HomeAdventure TravelWhat’s New In The Capital Region USA 2014


200th Anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, throughout 2014
2014 marks several anniversaries in the Capital Region USA, the most monumental of which is the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner. Baltimore is the birthplace of the American National Anthem and it was here in September 1814, during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812, that Francis Scott Key penned the poem that became the USA’s National Anthem. Visitors to the Capital Region can experience The Battle of Caulk’s Field Bicentennial Re-enactment 2014(30-31 August) as well as the 1812 Fair and Re-enactment at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (21 – 22 June 2014) in Maryland; tour Fort McHenry, the star shaped fort which successfully defended the city of Baltimore against British invasion, and observe the massive flag which resides over the fort; learn about a young African American servant called Grace Wisher who worked on the flag at a major exhibit at Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture from 17 May – 16 November 2014; finally, visitors can observe the original American flag currently on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

Visitors can also drive the 100 mile Star-Spangled Banner Byway along the Chesapeake Bay and through historical locations significant to the War of 1812, as well as the opportunity to enjoy a number of events throughout Maryland from 6 September until 16 September 2014. For more information on events, visit www.starspangled200.com  #starspangled200

50 years since the Beatles played in DC, 11 February 2014
The Beatles performed their first American Concert at The Washington Coliseum (a.k.a. Uline Arena) on February 11, 1964, two days after their triumphant performance on Ed Sullivan. On 11 February 2014, exactly 50 years from that day, this concert will be reenacted as exactly as possible at this historic site. In the audience that night were several personalities that went on to larger visibility, including former Vice President Al Gore. Proceeds of this re-enactment concert will go to The DC Preservation League. There will be an exhibit of Photographer Mike Mitchell’s iconic photos of the 1964 concert (he was an 18 year old freelancer at the time) and a short documentary (in the midst of being produced) to be shown before the concert which will include interviews with audience members and original photos. For more information visit, http://blogs.weta.org/boundarystones/2013/10/28/beatles-and-more-musical-history-uline-arena

400th Anniversary of Pocahontas’ Wedding to John Rolfe, 5 April 2014
The true love story which shaped American history will be marked by special programs and exhibits that explore the interaction between Indians and English Settlers. On 5 April 2014, visitors can experience a re-enactment of the wedding at the actual site where it occurred in Historic Jamestowne. For more information, visit www.historicjamestowne.org

70th Anniversary of D-Day, 6 June 2014
The National D Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, will mark the occasion with a special ceremony including an honour guard, interactive veteran’s history stations, a reunion tent, USO show, guest speakers and more. The town of Bedford suffered more loses, per capita, on D-Day than any other locality in the United States and was chosen as the site of the National Memorial as emblematic of all U.S. communities, large and small, whose citizen-soldiers served on D-Day. For more information, visit www.dday.org/70th-anniversary-events

Hotel News:

Marriott Marquis Washington, DC opens on 1 May 2014
The much anticipated Marriott Marquis Washington, DC Hotel will offer 1,175 rooms, including 49 suites, and more than 100,000 square feet of event space when it opens on 1 May 2014. Connected to the adjacent Walter E. Washington Convention Center by an underground concourse, the Marriott Marquis will be conveniently located near Penn Quarter and close to CityCenter DC and the Verizon Center. Property highlights include 54 breakout rooms, outdoor terraces, and retail and restaurant space. For more information, visit www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/wasco-washington-marriott-marquis

Opening Spring 2014: Upscale City Market at O Leads Evolution of Hip Luxury Suites
City Market at O is an upscale mixed-use development featuring restaurants and a new Cambria Suites. Located one block north of the Convention Center, the hotel will offer more than 182 all-suite rooms, a rooftop pool, and a terrace with sweeping city views. City Market at O will open in spring 2014. For more information, visit http://www.citymarketato.com

Aloft BWI Hotel and The Chesapeake Arts Center Launches Monthly Art Exhibits
Aloft BWI Hotel and The Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park have teamed up to present monthly art exhibits and Meet the Artist receptions. Launched in September 2013, the works of a new artist will be on display in the hotel’s main lobby each month. The exhibits will culminate with a Meet the Artist reception each month. For more information visit www.aloftbwi.com or www.Chesapeakearts.org

The Inn at Herrington Harbour Offers Seaplane Excursions
The Inn at Herrington Harbour has begun offering Seaplane excursions over the Chesapeake Bay. At a cost of $95 per person, the twenty-minute excursions are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Seaplane excursions will resume in summer 2014. For more information, visit www.offshorepix.com or www.herringtonharbour.com

America’s Newest Luxury Resort, Salamander Resort and Spa, opens in Virginia
Salamander Resort and Spa is a 168-room luxury resort set on 340 acres amid Virginia’s famed horse country and lush vineyards. The hotel opened in August 2013 and is located in the storied village of Middleburg. The resort is owned by Sheila C. Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. The resort features 25 acres of land dedicated to equestrian activities, a luxurious spa with private courtyard and infinity pool, Virginia Piedmont-inspired dining overseen by award-winning DC Chef Todd Gray, a cooking studio, wine bar, and numerous conference and event facilities, including a 5,000-square-foot grand ballroom and a restored, century-old Stallion Barn.For more information, visit www.salamanderresort.com

Shopping News:

CityCenter DC Opens in December 2013
CityCenter DC is a 10 acre urban hub mixing hotel space, condominiums, offices, restaurants, shops and more – all within walking distance to the convention center and two Metrorail stations. CityCenter DC is ideal for event activities, including dine-arounds and team-building. The New York Times called it a “modern-day Rockefeller Center.” CityCenter DC will open in phases beginning in December 2013. For more information, visit www.citycenterdc.com

Culinary and Winery News:

More Than 25 New Wineries to Open in Virginia in 2014
Virginia is known as the ‘state for lovers’, and is an award-wining wine region. 2014 will see more than 25 new wineries open bringing the total of wineries in Virginia to more than 250. The state is currently the fifth largest wine producing state in the United States, and Virginia wines continue to win top awards in world-wide competitions. For more information, visit www.virginiawine.org

‘A Flight You Can Look Forward To’ – Flight Wine Bar Opens in December 2013
Flight Wine Bar, owned and operated by husband and wife team, Swati Bose and Kabir Amir, is due to open in Washington, DC in December 2013. Bose and Amir will open with an approachable wine list featuring over 30 options by the glass including lesser known varietals and labels from around the world. A selection of domestic and international beers, boutique spirits and a weekly wine-based cocktail will also be on the menu. The 60-seat wine bar will also serve shareable plates designed to complement the diverse wine list. For more information, visit www.flightdc.com

Howard County Restaurant Boom Offers a Taste of the World
Howard County, a county located in the central part of Maryland, will welcome a number of exciting new restaurants in 2014 which will include flavours from all over the world. Restaurants include Facci Ristorante- authentic Italian cuisine featuring an imported wood burning pizza oven, Grille620- a modern twist on the American steakhouse, Highland Inn- a new dining experience with a focus on seasonal foods and purity of flavours, The Grille- featuring American and Mediterranean cuisine, White Oak Tavern- a tap house serving exquisite farm-to-table pub food, Xitomate Cocina Mexicana & Tequila Bar- Specializing in small plates of authentic Mexican cuisine with an immaculate collection of the finest Tequilas. For more information on Howard County, visit www.visithowardcounty.com

Attraction and Activity News:

Smithsonian Opens Newest Museum in 2015
The Smithsonian will open its newest museum in 2015, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2015. On 18 November 2013, the first two artefacts arrived at the museum, including a railway train car made by the Pullman Company in 1922, which is currently under construction on the National Mall. For more information, visit www.nmaahc.si.edu

Six Flags America Adds Two New Thrilling Rides for 2014
Six Flags America is adding two new rides in a brand new area of the amusement park that is conveniently located just outside of Washington, D.C. The new rides are the park’s ninth roller coaster, Ragin’ Cajun, a spinning coaster, and French Quarter Flyers, a family-friendly flying ride. Both attractions will be located in the festive new Mardi Gras section of the park. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com/america

American Chestnut Land Trust Launches New Trail Offering Stunning Views of the Chesapeake Bay
The American Chestnut Land Trust (ACLT) has opened a new gateway to connect people to the 3,000-acre Parkers Creek Preserve in central Calvert County along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The new 4.5-mile section of trail connects Prince Frederick to ACLT’s existing north-side trails. The trail allows hikers to experience the full breadth of the Parkers Creek natural area by continuing to a new overlook platform the land trust built to provide wintertime views of the Chesapeake Bay and the mouth of Parkers Creek. The full 6.1-mile trail is called “Prince Frederick to the Bay” or “PF2Bay” for short.

In addition to its two existing trailheads – one on the north side of Parkers Creek off Dares Beach Road and one on the south side of the creek off Scientists’ Cliffs Road – ACLT now welcomes visitors to its newest Prince Frederick trailhead that starts just off Main Street in Prince Frederick. Parking for the new trail as well as maps and the sign-in area are at St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church. It is recommended that hikers leave one car at Double Oak Farm before hiking, and then take a second car to the Prince Frederick trailhead. The trail is open from dawn to dusk throughout the year. The trail is closed during deer firearms season for safety.
For more information, visit www.acltweb.org

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum Launches ‘African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond’ Exhibit Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond showcases the vast talent and wonderful innovation that came from or was influenced by African Americans, including the important contributions of publishing executives at companies such as Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics and Marvel Comics. This special exhibit will embrace the totality of Black comics. With a significant focus on Black creators and their art, the exhibit will pull together experts, essayists, filmmakers and creators from inside and outside the world of comic books to fully explore the successes, triumphs, failures and expectations for the future of this vital component of our national fabric. The exhibit will run from 14 December 2013 – April 2014. For more information, visit www.geppismuseum.com and www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=37284

B&O Railroad Museum Celebrates Black History Month in February 2014
The B&O Railroad Museum opens a new African American exhibit that celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the railroad industry. Learn about the men and women who filled vital jobs along the B&O Railroad’s line and understand how significant social issues, such as segregation, affected railroading. New exhibits focus on African American passenger travel during segregation and chefs and waiters who worked on B&O dining cars. The exhibit runs from 1 February to 28 February 2013. For more information, visit www.borail.org

Chrysler Museum of Art Reopens and Celebrates 70 years of the Smokey Bear American Icon
The Chrysler Museum of Art, located in Norfolk, Virginia, is to reopen in April 2014 after an extensive renovation and expansion. Exhibits to mark the reopening will include 70 Years of Smokey Bear, the American icon whose motto is “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires”. For more information, visit www.chrysler.org/exhibitions/70-years-of-smokey-bear / or www.chrysler.org

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Opens Multi-media Rock Spectacular
Opening in Spring 2014 at Busch Garden Williamsburg, Virginia, London Rocks takes visitors on a musical journey that explores the roots of rock-n-roll and transforms Busch Gardens’ Globe Theatre into a rousing 25-minute live action and multi-media rock spectacular. The musical revue explores the powerful role that music plays in people’s lives. A team of more than 200 musical directors, designers, technicians and artists is taking on this ambitious Busch Gardens’ production. For more information, visit www.seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-williamsburg

The Aquarium Adventure Park opens in Virginia Beach in Summer 2014.
Appealing to outdoor fun-seekers ages five years old and up, the Adventure Park, located on the campus of the Virginia Aquarium, will feature multiple zip lines and aerial ropes challenge courses. Activities at the park are forest-friendly, requiring only human power—no motors or machines. For more information, visit www.vbgov.com/news/Pages/selected.aspx?release=1671

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Opens Exhibition of Artworks from the Palace Museum, Beijing
A new exhibition, the Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing will open at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from 18 October 2014 – 11 January 2015 as part of collaboration with the Beijing Palace Museum, China’s largest art museum and the largest palace in the world. The exhibit will showcase more than 180 portraits, sculptures, textiles and unique artefacts from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Enhanced by 3-D virtual technology, the exhibit offers an immersive experience as if passing through the Forbidden City during the height of its glory. For more information, visitwww.nmaahc.si.edu

Transports News:

New Baltimore – DC Weekend Rail Service Launched on 7 December 2013
The Maryland Transit Administration is now offering a weekend MARC train service between Baltimore and Washington, DC. The trains will make nine Saturday round trips and six Sunday round trips between Penn Station in Baltimore and Union Station in Washington. The service is expected to be especially appealing to international travellers touching down at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in Anne Arundel County. About 45-percent of BWI’s business comes from the Washington region. For more information, visit www.mta.maryland.gov/marc-train

New Silver Line Metro Extension Connects DC to Surrounding Cities
The Silver Line Metro Extension (also known as the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project) is currently well underway. The new line will connect DC to surrounding cities including the retail mecca of Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. The line to Tyson’s Corner is expected to open in 2014; the line connecting Washington Dulles International Airport is expected to open in 2018. For more information, visit www.dullesmetro.com

DC Streetcars (trams) to Arrive in DC
DC Streetcars are expected to start service in early spring 2014 along H Street and Benning Road NE. For more information, visit www.dcstreetcar.com

Virginia Launches Jamestown Discovery Boat Ride
New in 2014 is Jamestown Discovery, a 90 minute boat tour on the beautiful James River that travels around the historic Jamestown Island. All tours are handicap accessible and offer a new view of the history and beauty of the river. A website is not available at present but for more information, visit their Facebook page – www.facebook.com/jamestowndiscoverytours

To find out more about the Capital Region USA, visit www.CapitalRegionUSA.co.uk

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