Places to stay for the Cherry Blossom Festival
February 22, 2011 7:57 AM   Subscribe

What's a good place to stay in D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival?

My mom and I are planning to go the Cherry Blossom Festival this year. She's flying in on the 25th to Dulles, and we're hoping to find a hotel near one of the Metro lines that's convenient for the Festival. I haven't spent a lot of time in D.C. despite living only a couple hours away, so I'm not sure what the best areas to look are. I know we may have a little trouble finding something at this late a date, but any suggestions would be much appreciated. We're only going to have a day or two at the most in the city, so not having to spend a ton of time on the Metro would be a huge bonus.

Also, we'd like to go to the Opening Ceremony on the 26th, so any tips regarding getting there or things we should know before going would be great as well.
posted by ashirys to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd strongly suggest doing a VRBO - cheaper, better locations!
posted by k8t at 7:58 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you can afford 100-150 for a hotel room, I'd advise staying in Dupont Circle, L'enfant Plaza, or Foggy Bottom (the doubletree in Foggy Bottom is a fine place). You could stay across the water in Crystal City which is slightly cheaper, or at one of the super nice hotels around Union Station, which is slightly more expensive. A better question is where Not to stay: don't stay at the chain hotels on New York Avenue in northeast, for insance.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:03 AM on February 22, 2011

For inexpensive motel near a metro and maybe a 10 minute ride into the city stay at the Americana inn in crystal city. For a little pricier but still affordable try the days inn on Connecticut avenue near the van ness stop. There's also an embassy suites in Bethesda (much pricier) right above the metro- again 10 minute ride into city. I recommend all of these places as being clean and in a good safe neighborhood. Also, there's the jury hotel right in dupont circle-- also very nice in the city in a great neighborhood on top of the metro. Do stay way from ny avenue ne.
posted by bananafish at 8:36 AM on February 22, 2011

There are a couple chain hotels across the river in Arlington which are also slightly cheaper average quality. Also some more expensive ones as well, but if you're going to spend a lot you might as well stay in the city.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:04 AM on February 22, 2011

Since most of the activities are focused around the Mall, getting a hotel near a Blue/Orange Metro stop would be ideal. Staying across the river, per Potomac Avenue's suggestion, is definitely cheaper, and you'll only be a stop or two away from the action.

If you folks are sticking around until Monday afternoon (March 28), my a cappella group will be performing from 4-6 PM on the Sylvan Theater stage.
posted by evoque at 9:04 AM on February 22, 2011

Do stay way from ny avenue ne.

There's a Courtyard Marriott, and (very soon) a Hilton Garden Inn near the NY Ave/Florida Ave Metro station. These two are brand new, extremely safe, and within spitting distance of Metro. The above generalizations do not apply to these two particular hotels, which are actually quite convenient to downtown DC via Metro (red line), walking (~15min to capitol, 20min to the mall), or Capital Bikeshare (station on 1st & M NE; $5/day).

Do stay away from the hotels on further east on NY Ave though. They're generally nasty places, and are nowhere near Metro, which will leave you tied to your car, which will in turn be quite useless during the Cherry Blossom festival.
posted by schmod at 9:39 AM on February 22, 2011

If you folks are sticking around until Monday afternoon (March 28), my a cappella group will be performing from 4-6 PM on the Sylvan Theater stage.
Oh I wish we were, I love a cappella performances! Unfortunately, she has to head home on Sunday, so we won't be able to see it.

Thanks for the all the suggestions, folks. I've marked a couple as best answers, but you've all been really helpful. As always, AskMeFi to the rescue!
posted by ashirys at 10:01 AM on February 22, 2011

My mom and I went last-minute last year and stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Arlington/Courthouse. It was a block to the metro station and we found it very convenient. IIRC, it was about $110 a night. (The closer hotels were either full or much more expensive than that when I went looking.)

On a side note, the crowds were HUGE. Ginormous, even. That translated to LOTS of waiting. The upside of staying in Arlington/Courthouse was that the metro cars were less packed going in so it was more pleasant getting on and my mom was usually able to sit down. (Not so much on the ride back out, though.)

It was a fantastic trip and the blossoms were fabulous. Safe travels and hope you have a great time!
posted by abigredchair at 10:02 AM on February 22, 2011

no matter where you stay, make sure you go to Rays Hell Burger in Arlington
posted by knockoutking at 10:34 AM on February 22, 2011

Yeah, stay in Rosslyn. If you're up for a longish walk, you can walk across the Key Bridge to the Dumbarton Oaks Garden, which is absolutely gorgeous in the spring!
posted by yarly at 11:00 AM on February 22, 2011

Google Maps is your best friend here. I would plug in the address of whatever Metro station you want to be closest to (complete list here) into Google maps, then zoom in to see what hotels are closest.
posted by invisible ink at 2:45 PM on February 22, 2011

Enjoyed this hotel off Dupont Circle last summer. It was affordable then; don't know about when you plan to go.
posted by troywestfield at 10:06 AM on February 23, 2011

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