Accommodations near the Iconic Smithsonian National Zoo in Alexandria, VA
Who doesn’t like animals? From the cute and the cuddly to the majestic and the awe-inspiring, our distant relatives—four-legged or feathered, scaly or shaggy—remind us of the world’s wonderful biodiversity, and hold up a fascinating mirror in which to ponder our own species.
Young and old alike will delight in the world-class menagerie on display at the Smithsonian National Zoo, one of the country’s most venerable zoological institutions and—remarkably—absolutely free to enjoy. The better part of 2,000 animals of hundreds of different species call the National Zoo home, from the little (African clawed frogs and naked mole-rats) to the scale-busting (Asian elephants and American bison).
There are no more famous residents of the National Zoo, however, than the giant pandas, which first arrived in the early 1970s. Besides showcasing these universally beloved, bamboo-eating Chinese bears to the general public, the institution has been at the forefront of their conservation, including carrying out vital captive breeding and funding field research.
The Busy Zoo Calendar
Throughout the year the Smithsonian National Zoo hosts special fundraising events such as concerts, culinary festivals, and family sleepovers. Attending a beer tasting or going trick-or-treating among lions and Komodo dragons is pretty darn delightful.
The National Zoo & Holiday Inn Express: The Perfect Tag Team
The Smithsonian National Zoo ranks among the D.C. area’s standout attractions (of which, needless to say, there are plenty). For conveniently situated hotel accommodations close to the pandas and all the other delights of the nation’s capital, choose Holiday Inn Express Alexandria – Fort Belvoir just down the Potomac!