Rejuvenated D.C. Waterfront Expands Options

By Matt Swenson, May 18, 2017

The D.C. waterfront is getting a facelift, and that’s great news for the events industry.

Revitalized by the success of Nationals Park, the region’s recent developments make it a viable alternative to downtown. At the center of it all is The Wharf, a $2 billion mixed-use project scheduled to open in fall 2017. Three hotels, including an InterContinental, a Hyatt House and a Canopy by Hilton, will be on-site. District Pier will be the largest space for outdoor receptions in the development, which will also have plenty of retail and dining options—all with local roots and no national chains.

Coming in 2018 to Southwest D.C. is the International Spy Museum, relocating from Chinatown to a larger space in L’Enfant Plaza.

Some advantages remain the same from a traditional stay. L’Enfant Plaza is a short Metro or cab ride from Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Verizon Center. It’s also within walking distance of the Mall, home to many of the Smithsonian museums that remain free to the public.

Across the way in Maryland, National Harbor, buoyed by the launch of its own convention and visitors association, provides another option to planners. Large groups will prefer Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Should you book your group elsewhere, it may be worth a trip there if only to experience the Capital Wheel (a Ferris wheel attraction) or shop at Tanger Outlets.

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