Things to do while you are in D.C.
NHIA 2023’s venue, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is nestled just outside Washington, D.C. in the exciting harbor town, National Harbor, MD. The resort and convention center is walking distance from shops, restaurants and a marina on the waterfront of the Potomac River. But if you extend your stay or have time to venture out for the area’s best sights and attractions, below are a few places to consider.
Spring in D.C.
Spring in D.C. is a special and beautiful time of year. If you have extra time while you are in town, plan to check out the world-famous cherry blossoms in D.C.’s Tidal Basin. In 2022, peak bloom for the blossoms was March 25—right around the time of the NHIA Conference. The conference is also bookended with the several Cherry Blossom Festival events on Saturday, March 25 and Cherry Night on Friday, March 31st if you choose to stay in town.
Take a water taxi or quick ride share across the river from National Harbor to the historic Old Town Alexandria, with its cobblestone streets, 18th century townhouses, shops and abundant restaurants, it is a wonderful place to spend an evening.
The tourism heart of D.C. situated between the Capitol and the Washington Monument, this area is home to many free museums including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian Castle, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and more!
Waterfront / Wharf & Markets
Southwest D.C. boasts one of the newest areas of development with restaurants, music venues, events, boat rentals at the marina, bicycle tours, shopping and the famous municipal fish market.
D.C. has two primary food markets, Union Market and Eastern Market, each with its own vibe and allure, but both with excellent food and opportunities for adventure. Be sure to explore all the restaurants up and down 8th street by Eastern Market.
Known for its eclectic nightlife, this walkable neighborhood in Northwest D.C. has lots of independent shops and historic row homes to take in as well.
With its wide-ranging retail scene, popular pastries, restaurants and famous canal, this waterfront neighborhood is worth a visit.
Penn Quarter & Chinatown
Home to some of D.C.’s best and most trendy restaurants as well as an excellent theater and sports scene, this exciting neighborhood also contains the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. Check out a José Andrés restaurant, get some of the area’s best ramen, experience some avant-garde theater at Woolly Mammoth Theater company, or the Shakespeare Theatre Company if you have a more classical night in mind.
This is just a small sampling of what D.C. has to offer. Learn more about D.C.’s neighborhoods and check out the Visit D.C. website for the latest information on what’s happening in the nation’s capital.