Washington, D.C.

The business trip … have you ever felt the dread of new project requiring frequent travel? Sure, you’ll get airline points, but you worry about the tiresome journeys ahead. Or, maybe you’re a seasoned business traveler who enjoys it, but even you can get bogged down in your work routine. Why not seize these trips as opportunities to relish the refreshing experiences a new destination offers?
Flying over DC aerial view
Chances are, at some point in your career you’ll be headed to Washington, D.C. It is, after all, a pretty powerful city! But it doesn’t have to be all work. Take it from someone who spent the better part of a decade making 10 or more trips per year to the nation’s capital! David Folkeson, now the Loews Madison’s Director of Sales and Marketing, shared with me his suggestions for enjoying a business trip in D.C., and I have to say, wherever your work obligations take you, these are good tips to remember!

1. Always build in “me time”

Even OxfordDictionaries.com has a definition for “me time”: “Time spent relaxing on one’s own …  an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.” We know it can seem impossible with back to back meetings, but David says it’s worth it.

David: I would always build in some me time on my D.C. trips. If possible, come in on a Sunday before the work week. One of my favorite things was a trip to Old Ebbitt Grill – getting the seafood platter and sitting at the bar. It’s a nice bar for solo dining, and the service and food is always good.  There’s a lot of great people watching with locals and vacationers alike. This restaurant was always in a good spot for me relative to my business in DC – pick somewhere you can walk to.  It gets you out. It may seem quite simple, but the walk is time you can take for yourself and get oriented to the city.

Old Ebbitt Grill bar 5 from FB

Photo courtesy of Old Ebbitt Grill’s Facebook page.

D.C. is constantly moving, and there’s always something fun and new to see, particularly in the culinary world. Find a way to understand your destination and get to know it, especially somewhere as exciting as D.C., and it’ll make for a much more enjoyable trip.

2. Get outside to exercise: 2 birds, 1 stone

Admittedly, the weather doesn’t always cooperate, but when it does, bust a move to get beyond the four walls of your work responsibilities!

David: At the end of the day, you need to clear your head. You’ve also probably been pressed for time to see the city’s sights. Getting outside for a run, or walk, is a great way to do both… and you’ll feel better if you exercise.  I recommend a jog along the National Mall, the Washington Monument and the White House – in what other city can you run within a couple miles radius and see such incredible sights?

The Mount Vernon Trail is another favorite of mine that allows you to see the Jefferson Memorial and some great cityscapes.  When you want to catch your breath, my favorite spot is at the base of the Washington Monument – sit on one of the benches facing the Lincoln Memorial, and catch the sunset if you can. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in the city.
Lincoln Monument twilight- shutterstock_115838485

3.  Ask the doorman & concierge for tips

David: Don’t skip over these excellent resources. Especially in D.C., the doormen and concierge are incredibly knowledgeable. Tell them what you want to do, and you’re likely to get anywhere from 2-10 recommendations, all spot on!

[The Loews Madison’s concierge team has over 35 years of experience in the city!]

Concierge, doorman

Whew, and we didn’t even mention all the waterfront attraction, free museums, shopping, music venues, theaters or tours. When the meeting breaks, Loews Madison is ready to help you relish your free time in DC!

Loews Hotels & Co.