Sep 22 - 25, 2019 | National Harbor, Md.
NAMIC’s 124th Annual Convention is being held in one of the most historic areas of our country. And for those who work in NAMIC’s D.C. office, it’s home. Like any good host, those staffers want to ensure their guests enjoy the finest meals and activities our nation’s capital offers.
For those arriving early or staying longer, Holly Pitt Young, NAMIC’s political affairs director, recommends taking a water taxi across the Potomac River to the Old Town section of Alexandria, Va. Check out the Two Nineteen Restaurant for live bands and cigars. For those early risers, the town hosts a farmers’ market every Saturday where people can enjoy a Jazz Brunch Sunday Mornings at Blackwall Hitch. Tom Karol, general counsel – federal, recommends getting a meal at Gadsby’s Tavern.
For those heading all the way into Washington, the options are numerous and varied. Jon Bergner, assistant vice president of federal affairs, suggests Succotash for Southern cuisine, Rasika for authentic Indian, Del Mar for high-quality seafood, or Capital Grille for a good but pricey glimpse at the D.C. “in crowd.”
If you’re looking to run into a member of Congress or one of the Trump administration’s senior officials, your best bet is Joe’s Seafood or the Trump International Hotel for happy hour or dinner, according to Patrick Finnegan, NAMIC’s federal affairs manager, who adds that these are pricier but very popular among D.C. power brokers right now. A little more casual setting can be found at Hill Country Barbecue Market or Matchbox.
If you venture to Capitol Hill, Andrew Huff, federal affairs directors, suggests stopping by Santa Rosa Taqueira for any of the tacos. Finnegan also points to the “old school” Capitol Hill hangouts that specialize in beer and pub food and are frequented by congressional aides. These include Tune Inn, Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Bullfeathers, and the Dubliner, which is just steps from NAMIC’s D.C. office. Capitol Hill is also home to The Monocle Restaurant where, according to Jimi Grande, NAMIC’s senior vice president of government affairs, you can end a day with a quick drink and possibly spot some senators coming from their nearby offices.
The “edgier” part of D.C. that showcases a robust food scene includes the 14th St. NW corridor and Shaw neighborhood, Birch & Barley, B Too, Le Diplomate, and All-Purpose are excellent choices. If you are in the mood for Asian food, Huff recommends a restaurant called Beau Thai in Shaw. For something a little more upscale and that has a great flavor of D.C. nightlife, Huff pointed to RPM Italian on K Street in the northwestern section of D.C. You might spot celebrities or political figures while there. And in the new Southwest Waterfront area of D.C., there is the highly recommended Mexican restaurant Mi Vida.
But D.C. isn’t just home to world-class dining, it has all kinds of sights to see. Karol suggests checking out the Torpedo Factory Art Center, or renting a bike to ride down the shore of the Potomac to Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington. Georgetown is a favorite for Huff when it comes to walking around and people watching. He particularly recommends taking a stroll on the Key Bridge, which connects Georgetown and Arlington, Va., It provides some of the most spectacular views of the Potomac and the D.C. skyline.
And Washington D.C.’s museums and other historic sites aren’t just for tourists. Places such as the National Archives and the Library of Congress are favorites of many NAMIC D.C. staffers. Grande also recommends one of the newest attractions, the Museum of the Bible, where he says people can spend an entire day there without seeing everything.
Touring the monuments along the National Mall is an always-popular way to take in D.C., for which Bergner offers a resident’s tip: they are best seen at night.
With so much going on at National Harbor, you may not have time to take in everything the city offers, but our hope is that you will find something that will be a special memory during your stay in our nation’s capital.
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