Washington, DC Survival Guide

On behalf of the Local Arrangements Committee, welcome to the 2019 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference in Washington, DC! We are thrilled you are visiting our city and hope this information will make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable.

Don’t forget to visit the official welcome site to discover more about Washington, DC.

CONFERENCE HOTELS

Reserve your room through AALL’s housing agency and enjoy the ultimate in convenience—at specially negotiated rates. Then rest easy, knowing you can make adjustments to your reservation later, penalty-free.

  • Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C. (headquarters hotel)
    901 Massachusetts Ave. NW / 202.824.9200
  • Hampton Inn Washington-Downtown-Convention Center
    901 6th St. NW / 202.842.2500
  • The Henley Park Hotel
    926 Massachusetts Ave. NW / 202.638.5200
  • Morrison-Clark Historic Inn
    1011 L Street NW / 202.898.1200
  • Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel
    999 9th Street NW / 202.898.9000

ARRIVING IN THE D.C. AREA

GETTING HERE BY AIR

Three airports service the D.C. metropolitan region.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

  • PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: To use the Metrorail system, purchase a SmarTrip card to pay for rides. SmarTrip cards can be purchased online before you arrive in D.C, at vending machines, or authorized retailers. The cost of a ride is calculated by the distance traveled and time of day. The refillable SmarTrip cards need to be tapped to both enter and exit the system. The fastest way on Metrorail to reach the Convention Center is to use the Yellow Line and exit at Mt. Vernon Square.
  • TAXI: Taxi service is available from Terminal A and between Terminals B/C. All cabs take cash or credit. Estimates for taxi fares are available.
  • SHUTTLE BUS: Super Shuttle provides shared ride services to all downtown locations. You can book your ride in advance and get a set price.
  • RIDE SHARING: Both Lyft and Uber can be hailed for terminal curbside pick-up. Be sure to check online for the current designated pick-up/drop-off locations, which can change depending on construction at DCA.
  • CAR RENTAL: Many major car rental companies are present at DCA. Most car rental counters are on the first floor of Terminal Garage A. Please visit specific car rental websites for more information.

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

  • PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: The Silver Line Express Bus from the airport connects to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station. Take the Silver Line to L’Enfant Plaza to transfer to the Yellow or Green Line to go to Mt. Vernon Square for the Convention Center. Another option is to take the 5A Express Metrobus to Rosslyn or L’Enfant Plaza Metro Stations. Buses are located on the second curb after exiting baggage claim.To use the Metrorail system, purchase a SmarTrip card to pay for rides. SmarTrip cards can be purchased online before you arrive in D.C, at vending machines, or authorized retailers. The cost of a ride is calculated by the distance traveled and time of day. The refillable SmarTrip cards need to be tapped to both enter and exit the system.
  • TAXI: Follow the signs for ground transportation or taxi to locate the Washington Flyer Taxicabs. Exit on the lower level and from door 2 or 6. Non-airport taxis drop-off passengers, but may only pick-up if arrangements are made in advance. Estimates for cab fares are available.
  • SHUTTLE BUS: Super Shuttle provides shared ride services to all downtown locations. You can book your ride in advance and get a set price.
  • RIDE SHARING: The Lyft pick-up location is on the arrivals level, door 4. Drop-off is at the departures area for each airline. The Uber pick-up location is on the arrivals level as well, but it is recommended to coordinate at which door (1-7) you should meet.
  • CAR RENTAL: Most major car rental firms are present at IAD. There are shuttle buses between the terminal and the car rental lots. The shuttle buses can be found outside of baggage claim by using door 2, 4, or 6.

Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI)

  • Public Transportation: BWI has a free shuttle bus between the airport and the MARC/Amtrak rail station. From the rail station, take either Amtrak or MARC’s Penn Line to D.C.’s Union Station. The Express B30 Metrobus also runs between BWI and the Greenbelt Metro Station weekdays. The B30 bus stops are on the lower levels of the International Concourse and Concourse A/B.
  • Taxi: BWI Airport Taxi is the exclusive taxi service available from the airport and is located on the lower level near doors 5 and 13. Estimates for cab fares are available. For return trips to BWI, use Yellow Cab (202.544.1212).
  • SHUTTLE BUS: Super Shuttle provides shared ride services to all downtown locations. You can book your ride in advance and get a set price.
  • RIDE SHARING: Lift and Uber pick-up and drop-off is on the departures level between doors 9 and 11.
  • CAR RENTAL: Most major car rental firms are present at BWI. Shuttles on the lower level run between the airport terminal and the car rental facility. Please visit specific car rental websites for more information.

GETTING HERE BY CAR

Washington, D.C. sits along I-95. Parking availability varies by hotel and street parking is very limited. Contact your hotel for more information. Another option is to reserve a parking spot in advance using SpotHero.

GETTING HERE BY TRAIN

Washington, D.C. is served by Amtrak’s Acela Express, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Carolinian/Piedmont, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Silver Service/Palmetto, and Vermonter lines. From D.C’s Union Station, the conference center and hotels can be reached by Metro, ride sharing services, or taxi.

GETTING HERE BY BUS

Four major intercity bus carriers service D.C.’s Union Station: MegaBus, BoltBus, Greyhound, and Peter Pan.

GETTING AROUND TOWN

WALKING

Some of the major tourist sights and dining establishments are walkable from the convention center. Washington, D.C. in July is hot and muggy. For long walks, wear light clothing, sunscreen, and carry a refillable water bottle.

Washington, D.C. is divided into 4 quadrants: NW, NE, SE, & SW. Be sure to note the quadrant in the address. For example, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is located at 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, DC 20001.

METRO

To use the Metrorail system, purchase a SmarTrip card to pay for rides. SmarTrip cards can be purchased online before you arrive in D.C, at vending machines, or authorized retailers. The cost of a ride is calculated by the distance traveled and time of day. The refillable SmarTrip cards need to be tapped to both enter and exit the system. Metro has six color coded lines. Service hours vary on weekdays and weekends. The closest stop to the Convention Center is Mt. Vernon Square, which is on the Yellow and Green Lines. (Due to scheduled track work, all stations south of Reagan National Airport will be closed for the duration of the conference.)

BUS

A good option to reach some of the popular tourist destinations not served by Metrorail is the D.C. Circulator. There are routes that serve both Georgetown and the National Mall. It costs $1 to ride, which can be paid with either cash or a SmarTrip card.

Metrobus is another option to get around the city. The cost per a ride is $2 using a SmarTrip card or cash.

BIKE

Capitol Bikeshare is the metro area’s bicycle sharing program covering D.C., Arlington, VA; Alexandria, VA; Montgomery County, MD; and Fairfax County, VA. Individual rides under thirty minutes are $2 and a 24-hour pass is $8. Bike stations are located throughout the metro region.

ELECTRIC SCOOTERS

Lime, Bird, and Skip operate in Washington, D.C. Use the apps to locate a scooter to rent.

RIDESHARING

Lyft, Uber, and Via operate in Washington, D.C. Use the apps to request a ride.

CAR RENTAL

Most of the major car rental companies have a presence in the D.C. area. Other options for short term rental cars include Car2Go and ZipCar.

TAXI

Metered cabs can be hailed in most downtown areas. The first 1/8 mile is $3.50 with each additional mile $2.16.

MEDICAL ATTENTION

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

  • Emergency Fire / Police / Ambulance: 911
  • Washington D.C. (Non-Emergency): 311
  • Greater D.C. Area Codes: 202, 301, 703

RESTAURANTS

Download the 2019 DC Restaurant Guide

PLACES OF WORSHIP

EVERYDAY NECESSITIES

BOOKS

DRY CLEANING

  • Tower Cleaners
    702 O St NW / 202.483.2466
    (0.4 miles from Convention Center)
  • Red Valet Cleaners
    910 P St NW / 202.986.1748
    (0.5 miles from Convention Center)

GROCERY STORES

  • Safeway
    490 L St NW / 202.719.2435
    (0.2 miles from Convention Center)
  • Whole Foods Market
    1440 P St NW / 202.332.4300
    (0.9 miles from Convention Center)

PHARMACIES

  • CVS
    655 K St NW / 202.682.0170
    (0.1 mile from the Convention Center)
  • Walgreens
    801 7th St NW / 202.789.5345
    (0.4 miles from Convention Center)

POST OFFICE AND SHIPPING

  • FedEx Office
    901 Massachusetts Ave NW / 202.783.8412
    (0.1 miles from Convention Center)
  • UPS Store
    1220 L St NW / 202.371.0065
    (0.4 miles from Convention Center)
  • U.S. Postal Service
    1400 L St NW / 202.523.2001
    (0.5 miles from Convention Center)

FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES