D.C. No-Cost Destinations Worth a Metro Ride

We want you to make the most of your time in Washington, D.C., and we hope you explore all that the District has to offer. Our nation’s capital is known for its monuments and museums, but it also offers other outings you can experience without breaking the bank. Check out the convention agenda before making plans so you don’t miss out on any of our planned activities.

Explore the National Zoo

National Zoo 1887

Bison living at the National Mall in 1887 (Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute)

The Smithsonian Institution is known for its acclaimed museums, but did you know the National Zoo is part of the organization? In 1887, the Department of Living Animals at the Smithsonian brought 15 North American animal species to D.C. to live on the National Mall until the zoo was created in 1889. See more than 160 species and explore 150 acres of wilderness tucked within Rock Creek Park.

How to get there: Take the metro to the zoo from the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stop, which is a short walk from the Renaissance Hotel. Take the red line in the direction of Shady Grove to the Woodley Park/Adams Morgan metro stop. It’s a short walk to the entrance on Connecticut Avenue.

Move to the Melody at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Kennedy Center

Mack Male – Kennedy Center, CC BY-SA 2.0

President John F. Kennedy was a supporter and advocate of the arts, and he took the lead in funding this cultural center project. The venue opened to the public in 1971, and since then has hosted extraordinary acts including the National Symphony Orchestra to various international ballet companies. Each evening at 6 p.m. you can see a free performance on its Millennium Stage. Find out which performances you can see during your time in D.C.

How to get there: Take the metro from the Metro Center stop, a short walk from the Renaissance Hotel. Ride the blue, orange, or silver lines in the direction of Franconia-Springfield, Vienna Fairfax-GMU, or Wiehle Reston East (respectively) to the Foggy Bottom metro stop. From Foggy Bottom, you can grab the free Kennedy Center shuttle (red buses parked outside the metro entrance).

Tour Eastern Market

Easter Market

Eastern Market Facade – Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

From delicious baked goods to a variety of cheeses and produce, taste all that this historic market has to offer. During the weekends you can listen to live bands and browse more than 100 exhibitors selling handmade art, jewelry, and more. Located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the market building was completed in 1873 and was designed by the same architect of the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building.

How to get there: Take the metro from the Metro Center metro stop, which is a short walk from the Renaissance Hotel. Ride the blue, orange, or silver lines in the direction of Largo Town Center (for blue and silver) or New Carrollton (for orange) to the Eastern Market metro stop. It’s a short walk to the marketplace north on 7th Street.

Visit the Oldest Home in D.C.

Old Stone House – Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5

Built in 1765, the Old Stone House is the oldest structure in the District. This National Historic Landmark has not only been a residence but also a retail space, acting as a shop for merchants, locksmiths, and tailors. The building was originally preserved after stories spread about President George Washington using it as a meeting space, including a discussion with Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the designer of the city’s layout. While the folklore has proved to be untrue, we can still enjoy this piece of history in Georgetown.

How to get there: Hop on the D.C. Circulator bus for $1 from the intersection of New York Avenue and 9th Street, steps from the doors of the Renaissance Hotel. The Circulator will take you to M Street in Georgetown. The Old Stone House is located between 30th and 31st Streets.

Peek through a “Window to Washington”

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., originally called the Columbia Historical Society, was founded in 1894. The society was dedicated to preserving the history of the city of Washington and regularly presented their research to peers. Housed inside the Carnegie Library, this educational and research institution has collections of maps, records, photographs, and other documents related to the history of the district. Explore the fascinating narrative of our nation’s capital, and make sure to see the society’s permanent exhibit, “Window to Washington.”

How to get there: The Carnegie Library where the society is housed cannot be missed. Simply exit the Renaissance Hotel on K Street and walk across the street.

By:    March 03, 2017