Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog




10 Attractions to Visit in and around Washington, D.C. While Attending CICON24 

The eighth annual CRI-ENCI Cancer Immunotherapy Conference (CICON24) kicks off on September 8 in National Harbor, Maryland. Attendees can expect to learn about new advancements and discoveries in cancer immunotherapy under the theme of “Translating Science into Survival.” It will also provide a chance to connect with scientists, researchers, and others who care about defeating cancer just as much as you do. 

However, your time in the greater Washington, D.C. area presents opportunities outside the conference, too. Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, a CRI Scientific Advisory Council associate director, deputy director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and the associate director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, National Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel member, and CICON24 co-chair, says Washington, D.C. presents great opportunities to explore. 

“Coming to D.C. for a meeting is terrific because D.C. has so much to offer. All the free museums, the restaurants, and the neighborhoods are great. It is easy to get around. It is both a walkable city but has a good subway too. It is just a wonderful place to come visit,” Dr. Jaffee says. 

Here are 10 ideas for how you can make the most of your time in and around the U.S. capital city. 

1. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals call Nationals Park home, and the ballpark boasts a prime waterfront location. While watching the game baseball fans can enjoy a variety of cuisines from simple hot dogs and fries to barbecue and a Kosher grill. On Tuesday, September 10, the Washington Nationals are hosting their divisional rivals the Atlanta Braves at 6:45 p.m. You can purchase tickets for this fun night out at the ballpark, which includes round-trip transportation to and from the Gaylord National during meeting registration.  

2. The National Mall, Washington, D.C. 

The National Mall is as historic as it is sprawling. The over 1,000-acre park’s perimeters reach from the U.S. Capitol Building, all the way to the Lincoln Memorial Whether you want to soak in American history or simply lounge for a relaxing afternoon, visiting the National Mall is a great way to spend a few hours in the heart of Washington, D.C. 

3. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. 

Set directly on the beautiful Potomac River, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is an architectural marvel. Its interior is lavishly decorated with red carpets, crystal chandeliers, and numerous state flags. During CICON24, the center will host a comedy show over several nights in its theater lab. Fortunately, the center’s public hours range from 10 a.m. all the way through 12:00 a.m. 

4. United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland 

Located just over an hour’s drive from National Harbor, Annapolis, Maryland is a historic city that is most famous for housing the United States Naval Academy. Its students are midshipmen on active duty in the U.S. Navy. The academy is open to the public daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Saturday, September 7, the day before CICON24 begins, the Navy Midshipmen will be hosting a college football game against the Temple University Owls at 3:30 p.m. 

5. The White House, Washington, D.C. 

The White House is one of the most recognizable buildings in the U.S., painted ivory with Roman-style columns adorning the front of the structure. The 132-room home is available for public tours, permitting that inquiries are made between 21 and 90 days in advance. Tour hours are usually available from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and a valid form of identification is required. 

6. Bobby McKey’s, National Harbor, Maryland 

Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano bar offers great live tunes for all music tastes. Each night, pianists will accept the crowd’s song requests – ranging from Mozart to Beyoncé and beyond. The establishment earned a Trip Advisor distinction as the number one restaurant in National Harbor in 2019. During CICON, the dueling piano bar is open for brunch on Sunday, September 8, and from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday September 9 through Wednesday September 11. 

7. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C. 

The memorial for prominent Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., stands at 1964 Independence Avenue, SW, in Washington, D.C. The address is no accident, as it reflects the year the Civil Rights Act Of 1964 was signed, a law Dr. King advocated for passionately, which prohibited racial segregation in the U.S. The memorial is made of carved stone and engraved with various quotes from the instrumental activist, writer and Baptist minister. The memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day.

8. Hellbender Brewing Company, Washington, D.C. 

Located a stone’s throw from the Maryland border in northeast Washington, D.C., the Hellbender Brewing Company cracked Eater DC’s list of 20 essential breweries in and around the capital. The company’s namesake comes from an endangered aquatic salamander, and the brewery takes conservation efforts seriously by being intentionally energy-efficient. Eater DC says its IPA and Kolsch-style beers are the taproom mainstays, and the establishment pairs with local food pop-ups and even offers open-mic nights. The Hellbender Brewing Company will be open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 8, and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, September 11. 

9. Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C. 

Beautifully situated on nearly 2,000 acres of public space, Rock Creek Park received government designation as a national park in 1890. It was just the third such park to earn this distinction. Its attractions are eclectic and should cater to a variety of interests – it houses biking and hiking trails, historic forts, and the only planetarium located in the National Park Service. The park is open solely during daylight hours. 

10. The Capital Wheel, National Harbor, Maryland 

National Harbor’s Capital Wheel rises to a towering 180 feet (nearly 55 meters) above the Potomac River and features 42 climate-controlled gondolas. From your perch, you will be able to see landmarks in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. On Sunday, September 8, the Capital Wheel will be open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., and from Monday, September 9 until Wednesday, September 11, it will be open from 12:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. 

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