WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2013) - Whether visiting lush aquatic gardens, stand-up paddling on the Potomac River or discovering a hot neighborhood restaurant, Washington, DC has plenty to offer urban explorers from around the world. To get the inside scoop on things to do, Marriott International associates at the company headquarters and its D.C. area hotels we're asked to share their favorites and local knowledge.

"We have considered the Washington, D.C., area our hometown for more than 85 years and have seen it grow into a premiere global destination," said David Marriott, chief operating officer, for Marriott International's Eastern Region. "There is a lot to experience right here in our backyard and our local associates are our true ambassadors and experts on new and cool things to do in D.C."

The ideas come from hundreds of Marriott associates area who responded to a special survey aimed at identifying the best insider tips on what to do in D.C. include:

Dupont Circle's First Fridays "Gallery Crawl"
On the first Friday of each month, Dupont Circle art galleries keep late hours, open new exhibits, and offer wine and hors d'oeuvres free of charge. - Jillian K., Front Office, Renaissance Washington, D.C., Downtown, 3 years of service

Union Market
The Market at Union Market is a new lifestyle culinary destination featuring DC's top local artisans such as Salt& Sundry, Rappahannock Oyster Co. and Red Apron Butchery. - Allison M. Financial Reporting, Marriott International Headquarters, 3 years of service

Key Bridge Boathouse
In spring and summer, kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddle boat rentals are available at this boathouse on the Georgetown waterfront. - Aaron S., Culinary, Washington Marriott Wardman Park, 10 years of service

This Indian restaurant, situated in the picturesque Cleveland Park neighborhood, is known for its very spicy Lamb Vindaloo and frequented by politicians and Supreme Court Justices. - John B., Concierge, Washington Marriott, 5 years of service

Sculpture Garden
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, National Gallery of Art's hosts "Jazz in the Garden" every Friday night. BYO picnic, cheese and fruit and pitchers of sangria are available at the pavilion. During the winter months, the fountain turns into an ice skating rink. - Erin Sousa, Group Sales, JW Marriott Washington D.C., 6 years of service

The Columbia Room @ Passenger
The Columbia Room, tucked away in the hip bar, Passenger, was created by celebrated mixologist and owner, Derek Brown. Experience the hand-crafted cocktail tasting menu. Cocktail classes are offered for budding mixologists. - Jason R., Beverage & Food, Mayflower Renaissance, 23 years of service

Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
If you miss the summertime full-bloom of the lotus and water lilies, come to tour some of the most beautiful gardens in the region. - Dennis Hawkins, Information Resources, Marriott International Headquarters, 8 years of service

Beyond close proximity to some of Washington's favorite hidden gems, Marriott's Washington D.C. properties also offer flexible meeting space and event venues. "Our hotels in Washington, D.C. offer great deals and have plenty of availability; we look forward to hosting our guests who travel to the area," Marriott said. With deep roots to the Washington D.C. area, Marriott International is excited to welcome the Marriott Marquis Washington DC, the newest hotel near the Washington D.C. Convention Center, coming to D.C. in May 2014.

To explore all that D.C. has to offer, book your own Washington D.C. accommodations at http://www.marriott.com/hotel-search/washington-dc.hotels.united-states/.

Contact Information:

Mark Indre
Marriott International