The Washington DC Convention Center opened in 2003 and has been put to good use since replacing the city’s old convention center. In addition to hosting countless conventions and meetings, it has served as the venue for a number of official Presidential inaugural balls. In 2010, the Washington DC Convention Center was the principal site of the Nuclear Security Summit. The center is able to host all kinds of events, thanks to its size and its multi-faceted facilities, and even if you aren’t in the nation’s capital on business, this is a place that you may wish to target for a visit. The Washington DC Convention Center boasts a $4 million art collection, and free curator-led art tours are available for the general public to enjoy. These tours are somewhat few and far between, but you just might be in town at the right time, so they are worth keeping in mind.
Convention Center Facts
Washington DC Convention Center Facts
The Washington DC Convention Center is officially known as the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The name honors the District of Columbia’s first home-rule mayor. A large complex, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center measures more than two million square feet in size and offers 77 customizable meeting rooms to go with its 703,000 total square feet of exhibit space. A standout among the facilities in general is the largest ballroom in the region, and worth revisiting is the center’s art collection. It is the largest public art collection in the city outside of a museum and features works by both local and international artists.
Regardless of your reason for visiting the Washington DC Convention Center, it will help to know how to get there. You can find the center less than a mile north of the National Mall at 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW. Over 3,000 first come, first served parking spaces are available within a three block radius, and there are pay parking lots spread out to the near south of the complex. For visitors who would rather not drive, both the yellow and green Metro lines stop at the adjacent Mount Vernon Square/7th Street Convention Center station.
Hotels near Convention Center
Washington DC Convention Center Hotels
Many people who are in town for an event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center understandably look to stay at one of the nearby hotels. The area hotels can also serve the needs of travelers who are in the city for other reasons, as they offer close enough proximity to all of the great Washington DC attractions and are within easy reach of a Metro station. Bringing a lot of attention to the more immediate area around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is the sparkling new Washington Marriott Marquis. Loosely known as the “convention center headquarters hotel,” the Marriott Marquis is a 1,175-room, 49-suite retreat that offers more than 100,000 square feet of its own function space. Four-star comfort and service help to make this an excellent lodging choice.
There are quite a few other hotels near the Washington DC Convention Center for those who are interested in the area accommodations. Good bets include the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel (pictured), the Embassy Suites Washington-Convention Center, and the Hampton Inn Washington DC Downtown-Convention Center. Several other chain brand establishments also call the area home and are worth a look. Should you prefer something other than the chain brand hotels, there are options there as well. Take the graceful Morrison-Clark Inn, for example, or the elegant Henley Park Hotel.