Where to stay in DC?
March 16, 2015 11:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm probably going to get to go to a conference in DC in early May. The conference is at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill at 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW. Where should I stay? (Hotel block rate a little above what I hope to pay.)

Looking at airbnb, I can't really tell which neighborhoods are an easy metro ride or walking distance away. Can you give me a sense of neighborhoods with more reasonable accommodations that won't be a hassle transit wise? I'm less worried about time on the train than I am about changing trains or navigating multiple transit systems. Also open to walking or, is there somewhere I can rent a bike for a few days?

Not married to airbnb (kind of hate the company) but trying to figure out how to save money.

Also would love any evening activity suggestions for a middle-aged, weirdo, activist, queer, outdoorsy, nerd, history nut. (:
posted by latkes to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The conference site is very convenient to the red, green, and yellow metro lines. Columbia Heights, (the southern end of) Petworth/Park View, Logan Circle, Shaw, Dupont Circle, U St, Adams Morgan, and Woodley Park are all solid neighborhoods within a short metro ride. The suburbs might be cheaper...Crystal City is right by the airport and a very quick metro ride in on the yellow line.

Bike rental: Capital Bikeshare is great for this, there are stations all over the city. $15 for a 3 day pass is tough to beat.

I encourage you to call a meetup while you're here, DC has a healthy community of mefites and we love visitors.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:34 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

The D6 bus goes right next to the Hyatt; there are a bunch of inexpensive Airbnb places about 1-2 miles due east, in NE Capitol Hill. Because the neighborhood is not close to a Metro, prices should be notably lower than many others. You can compare the map in the bus schedule to the Airbnb map. It's pleasant and walkable, but there is some crime, generally more the further east you go; personally I'd avoid anything east of 14th St or so. And you'll be close to the many oh-so-hip bars and restaurants on H St NE.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:41 AM on March 16, 2015

There is a Holiday Inn right across the street that you could take a look at. I used to work at that Hyatt and we generally heard good things about them from conference guests.

It puts you within walking distance of the Mall and far too many museums to count. If you have short break from the conference, I'd recommend going to the National Building Museum nearby just to see it's glorious architecture.

Union Station is also an easy walk for transportation, food and shopping.
posted by saffry at 11:42 AM on March 16, 2015

The Holiday Inn saffry mentions is about a mile south of the Hyatt. There are other hotels close to the Hyatt, but their rates are generally similar, and they are likely to be more than the Hyatt conference rate.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:49 AM on March 16, 2015

You don't need to rent a bike in a traditional manner. The Capital Bikeshare is a fantastic system. Stations are everywhere. Download one of the apps, sign up at one of the kiosks, and go on your way.
posted by rockindata at 12:00 PM on March 16, 2015

thanks for correcting that Mr. Know-it-some, I didn't know they moved locations
posted by saffry at 12:30 PM on March 16, 2015

Capital Bikeshare is awesome and I love it - and they're heavy bikes with limited gears in a city with a fair few hills, and depending on your neighborhood, they may be hard to rely on at rush hour because docks may be entirely empty or full. So it's kind of a may-work-may-not situation with them. If you want to go with a more traditional bike rental, Bike and Roll gets pretty good reviews and has a location by Union Station.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:37 PM on March 16, 2015

Response by poster: OK, I will look at the neighborhoods accessible by bus and metro listed here. Also, I will totally do Bikeshare, that's exciting!

Does it seem realistic to plan to get a Capital Bikeshare bicycle from Reagan airport? I looked at the station map and there do seem to be stations “across the street” from the airport, but airports being what they are, is that really possible? I can’t seem to google the answer…
posted by latkes at 1:57 PM on March 17, 2015

I used to live right by the airport, the stations are indeed close. It really depends on your idea of walkable, but if you're planning on biking from the airport I can't imagine it being a hassle. The airport is close to Mt Vernon Trail, which is a lovely ride and connects to DC proper really smoothly. Memail/email me if you want very specific directions!

Are you planning on not having any luggage/just a backpack? There is a small rack on the front of the bike but if you have a suitcase it would be pretty weird.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 2:58 PM on March 17, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks DC team, I'm finishing up my trip and your advice was great. I've stayed in Crystal City and walked here from the airport (30 minute walk was totally do-able with my backpack-worth of luggage). I took the bikeshare in to the conference each day which was great because I got to see a lot of the mall and monuments during the commute.

Agree, bikeshare is a bit of a hassle given that the stations are sometimes totally full, and also a number of the kiosks touchscreens are mildly broken, but overall it's been a great experience in a city (and season) that is easy to bike in.

So thanks, the advice was really helpful! Wish I'd been able to call a meetup but didn't have the mental bandwidth to meet anyone given I was meeting people all day at my conference, plus sqeezing in museums and local sites and of course Ben's Chili Bowl on my off hours, but I'm lifting a glass of local beer with you all in spirit!
posted by latkes at 5:28 PM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

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