US national landmarks, plus three
historic hotels to go with them
Monuments to mountains ...
A journey of only 240 miles can take you from the shadow of the Washington Monument to the shade of the Blue Ridge Mountains, from the capital city’s national monuments to serene natural majesty in neighboring Virginia. In this corner of America, three historic hotels take advantage of the area’s most humbling “national parks” with some “capital clout” — Capital Hilton, Washington Hilton and The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center - A DoubleTree by Hilton.
US national monuments
near DC’s favorite Hilton hotels
Capital Hilton and Washington Hilton put their guests right in the center of monumental action of Washington, DC. These two Hilton hotels are roughly a mile apart; Capital Hilton is closest to the city’s memorials, while Washington Hilton is plucked in the heart of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
One of America’s most celebrated hotels, Capital Hilton is just two blocks away from the White House, and since its 1943 opening, the hotel has long welcomed presidents, dignitaries and countless notable leaders. In fact, President Barack Obama's first Instagram photo, posted in 2012, was taken onsite at the Capital Hilton.
If you’re staying at Capitol Hilton, you’ll want to visit the National Mall, the nation’s humbling memorial park that has long been considered “America’s Front Yard.” Here, and around the city, travelers can visit 100 national monuments for free, making Washington, DC, a budget-friendly, family-oriented experience. (Our list of “Must-See National Monuments in Washington, DC” is a good read if you want to explore the top sites.)
Meanwhile, Washington Hilton is located in the DuPont Circle neighborhood, putting the hotel near some of the DC’s other popular attractions, like the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Rock Creek Park (a national park) and the charming cobblestoned Georgetown. (Established in 1751, Georgetown is Washington DC’s most historic neighborhood, lined with 18th and 19th century architecture. A long list of famous residents, including Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy, lived here.)
Back at Washington Hilton, the hotel is renowned for its double-arched design, which flaunts some of the city’s most spacious interiors, including DC’s largest (pillar-less) ballroom. The hotel’s outdoor spaces are just as spectacular, featuring tranquil water features, glimmering fire pits and sparkling DC views.
Roanoke — the Capital of the
Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia
Now, let’s revisit The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, which we mentioned at the start of our story. This DoubleTree hotel by Hilton introduces travelers to a different “national park” experience. To get to the hotel, drive along the Capital Accommodations Near, a scenic 469-mile route that winds its way through the Appalachian Mountains, connecting Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Travelers can expect a speed limit of 45 mph, along with no semi trucks, no traffic lights and no obnoxious billboards through 82,000 acres of federal land. Here, 91 historic structures, 26 tunnels, 281 overlooks and 1,300 scenic beauty spots are sprinkled throughout this breathtaking region. There also are 120 hiking trails if you need to stretch your legs. The parkway begins in Waynesboro, Virginia and ends in Cherokee, North Carolina, passing quaint towns in both states. Just 5 miles off the parkway, Roanoke, Virginia is “The Capital of the Blue Ridge.”
To soak up the atmosphere of Roanoke with a dollop of gravy, stop for some popular chicken and waffles (on the same plate) and farm-to-table choices from any of the 60 restaurants at the historic Roanoke City Market. It’s open year-round, seven days a week. Don’t miss the Virginia Museum of Transportation, where model trains take visitors back to the days when the Norfolk and Western Railway built state-of-the-art steam locomotives with wheels as tall as a grown man.
Inside the 1882 classic Tudor-style Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center - A DoubleTree by Hilton, look up at the ceiling in the Palm Court. Its constellation design replicates the sky exactly as it appeared on the day that first train pulled in to Roanoke in 1852. It’s a fitting tribute to this historic hotel, where city and country living blend together in Virginia’s beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.