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Considered our nation’s Founding Father, George Washington served as the U.S.’ first commander in chief, initially as the leader of the Continental Army when America won its independence and following as the first president of the United States. When he died in 1799, his birthday, February 22, became a day to honor his legacy. Eighty years passed before the day became an official holiday, but only in the District of Columbia, home to the White House and each president that served after Washington. It took nearly 100 more years before Presidents Day became nationally celebrated, also honoring President Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday fell on February 12. But Americans had new reason to celebrate in 1971, when Presidents Day moved to the third Monday of February in order to give workers a three-day weekend.
What better way to enjoy the three-day break than with a weekend to the nation’s capital, honoring Washington, Lincoln and the 44 additional men who have served terms as United States Presidents?
A first stop on a presidential tour of Washington, D.C., should be Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, on the banks of the Potomac River. The home to George and Martha until their deaths, visitors can tour the mansion and walk the hallowed grounds featuring gardens, historic outbuildings and a living history farm, distillery and gristmill. Washington is buried here and a wreath-laying ceremony takes place at his tomb on his birthday.
Washington is also honored at the National Mall, where the white marble Washington Monument stands 555 feet tall above the city. Visitors can ride an elevator to the top floor and take in the views of the park flanked by museums, the U.S. Capitol and the White House. Also honored around the Mall are Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, who are memorialized in monuments, statues and a granite monolith and grove that make fitting stops for a presidential weekend getaway.
Further afield, visitors can explore Woodrow Wilson’s post-White House home and Lincoln’s Civil War-time cottage residence, which is now a museum. And every president is honored at the National Portrait Gallery, where more than 1,600 likenesses of the presidents are featured in its collection – the largest collection outside of the White House. In fact, across the city are tributes to the men who have led the nation, from parks to statues and from busts to tombs, all deserving of a visit over a weekend dedicated to them.
When staying in Washington during Presidents Day Weekend – or any other time of the year – the stunning Waldorf Astoria Washington DC will surround you with history. Many former presidents of the United States have utilized and loved Waldorf Astoria properties across the U.S. America’s 31st President Herbert Hoover, for example, enjoyed the Waldorf Astoria hotel so much that following his presidency, he kept an apartment at the Waldorf Astoria New York property until he died in 1964. Similarly, President Dwight D. Eisenhower lived at Waldorf Astoria New York with his wife from 1967 to 1969. Now that Waldorf Astoria has opened a property at a premium address in the heart of Washington, D.C., it takes on the role of home to the city’s most significant events, groundbreaking meetings, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unforgettable stays.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Waldorf Astoria Washington DC stands tall on Pennsylvania Avenue and pays tribute to Waldorf Astoria’s iconic legacy. Built between 1892 and 1899, the property served as the headquarters for the U.S. Post Office Department and as the post office for the city. The third-tallest building in Washington, D.C., it offers commanding views of the White House and the U.S. Capitol from its iconic Clock Tower and embodies a vision of limitless potential as it has been repurposed over the last century while still honoring its notable place in the timeline of America.
The historic property offers 263 expansive and luxurious guest rooms and suites, including some of the largest guest rooms in the city. With thoughtful detailing, rooms and suites pay homage to elements of the building’s origins, featuring stately décor such as solid wood doors, wainscoting and soaring windows. Finely appointed spa-like bathrooms feature oversized tubs, separate glass-enclosed showers and beautiful marble vanities. Throughout the hotel, a sophisticated guest room art program tells the story of the Old Post Office.
During your stay, you’ll be hard-pressed to pass up Waldorf Astoria’s culinary experience of Michelin-starred José Andrés’ newly opened The Bazaar or neighboring Michelin-starred Sushi Nakazawa, serving the omakase of Chef Daisuke Nakazawa. And just like the politicians who conduct meetings in the hotel’s soaring grand atrium, enjoy the innovative cocktails, impeccable wine selection and cultivated cuisine found in the hotel’s iconic Peacock Alley.
The hotel offers guests a chance to relax and recharge at Waldorf Astoria Spa, featuring six rejuvenating treatment rooms, including a couples’ suite and a soothing Himalayan salt therapy room. Guests can also take a complimentary ride to the top of the former Old Post Office’s Clock Tower, offering 360-degree views of the city from its 270-foot-high observation deck. The tower’s exhibits highlight the building’s original past.
Countless attractions to take part in throughout the weekend surround the hotel’s central location. With never-ending celebrations, activities and sites to see, having Waldorf Astoria Washington DC as your home base will serve as the cherry on top of an unforgettable weekend.