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Local Attractions

APH 2013 Annual Conference—Capital Reflections

Sights In and Around Washington, DC

It would require far more room than is available here to describe all the magnificent attractions in the DC area. Instead, we've tried to at least include those that we know will be open during our free afternoon for exploring the city (Sunday, November 10). We hope you'll consider taking an extra day before or after the conference to see even more.

Museums and More with Free Admittance

The Smithsonian

Image of Smithsonian Institutional Castle Smithsonian Institution Castle
Image of Natural History Museum Natural History Museum
Image of the Portrait Gallery Portrait Gallery

The photos above of the Smithsonian Institution Castle is the courtesy of Eric Long, Smithsonian.
The photo of the Natural History Museum and the Portrait Gallery were taken by Edward H Pien (ehpien / flickr)

One of the amazing features of the capital city is the network of Smithsonian museums, most of which are located on the National Mall and are open until 5:30 pm daily.

National Gallery of Art

Plan your visit to the Gallery by downloading self-guides to the collection and discovering the variety of daily guided talks and tours in the galleries. Open Monday–Saturday until 5:30 pm; Sunday until 6:00 pm at the National Mall between 3rd and 7th streets and Constitution Avenue.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Museum Guide may be helpful in planning your visit. On the day of your visit, please also check at the Information Desk for a complete list of programs. Open daily to 5:20 pm; 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW

National Archives

Image of the Natinoal Archives The National Archives Building

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%–3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by NARA.

Established in 1934, NARA serves as the official repository for all federal records judged to be of enduring value. Its holdings date from the 18th century to the present and include the famous Charters of Freedom—the original Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Located at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue and open daily until 5:30 pm.

Photo courtesty of the National Archives and Records Administration

Arlington National Cemetery

These beautifully landscaped, rolling hills in Arlington, Virginia, mark the final resting place of more than 400,000 veterans and their families. Open daily to 5:00 pm.

Private Museums and Attractions with Modest Fees

Image of the Newseum Newseum
Image of the Spy Museum International Spy Museum
Image of the National Cathdedral National Cathedral
Image of the Ford Theater by Maxwell MacKenzie Ford's Theater







The photos of the Newseum and the International Spy Museum provided courtesy of Capital Region USA.
The photo of the National Cathedral was taken by Edward H Pien (ehpien / flickr)
The photo of Ford's Theatre was taken by Maxwell MacKenzie.


The Newseum's 15 major galleries and 15 theaters will immerse you in the world's greatest news stories. See the highlights of 10 of the top Newseum artifacts and exhibits that is recommended for your "must-see" list.

International Spy Museum

Umbrellas are pistols, dead rats are microphones, femme fatales are men fatales. Gain access to a wild world of gadgets, weapons, bugs, cameras, vehicles, and spy-tech that defies classification. Open from 10 am to 6 pm.

National Cathedral

A sacred resource for the nation and ministry for people of all faiths; 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW. Open to 5:00 pm; contributions requested.

Ford's Theater

You can purchase tickets for performances, walking tours, daytime visits and special events at the Ford's Theatre, Ford's Theatre Museum, the Petersen House and the Center for Education and Leadership. The schedule for daytime programming varies from day to day. Check the schedule for the day you wish to visit.

Mount Vernon

George Washington's plantation on the banks of the Potomac River in Mount Vernon, Virginia; open to 4:00 pm daily.

President Lincoln's Cottage

Located on the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) campus in Northwest Washington, D.C.

About Bethesda

Not only is Bethesda a great location with easy access to the Metro and downtown Washington, DC; it is also a bustling urban center known as a great destination for restaurants, boutiques, and home decor shops as well as artistic and trendy hot spots. To top it off, you can enjoy the Capital Crescent Trail, an eleven-mile biker/hiker trail running from west Silver Spring to Georgetown, DC. The trail was formerly used as the Georgetown Branch rail line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. More details will be provided within the conference registration kit upon your arrival.

For Those Who Love Exercise

Start with the beautiful Capital Crescent Trail, a paved trail through the woods that goes right through Bethesda, winds its way to Georgetown and then connects again with another trail to go through Rock Creek Park. It's great for walking, jogging or biking. Miles are marked every half mile. Bethesda starts at mile marker 3.5. Just past mile 8.5 is Fletcher's Boathouse, where there are water fountains and Porta-Johns. (It's also a great place to rent boats by the hour.) Go another mile or so further and you'll reach Georgetown. (It's a slight incline down going into DC, so keep that in mind for your return.)

During the weekends, it's quite popular and safe to go on your own. During the early weekday mornings it's less crowded, and therefore might be best enjoyed with a friend.

Getting there: Walk behind the hotel, and with your back facing the hotel, walk left on Woodmont Avenue (if you've hit Old Georgetown Road, you've gone the wrong way). Walk about three to four blocks until Woodmont dead-ends (due to construction) at the corner of Bethesda Avenue. Just across the street (and on the left-hand side of Ourisman) you should see the sign for the Capital Crescent Trail. Continue straight to head into Georgetown or go the other way to head towards Chevy Chase, Maryland. Learn more here.

If you'd prefer to ride your bike on the trail, follow the same directions as above, but turn right when you hit Bethesda Avenue, and at the traffic light, turn left on Arlington Road. A few blocks down you'll find Big Wheel Bikes (6917 Arlington Road, 301-652-0192. Rentals start at $7/hour, and helmets and locks are provided free of charge on request. (You can also try Griffin Cycle, at 4949 Bethesda Avenue, 301-656-6188). Just continue walking past Arlington Road and you'll see it

While the hotel has an exercise room and indoor pool, you may be interested in some other great options for exercise classes.

Balance offers both pilates and yoga classes and is just a 10-minute walk (1/2 mile) from the hotel. Walk north on Wisconsin Ave until you reach the corner of Rosedale and Wisconsin. 4719 Rosedale Avenue, 301-986-1730. Drop-in class for $20.

Down Dog Yoga offers "hot" yoga in a beautiful studio in the heart of downtown Bethesda, and it's just a five-minute walk from the hotel (head south down Wisconsin and turn right on Elm Street). 4733 Elm Street, 4th floor, 301-654-9644. Drop-in class for $18.

Core Power Yoga is a new yoga studio on the other end of Bethesda and is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel, heading south down Wisconsin Avenue. It offers one week of free yoga to new students--hopefully the offer will last until November. 6800 Wisconsin Avenue, #300, 301-951-9642, Drop-in class for $20.

The Bar Method is a new kind of exercise that uses your own body resistance to tone and strengthen. It's a very short walk, just behind the hotel. 7710 Woodmont Avenue, 301-652-1200. Trial class for $25.

LA Boxing, for those who want to get their aggression out, this is a killer workout. A ten minute walk down Woodmont Avenue, behind the hotel. 4834 Cordell Avenue, 301-656-3910. Offers free trial classes.


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