The Best Hotel Near the L’enfant Metro:
There are limited options near the Smithsonian musuems and National Mall. However, it should be noted family travelers will fit in at the Capitol Holiday Inn. The hotel has wrapped up renovations in 2014 and won the the praises of several recent online reviews. Getting here from the DCA airport is quick and easy. Visiting this hotel in the spring or summer is ideal because of the beautiful courtyard and rooftop pool which offers views of the National Mall, monuments etc. Anticipate high parking fees and breakfast is not included with standard bookings, but the rooms do have free wifi. It is straight forward to walk to all the major museums and monuments from this location. Some guests complained about train noise, other guests were disappointing with the lack of restaurants and nightlife options nearby. All together this is the best hotel for families and tourist in DC exclusively for the National Mall.
Recommended Hotel at Smithsonian: Holiday Inn
Why: Newly renovated, access to National Mall, great for families.
About the L’enfant Plaza Neighborhood
The L’Enfant metro stop lets off a few blocks from the National Mall in the midst of mainly government buildings. This area is home to the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and many of Washington, DC’s famous monuments. Travelers who choice one of the few hotel options south of the National Mall away from downtown DC will give up easy access to restaurants, bars and nightlife.
The neighborhood around the National Mall is dead at night. This can be welcome for those who enjoy a peaceful walk through the National Mall, but not welcome for others. The area is surrounded by massive government buildings and when five o’clock rolls past commenters travel home leaving the area bland and sterile.
While the Mall is a major tourist destination, you’ll also find DC locals enjoying the recreational and cultural opportunities the area offers. The Mall is at its busiest during the day, but it is safe to stick around to view the beauty of the monuments lit up after dark—the only nightlife the area offers.
The National Park Service operates concession stands along the Mall and during good weather you’ll find food trucks lined up on 7th or 14th streets, as well as the ubiquitous hot dog and ice cream vendors. Many of the museums are equipped with cafeterias—Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian has won multiple awards for its indigenous American cuisine—but they can be quite expensive.
In addition to the attractions along the Mall, this area also offers easy walking access to the Tidal Basin, where you can visit the Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials; the White House; and downtown Washington.
Runners and bikers will particularly enjoy the lack of traffic on the Mall and the easy access to other trails. Both the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution offer tips for visiting with children.
Who is Best for this Location?
This area is best for Families who want to prioritize the museums and intellectuals reluctant for nightlife.
Holiday Inn – The Best Hotel Near the Smithsonian Metro
|Weekday Avg. Rate||$264|
|Weekend Avg. Rate||$159|
|Book Direct at|
Holiday Inn Website
Holiday Inn Hotel Specs
|Free, All Areas|
|Self-park only, $37/day|
|Not Included, Available|
|Capital Bistro, 21st Amendment Bar & Grill|
|No Airport Shuttle|
|No Area Shuttle|
|Cardio Machines & Free Weights|
|Rooftop Pool Seasonal|
|All Rooms No Smoking|
|One King, Two Doubles, Joining Suites|
Lenfant Plaza Hotel – Closed Until 2015 for Renovations
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