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Travel News

A call to sea-glass enthusiasts, a local garden fest for the family, and some hotel anniversary perks.

The 27th annual National Travel and Tourism Week begins tomorrow, May 8, and continues through Sunday, May 16. What better way to salute the travel market than to, well, travel? Here are some getaway deals, industry updates, and area happenings to get you going.

Do you have a gift for Mom yet? Why not book her a room at a Washington hotel? Lots of them are pulling out the stops for Mother’s Day, with themed packages to really pamper Mom this weekend. Check out our roundup here.

For garden fun for the whole family this weekend, visit the Smithsonian’s fourth annual Garden Fest. This free family-friendly festival is taking place tomorrow from 10 to 4 in the Enid A. Haupt Garden, the rooftop green space between the Smithsonian Castle and Independence Avenue. You’ll learn how chocolate gets from tree to tummy, the difference between good and bad bugs, and how to arrange a flower bouquet. The festival includes live music, crafts, demonstrations, and other hands-on activities. Get more details here.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City hotel, which means neat promotions and deals are happening from now through December. During its 20-day anniversary countdown, the hotel debuted a new signature dessert (a chocolate-chip/cherry soufflé), offered restaurant discounts for guests sharing the hotel’s birthday (May 7), and amenities for younger guests (Teddy Bear Tea, a scavenger hunt, and sugar cookies upon check-in). It also announced a new weekend package rate ($499 per night) that includes Champagne, parking, and dinner for two at the hotel’s restaurant, Fyve. Those who book the package are entered to win a free week at the seaside Ritz-Carlton Sanya resort in Yalong Bay, China. Call 703-415-5000 or book online and ask about the 20th Anniversary Package and South China Sea Vacation drawing.

Did you know that spring is one of the best times to scour the shore for sea glass? It’s also a perfect time to see and buy sea-glass artwork and jewelry at the annual Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass Festival. The Lewes Historical Society in Lewes, Delaware, is hosting the festival June 26 and 27. It’ll feature artwork, stained glass, and jewelry made with sea glass as well as carvings and waterfowl art from artists all over the country. In addition to vendors, there’ll be lectures and competitions celebrating the coastal arts. Admission is $5 for both days; children 12 and under are free. For more information, visit the Lewes Historical Society site.

Gaylord Hotels is about halfway through its 72-hour summer sale, where you can get an overnight stay starting at $119 at three locations: Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Gaylord Texan in Dallas, and Washington’s very own Gaylord National. The deal at the National Harbor location is for Memorial Day weekend only, and travel for the other two must occur between May 14 and 31. Hurry, though—you have about 24 hours and counting. . . .

If you’ve got a Philly trip in your future, check out Rittenhouse 1715, a small, 23-room boutique hotel just off historic Rittenhouse Square. The hotel is offering a buy-two-nights-get-the-third-free deal that’s good for this summer’s holiday weekends, including Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Rittenhouse rates start at $249 a night; a wine hour each evening as well as continental breakfast are included. To reserve, call 215-546-6500 or book online.

Vacation Travel Mart is featuring a Washington-specific deal in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. A roundtrip flight out of Washington and a four-night stay in the all-inclusive beachfront Ocean Maya Resort starts at just $375 a person. The deal includes all food and beverages, various activities, nightly entertainment, and the hotel taxes and gratuities. Also, two kids can stay and eat for free. The deal at this bungalow-style resort near Playa del Carmen applies for travel through the end of June. Book by calling 800-288-1435 or online by May 14.

Speaking of amazing travel deals, the new Web site America Daily Getaways is posting daily travel deals through June 4 every weekday at 10 AM. Bargain hunters can see exactly how much they’re saving with each discount and how many of the deals are left to grab. Recent deals have included a one-night stay at any Radisson hotel for $80 or a night at any Country Inns & Suites for $50.

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