reagan National, is 12 miles away. Shuttle cost is $27 and the Metro takes passengers from the airport directly into Silver Spring for $5. Both Baltimore/Washington International and Washington Dulles International are about 30 miles away.
While there are no convention venues in Silver Spring per se, the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza, considered to be the community's convention center, is a contemporary building with open, light-filled spaces, 27-foot ceilings, and state-of-the-art technology. The facility can host a group of up to 800 people, with the largest of its 10 function rooms able to seat 400 for a meeting session and 320 for a banquet.
While all seven hotel venues in Silver Spring can host small meetings, two can handle larger groups. The DoubleTree by Hilton Washington-Silver Spring is located downtown and offers 248 guest rooms augmented by 20,000 square feet of meeting space in 10 rooms, with the capacity to host 475 people for a meeting. The 231-room Sheraton Silver Spring can host gatherings of up to 400 in its 17,000 square feet of meeting space.
Among the unique venues in Silver Spring is the American Film Institute Silver Theater & Cultural Center. Anchored by the restored 1938 Art Deco-style Silver Theater, it gives movie buffs a look at the art and mystery of movie-making. The AFI Silver Theater & Cultural Center has spaces available for rental, including two new stadium-style theaters. The facility's three theaters seat 75, 200 and 400 people; there is also a media/conference room.
A block away, visitors enjoy premier performances at Live Nation's new Fillmore Silver Spring. The Fillmore Silver Spring, an entertainment venue in downtown's historical arts district, is used both for meetings and special events. Up to 500 people can stage a meeting in four function rooms and The Fillmore can host a banquet for 415 or a special event for from 20 people up to 1,200 in its flexible space. Other Silver Spring locations for off-site functions include the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, which boasts the largest ropes course in the United States; the Olney Theater, which hosts professional productions year-round and is one of only two state theaters in Maryland, and Woodlawn Manor, a historic estate that sits atop rolling green hills and comes complete with a stone barn, wooden fences and grazing horses. The Georgian-style manor house, constructed in 1800, can comfortably accommodate indoor events of 32 seated guests and 60 for a reception. A tent in the gazebo garden or on the five-acre lawn can seat up to 150 for a seating meal.
Silver Spring has more than 150 eateries, ranging from an authentic Irish brew pub, to a white-tablecloth Moroccan restaurant with belly dancing. The traditional Irish pub McGinty's Public House is a community gathering spot. Another local favorite is Jackie's Restaurant, which is known for its elaborate cocktails and is #38 on Washington, DC's top 100 restaurants. Two restaurants offer a gourmet take on classic American comfort foods, using high-quality ingredients: Copper Canyon Grill and The Daily Dish. And Le Madeliene French Bakery & Cafe serves French specialties like quiche and crepes, but is also famous for its signature chicken dish with wild mushroom sauce.