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Exploring the Nation's Capital With the Inside Self-Storage World Expo

Jim Chiswell Comments

This fall, the Inside Self-Storage World Expo moves to the spectacular venue of Washington, D.C. Having lived and worked in the Washington metro area for many years, it’s my pleasure to share with you the many wonderful places to visit in this history-rich area. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to improve your business and explore the nation’s capital!

During Oct. 5-8, industry professionals will gather at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, a 300-acre waterfront destination bordering a mile-long stretch of the Potomac River in National Harbor, Md. The focal point of the harbor area, the Gaylord is the largest non-gaming hotel on the Eastern seaboard.

Just 10 miles from downtown, the hotel is readily accessible from three local airports―a mere 7 miles from Reagan National, and 45 minutes from Dulles and Baltimore Washington International.

There are so many free or low-cost attractions that will appeal to everyone’s interests, young and old. It will require some planning to take maximum advantage of all the region has to offer, but it will be worth your effort.

The White House

No matter what your politics, visiting the White House can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Public tours are available for groups of 10 or more, but you must submit your request through the office of your state’s member of Congress. These requests are accepted up to six months in advance. You can call the Capital’s switchboard (202.225.3121) to be connected directly to your House of Representative member or Senator.

Self-guided White House tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (excluding federal holidays), and are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis approximately one month in advance of the requested date. Since the number of daily visitors is limited, I encourage you to submit your request as early as possible. All White House tours are free of charge, but they can be cancelled at any time by the White House staff based on circumstances. For more info, visit or

Visitor’s Center and Capitol

The White House Visitor Center is on the southeast corner of 15th and E Streets. The center is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., and provides info on many White House subjects including architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders. You can even watch a 30-minute video. Allow yourself 20 minutes to an hour to explore the exhibits. The White House Historical Association also sponsors a sales area. Restrooms are available, but there is no food service.

There are also guided tours of the U.S. Capitol. Tours need to be scheduled in advance through the Capitol’s registration system or by contacting the office of your Representatives or Senators. Many Congressional offices offer their own staff-led tours to groups of up to 15 people, and most can assist you in booking a general tour.

The guided tour includes “Out of Many, One,” a 13-minute film that illustrates how the United States established a new form of government. The video also highlights the vital role Congress plays in the daily lives of Americans, and introduces the building that houses the U.S. Congress. The Capitol Visitor Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For details, visit

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