As I've traveled throughout the years from the outskirts of Maryland into Washington, DC, I've never really thought of Silver Spring more than just a stop along the Metro or beltway. Who would have known it's a destination in itself?
We decided to leisurely explore this area with a staycation at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC - Silver Spring. Even when I'm staying just one night at a hotel, I have three things that top my list for must-haves:
For this excursion, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Silver Spring checked all the boxes.
Situated conveniently at 8727 Colesville Road (Route 29) in Silver Spring, Maryland, it's only 5 miles from where the Capital Beltway Inner Loop meets I-95, the main route up and down the East Coast. It's less than a 45-minute drive
from BWI Airport, Washington National Airport, and Dulles Airport; close proximity to many colleges and universities; and convenient to various theaters and event venues. Plus, it's just a few blocks away from the DC Metro red line to take you quickly into Washington, DC for sightseeing. As its own city, Silver Spring has emerged as an energized downtown area with shopping, restaurants, family activities, and more.
For us, it was an easy hour long road trip and a surprisingly fun place for a getaway. After leaving our car with the valet in the attached garage, we stepped into the lobby and felt comfortable right away.
I admit, one thing that always attracts me to stay at DoubleTree hotels are the amazingly warm chocolate chip cookies they hand you at check in, With just one bite filled with the distinctive flavors of brown sugar, oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts, you know you are in for a decadent stay.
Shhh...don't tell them I told you, but stop by the desk anytime during your stay and they'll give you a warm cookie.
Since we travel as a family, we like lots of space and these rooms were perfect. Each spacious suite is decorated with soft colors, has two large televisions and a roomy sofa that easily seats 4 people. The sofa also opens up for additional sleeping room.
In the bathrooms, they are generous with luxurious Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries. I discovered bar soap, body lotion, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and even mouthwash and a shower cap. You'll definitely want to use them...the verbena and lavender scented soaps and lotions smell delicious.
The King suite has a separate bedroom, along with full bathrooms, walk-in closet, and large windows with fantastic city views.
My boys, as they are teenagers and need their own retreat, had a suite next door with two Queen beds. This suite also has a desk with chair, vanity nook with cushioned stool, and pretty glass doors separating the bedroom from the living area.
Before heading out to explore Silver Spring, don't miss the activities in the hotel. The 9th floor is home to an indoor swimming pool and a gym filled with treadmills and other aerobic equipment. Also, Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout.
Savor Lounge is located right off the hotel lobby. During the week they feature a Happy Hour with a Lite Bites menu and specialty DoubleTree cocktails. This space is bustling on Sundays during football season while you watch NFL football games on a big television screen.
It's a staycation so I was ready to enjoy a cocktail before dinner. Since we were outside of Washington, DC in the spring, I celebrated the traditional cherry blossoms with a "Spring Cherry Blossom" mixed with vodka, St. Germaine, fresh lemon, and cranberry juice.
There are great dining choices without even leaving the hotel. We decided on their featured restaurant Savor. This modern restaurant features American food favorites all day long. There is truly something for everyone on this menu.
One of the best parts of traveling as a family is that you can try different things. Everyone ordered an appetizer so we could each have a taste of a few selections. Hands down our family's favorite was the Chicken Wings with Sweet Thai Glaze. Cooked to a crisp and basted with a sweet glaze, they have a subtle kick of heat, I highly recommend them.
The "All Day" menu includes a wide variety of entrees along with specials. Maryland Crab Cakes were featured and we couldn't resist. If you aren't in the mood for a large meal, they also have gourmet burgers, flatbreads, soups, salads, and other light fare.
We always have dessert! What better way to celebrate a staycation at a DoubleTree hotel than with a dessert inspired by the famous DoubleTree cookie. The DT Ice Cream Sundae is created with rich vanilla ice cream, crumbled DoubleTree cookies, whipped cream, and lots of chocolate sauce. It's definitely a top pick.
In the mornings, complimentary coffee awaits you in the lounge.
Brunch at Savor has everything you'd want. From fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, hot eggs, french toast, sausage, bacon, pastries, assorted juices and more...it's beautifully presented and tastes as good as it looks. The service in Savor is spot-on as the friendly staff constantly replenishes the various stations so they are kept full. This is always something I like to see.
Since DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Silver Spring is in the heart of Silver Spring, it's just steps away from more places to eat and explore. Below are a few favorite places we also enjoyed during our visit:
FRESHFARM Downtown Silver Spring Market
If you are anywhere near Silver Spring on a Saturday, you won't want to miss the FRESHFARM Downtown Silver Spring Market. Open Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm (April - December) and 10 am to 1 pm (January - March), this farmer's market features over 45 local vendors from Washington, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Farmers and producers bring their products ranging from organic fruits and vegetables to dairy products, meats, fresh flowers, breads, pastries, honey, soaps, wines, and more. You'll want a taste of everything!
TIP: When staying at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Silver Spring, ask for a mini-fridge for your room and store perishables during your visit to bring home.
FRESHFARM Downtown Silver Spring Market is a short 4 minute walk from the DoubleTree. It's located at 890 Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring on Ellsworth Drive between Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue. In this main center, you may also find lively musical entertainers performing throughout the day.
Downtown Silver Spring
Open all year long, Downtown Silver Spring offers something for everyone. From shopping to restaurants, along with family friendly activities, this energetic area is a fantastic spot to spend your day. Bring the kids to splash in the Interactive Fountain (open daily during the summer months) or enjoy one of the many restaurants in the area.
Hop on a bicycle and explore all that Downtown Silver Spring has to offer. All you have to do is download the Capital Bikeshare app, purchase a pass (increments of 30 minute passes or a 24-hour pass), and you are off! When your time is up, return to the same or any other Capital Bikeshare stop in the Metro DC area.
For a quick bite, try Mod pizza for a fantastic artisan style pizza in Downtown Silver Spring. For one price, you pick all the toppings you want. They offer a variety of cheeses, vegetables, meats and even sauces to drizzle over. The crispy wood-fired crust is amazing but it's their red sauce that really makes it special. With a hint of spice, my family couldn't get enough of it.
Just a few steps away is the newly opened Matchbox, Silver Spring. Originally introduced in the heart of Washington DC, their newest location is already one of the hottest spots in town and uses a brick oven concept to create delicious food in a fun atmosphere.
A visit is not complete without ice cream from Ben & Jerry's in City Place Mall. With cones and bowls decorated with chocolate and jimmies, they have all the traditional Ben & Jerry flavors you've grown to love. If you are a milkshake fan, they are fabulous. I didn't measure, but it looked like more than a pint of ice cream went into just one shake.
A stay in Silver Spring, Maryland affords you the suite life without paying the big city prices and you can still enjoy the vibe of a city experience. There are a variety of hotels to choose from but for the amenities, location, and fantastic service, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Silver Spring is where you'll want to be.
Don't forget where you saw this for your next visit to Silver Spring, Maryland. Pin it on Pinterest!
DISCLAIMER: My Virtual Vacations was generously provided a complimentary stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Silver Spring, including dining and parking, for one night. As always, my opinions are my own based on our experiences.
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Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, with a family including two teenage boys, we still need family friendly and comfortable.
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