Networking, education, and professional refreshment will keep several thousand hospitalists busy during HM15 workdays next month at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in National Harbor, Md. But what will fill the evenings? And what are families to do while hospitalists attend sessions?
That’s where hospitalist Amit Pahwa, MD, of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, can help. He lives in Ellicott City, Md., a bedroom community some 40 miles north of Washington, D.C. Visiting for a day or three at a time is practically a part-time job for him.
First up on his travel itinerary would be the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival, which kicks off March 20. In fact, the annual Blossom Kite Festival is set for Saturday, March 28, the day before HM15 pre-courses kick off.
“It’s beautiful,” says Dr. Pahwa, vice president of SHM’s Maryland chapter. “It’s absolutely beautiful. The weather’s getting nicer, everybody’s been inside for a couple of months…it’s really nice.”
While on the National Mall, hospitalists can point at dozens of museums they’d like to visit. Dr. Pahwa’s two young kids often choose for him. Their favorite is the National Museum of Natural History.
“And my son loves the (National) Air and Space Museum,” he says.
For the more adventurous or athletic, he suggests kayaking the Potomac River.
Hospitalists who are a little less adventurous may want to look into Capital Bikeshare, a bike-sharing program that allows visitors to rent a bike at stations around the district and then return them to other stations.
“It’s a cool thing to do to get around the city,” Dr. Pahwa says.
Of course, after all that exercise, even the heartiest hospitalist is bound to be hungry. Dr. Pahwa recommends the following restaurants:
- National Harbor: Rosa Mexicano (guacamole made tableside) and Harrington’s Pub and Kitchen (classic pub grub with a pint of Guinness) are both within walking distance from the convention center.
- Washington: Dukem (1114-1118 U Street NW), an Ethiopian restaurant, is one of his favorites; meats and spices dominate the menu. For Mexican, try Oyamel Cucina Mexicana (401 7th Street NW). Those with a sweeter palate can try Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats (1370 Park Road NW), a vegan bakery so good Dr. Pahwa almost bought his wedding cake there.
- Old Town Alexandria, Va. Chart House, a national seafood chain whose Old Town location overlooks the Potomac River. “I know it’s a chain, but it’s really good,” he says.
Dr. Pahwa says that hospitalists in Old Town—there’s a water taxi that comes straight from National Harbor—should take the time to walk around. Although national retailers like the Gap have popped up on King Street, the downtown’s main thoroughfare, the area retains its old-time charm.
“There are still a lot of mom and pop areas people can hang out and get some coffee,” he says. “It’s just a nice area to walk around.”
For more visitor information, check out www.washington.org. For information about HM15’s family programs, click here.
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.