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No beach house? No problem. By Anna Spiegel, Ann Limpert, Todd Kliman
All photographs by Scott Suchman.

Hotel Rehoboth

247 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-227-4300

We love the staff at this hotel on the main drag—relaxed, friendly, attentive, and helpful. The rooms are comfortable and contemporary, and you couldn’t ask for a more convenient location. Summer rates: $320 to $469.

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Posted at 02:00 PM/ET, 07/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
A man overlooks Overall Run waterfall. Photo courtesy of Zoonar GmbH/Alamy

Biggest Adventure: Overall Run

Overall Run in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is best known for having the tallest waterfall in the park, at 93 feet. While impressive and beautiful when the stream runs high in the spring, during summer months the falls are but a mere whisper of water. Still, the flow is enough to fill a series of three interconnected swimming holes two miles downstream—one pool can get more than seven feet deep. The creek runs over a smooth, sloping rock wall that works as a fantastic water slide. The sun-filled area is a popular spot—especially with local teenagers trying to beat the heat. Even in August the water can be surprising and refreshingly chilly.

The swimming holes are reached via a long (8.5-mile), moderately difficult loop hike through the park, on the Overall Run/Beecher Ridge trail or on a moderate one-mile hike from a parking area on Thompson Hollow Road.

Bentonville. For more information, go to swimmingholes.org/va and scroll down to Overall Area.

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Posted at 08:00 AM/ET, 07/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Going abroad? Here's where to brush up on your destination's lingo. By Elissa Miolene
Photograph by l i g h t p o e t / Shutterstock.

Not only does learning a new language boost brain power, it can also completely transform your travel experience. Washington is a great place for learning, with classes and groups—some teach up to 60 languages!—that cater to your level of fluency and offer flexible scheduling.

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Posted at 02:00 PM/ET, 07/17/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
A three-day feast of art and music that's definitely worth the drive By Sherri Dalphonse
A display of "art cars" is one of many wacky things you may see at Artscape. Image courtesy of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts.

This weekend, July 17 through 19, Baltimore will be once again be hosting what's billed as "the nation's largest free arts festival," Artscape. More than 150 juried artists and craftspeople will display their works both indoors and out. Live music—rock and soul and hip-hop to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra—will take to the festival's multiple stages. Also on the schedule are opera and dance performances, street theater, film, photography, outdoor sculpture, a display of "art cars," and hands-on activities for kids.

In years past, more than 400,000 people have attended the three-day festival, in the area around Mount Royal Avenue and Charles Street. For tips on getting to the festival, click here.

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 07/17/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get Thee to the Country This Weekend for Shakespeare, Soaring Music, and Opera Star Denyce Graves By Sherri Dalphonse
The French opera Roméo et Juliette is among the offerings of this summer's Castleton music festival. Photo courtesy of the Castleton Festival.

On a steamy weekend in the city, why not take a drive to the country—and enjoy a diversion that's a different sort of steamy?

The annual Castleton Festival, which stages concerts and operas by some of the world's most promising young singers and musicians, opened June 28 and runs through August 2 in Virginia's Rappahannock County, about 70 miles southwest of DC. In May, the New York Times named it one of the country's top 10 summer festivals for classical music.

While a few of this weekend's events are already sold out—including Law in Opera, which features operatic performances followed by the commentary of Supreme Court Justice (and opera fan) Ruth Bader Ginsburg—you can still get tickets to Friday's 8 p.m. performance of Roméo et Juliette, a French opera based on the Shakespeare tragedy. Tickets cost $20 to $85.

If your classical tastes run more classic, there's also a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 on Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. As a tribute to the late maestro who founded the festival, Lorin Maazel, Beethoven's work, which includes "Ode to Joy," will be sung by four celebrated soloists, including Washington native Denyce Graves. Tickets are $20 to $65

Posted at 11:30 AM/ET, 07/10/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
A handy, dandy chart to find your perfect summer spot.
Image by Everett Collection.

Posted at 06:00 AM/ET, 07/03/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Capitol Hill's parade in July 2014. Photograph by Mike Licht/Flickr

Saturday's National Independence Day Parade tends to overshadow smaller events, but there are plenty of more low-key processions in the region.

DC:

Capitol Hill's parade runs along Eighth Street, Southeast.

The Palisades neighborhood throws what its citizen association calls "the best small town parade in DC" at 11 AM on Saturday. Bonus for local politics-watchers: District politicians usually make a point of hitting this one.

Maryland:

Annapolis' parade starts at 6:30 PM, and organizers say "Anywhere along the parade route will provide a good view."

Laurel's parade begins at 11 AM at 6th and Montgomery streets.

Kensington will hold a bike parade at 10 AM. It's open to "all kids, and those young at heart, that wish to decorate their bike, scooter, wagon or stroller and follow a Kensington Volunteer Fire Department truck through the streets of Kensington."

Takoma Park's parade begins at 10 AM. This year's parade celebrates Takoma Park's "125 years of good governance."

Virginia:

Dale City's Independence Day parade starts at 10 AM.

Fairfax City's Independence Day parade starts at 10 AM. Rain or shine!

Leesburg's parade starts at 10 AM, and the best participant will win the Patriot Cup, which will be on display at Town Hall all year.

Lovettsville holds its parade on July 3 at 5:30 PM.

Posted at 02:45 PM/ET, 07/02/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Summer is here—time for a vacation. Book one of these and you’ll get a deal just for Washingtonian readers. By Alice Shapin
At the adults-only Villa Buena Onda in Costa Rica, readers can save more than $600 off a four-night stay. Photo courtesy of Villa Buena Onda.

George Washington Slept Here

Where: Hotel Monaco Alexandria, 480 King St., Alexandria; 703-549-6080.

What’s special: This newly renovated luxury hotel reflects Alexandria’s historic character with its Colonial-inspired decor. Amenities include an indoor pool, a fitness center, free use of bikes, a complimentary nightly wine hour, a shuttle to Reagan National Airport, and a pet-friendly policy. Become a member of the free Kimpton Karma Rewards program and get a $10 Raid the Bar credit and free wi-fi. The hotel, in the heart of Old Town, is within walking distance of the waterfront, the Torpedo Factory Art Center, restaurants, and shops, as well as a short drive to George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

The deal: The Venture to Mount Vernon package includes accommodations, two round-trip tickets for the Potomac Riverboat Company cruise from the Alexandria waterfront to Mount Vernon, a pair of tickets for Mount Vernon, and two cocktails from Jackson 20, the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, upon return. Washingtonian readers also receive free parking for one vehicle per night. Rates start at $219. To book, click here and enter the rate code MOUNTV, or call 703-549-6080 and request the Mount Vernon Package. Mention Washingtonian at check-in to get the free parking.

When: Valid for stays through July 2015.

Mountains of Fun

Where: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, 1001 Lafayette Dr., Farmington, Pa.; 724-329-8555.

What’s special: Nemacolin recently underwent a $30-million renovation that spiffed up guest rooms at the elegant Chateau Lafayette as well as meeting rooms and public spaces. Guests can enjoy more than 70 outdoor and indoor diversions, including tennis and golf, a shooting academy, a climbing wall and a zipline, miniature golf, off-road driving in a Jeep Rubicon, bowling, a tour of the $45-million Hardy Family Art Collection, two outdoor and two indoor swimming pools, a 2,400-square-foot fitness center and a spa, and the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, with nearly 600 slot machines and 28 table games.

The deal: The Three Night Summer Vacation Package includes accommodations and a $300-a-night resort credit for dining and activities. Rates start at $650 a day, a savings of up to 20 percent. Mention Washingtonian when booking to also get one Adventure Pass per person (a $25 value per pass), which gets you access to, among other things, the climbing wall, disc golf, miniature golf, and $5 bowling, plus $5, $10, or $20 off other resort activities.

When: Valid for stays Sunday through Thursday, through August 2015.

New York, New York

Where: 70 Park Avenue, 70 Park Ave., New York, N.Y.; 212-973-2400.

What’s special: This pet-friendly boutique hotel puts you in the middle of New York City but not in the middle of the tumult. It’s an easy walk from Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, and the Empire State building. The hotel has a fitness center, luxurious Frette linens, a free evening wine hour, and on-the-house morning coffee and tea service. Become a member of the free Kimpton Karma Rewards and receive a $10 Raid the Bar credit and complimentary wi-fi.

The deal: A Piece of Park Avenue, the package exclusive to Washingtonian readers, includes a guest-room upgrade (based on availability), welcome cocktails for two at the on-site Silverleaf Tavern, a $100 gift card toward lunch for two at Park Avenue Tavern, tickets for two to the Morgan Library & Museum, and complimentary bikes to explore the neighborhood (must be booked 24 hours in advance). Rates start at $310, a 15-percent savings. To book, e-mail packagesny@kimptonhotels.com and mention Washingtonian’s A Piece of Park Avenue package.

When: Valid for stays through September 7, 2015.

Down South

Where: Wild Dunes Resort, 1 Sundial Cir., Isle of Palms, S.C.; 866-359-5593.

What’s special: Wild Dunes Resort is on Isle of Palms, a lush barrier island off the South Carolina coast. The oceanfront property on 1,600 acres offers a wide array of activities including championship golf, tennis, spa services, two fitness centers, restaurants, biking, four swimming pools, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding. It’s just 30 minutes from historic Charleston and its great restaurants.

The deal: The Home Away From Home package offers 15 percent off vacation rental homes and starts at $800 a night for a five-bedroom. Readers also receive a free bottle of Champagne, a $20 value. To get this deal, call 844-391-5697 and use the promo code HOMEDC.

When: Valid for stays through August 31, 2015.

Florida Keys

Where: Casa Marina Resort, 1500 Reynolds St., Key West, Fla.; 305-296-3535.

What’s special: Opened in 1920, Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria resort on the National Register for Historic Places, combines the ambience of old Key West with modern luxury. Located along the southern edge of the island, the property features the largest private beach in Key West. You can swim in one of two oceanfront pools, scuba-dive, snorkel, sail, kayak, take a sunset cruise, jet-ski, bike, or ride a scooter to explore the area. The resort is three miles from the airport, a short drive to both the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum and the Harry S. Truman Little White House, and minutes from historic Old Town and nightlife.

The deal: The Best of Waldorf Astoria promotion includes a $100 resort credit, based on a two-night minimum stay, and a $50 credit for each additional night. Washingtonian readers also get two complimentary cocktails, a $30 value. Rates start at $304. For reservations, click here and use the booking code PBBWAS.

When: Valid for stays through August 31, 2015.

Kicking Back

Where: Las Terrazas Resort & Residences, Ambergris Caye, Belize; 800-447-1553.

What’s special: Enjoy the laid-back elegance of Belize’s Ambergris Caye at this exclusive and intimate luxury hotel with 37 private townhouses. Just steps from a private beach and the Caribbean Sea, the Preferred Boutique Hotel is on the pristine coastline of the world’s second-largest living barrier reef.

The deal: Readers receive a complimentary snorkel trip for two to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley, a $140 value. For reservations, call 800-447-1553 and mention Washingtonian. Prices start at $279 a night.

When: Valid for stays through September 6, 2015.

Living the Life

Where: Villa Buena Onda, Guanacaste, Costa Rica; 800-414-0159.

What’s special: This adults-only (ages 16 and older) luxury boutique hotel on the Golden Coast of Guanacaste is perched on a hillside overlooking Playas del Coco. Enjoy cooking classes, yoga, a spa, and the two-tier, ocean-view saltwater swimming pool. The rate includes three meals each day featuring fresh, local ingredients. It’s 30 minutes from the airport, in an area where guests can sail, go sport-fishing, hike, horseback-ride, or venture out on a zipline or on a cruise to see crocodiles and monkeys.

The deal: Stay four nights and get a 50-minute couples massage as well as a cruise in a private boat to the Papagayo Gulf to visit secluded beaches and to fish, snorkel, swim, or relax. The trip includes a naturalist guide, lunch, and beer. Readers also receive a free bottle of wine, a $35 value. Prices start at $161 per person per night, a savings of $600. To book, call and mention Washingtonian and the Stay Four Night Deal, or book online and mention the magazine and the Stay Four Night Deal in the comment section.

When: Valid for stays through Labor Day 2015.

Posted at 03:30 PM/ET, 07/01/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph by Flickr user Patrick Nouhailler.

The Atlantic beaches may be home to “the nation’s summer capital,” but more visitors come from places other than Washington. Here’s a breakdown of the home bases of recent buyers in and around Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, according to data provided by local real-estate agent Leslie Kopp.

Nearly half of beach-goers call DC their home, while there are more vacationers from Philadelphia, Wilmington, and South Jersey, than from Baltimore. Nine percent of out-of-towners come from the Eastern Shore and a mere four percent hail from New York City.

This article appears in our July 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 07:00 AM/ET, 07/01/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

From their founding as Victorian-era church camps, our area’s seaside getaways have stripped Washington down to its essential parts, with Capitol Hill and Foggy Bottom types clubbing up in their bungalows for beery barbecues and political gossip while midlevel staffers—the elect have long retreated up the coast to Cape Cod and the Vineyard—pursued small-d democratic pleasures along the boardwalks.

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Posted at 07:00 AM/ET, 06/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()