The Marriott Wardman Park was home to the 2016 NASFAA conference. Located in the heart of Washington, DC, the hotel is steps from it all – dining, shopping, Rock Creek Park, the National Zoo and the Metro.
Washington.org is a great place to start planning your trip with restaurants, nightlife, activities, and other resources.
Fun Fact #1: Are you a political wonk who cheers at a good (or bad) debate or brews a special coffee to watch Sunday morning talking heads? Walk with the ghosts of the first television episode of "Meet the Press" that aired on November 6, 1947. Recorded in the tower of the Marriott Wardman Park where program co-founder Lawrence Spivak had a residence, Martha Roundtree interviewed James Farley, who had served as Postmaster General, Democratic Committee Chairperson, and campaign manager to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Fun Fact #2: If you feel the gaze of Darth Vader (or a higher force) you may be in the neighborhood of The National Cathedral. The second largest cathedral in the U.S. and the sixth largest in the world, it took 83 years to build (1907-1990) and is decorated with 112 gargoyles and grotesques. In the 1980s, the National Cathedral held a contest for children to design a gargoyle to be placed on the cathedral. The third place winner was Christopher Rader, who submitted a drawing of Darth Vader from Star Wars. With a pair of binoculars, you can spot Darth Vader perched high up on the northwest tower of the cathedral.
Friday Fun Fact #3: Yes, there is political pandemonium in DC most of the time, but Panda-monium at the National Zoological Park is lots of fun. Walking distance from the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, the National Zoo has become a leader in the giant panda conservation effort. Pandas were first introduced to the zoo in April 1972 after President Richard Nixon’s wife mentioned her affinity for pandas during the Nixon’s historic visit to China. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian have produced three cubs born at the zoo since 2005. The panda exhibit has become by far the most popular attraction at the zoo.
Friday Fun Fact #4: With more than 19 museums and galleries in Washington, DC, there is no lack of interesting places to visit. Get your James Bond vibe on while you're in town for NASFAA's 2016 National Conference and visit the only museum that sells mugs and T-shirts with the cryptic message, "Deny Everything." The International Spy Museum, a museum exploring the craft, practice, history, and contemporary role of espionage, opened on July 19, 2002. The museum features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts that illuminate the work of famous spies and pivotal espionage actions behind some of the most secretive espionage missions in world history.
Friday Fun Fact #5: The French Influence: Washington, DC owes much of its unique design of streets to Pierre Charles L'Enfant, who came to America from France to fight in the Revolutionary War and rose from obscurity to become a trusted city planner for George Washington. L'Enfant designed the city from scratch, envisioning a grand capital of wide avenues, public squares, and inspiring buildings in what was then a district of hills, forests, marshes, and plantations. The centerpiece of L'Enfant's plan was a great "public walk," which is now the National Mall. The Mall is a wide, straight strip of grass and trees that stretches for two miles, from Capitol Hill to the Potomac River.