The 2018 Evangelicals for Life conference and the 45th annual March for Life will combine as a unique opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless and to become better equipped to uphold a whole-life, pro-life ethic. We look forward to seeing you in January! But to make the most of your EFL experience, we suggest that you keep a few things in mind before you leave your door for D.C.
Here are some quick tips to help you pack and plan accordingly.
All Evangelicals for Life main sessions and breakout sessions will be held in the warmth of climate-controlled, indoor space. No specific attire is expected of attendees, but please give careful thought to attire for the March for Life.
Historically, winter has served up all kinds of Washington weather during the March for Life—sometimes sunshine and balmy temps, but more often cold and wind, rain and snow. In the inaugural year of Evangelicals for Life, the historic blizzard of 2016 bore down on Washington even as the March was underway. While that storm was record-breaking in scope, it is a reminder that any kind of weather is possible in late January in D.C.
So, what to expect? The best advice: Pray for the best, but prepare for the worst.
With that in mind, here are some key items to pack for the March:
All Evangelicals for Life conference events—main sessions and breakout sessions—will be held in the JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20004.
The March for Life will be held Friday, January 19, 2018, on the National Mall, during a block of time built into the Evangelicals for Life conference. All EFL attendees who are able to march are encouraged to do so.
The March for Life rally will begin at 12 p.m. on the grounds of the Washington Monument, near the corner of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. The March itself will begin at 1 p.m., starting from the rally site and proceeding along the Mall before concluding at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The rally/march site is a short walk from the JW Marriott. As you exit through the main hotel entrance, walk south (turn left) along 14th Street for approximately one block, until you reach Constitution Avenue. Then turn right at Constitution and proceed west for one block. Or simply follow the crowd!
More details on the March for Life available here.
If you will be traveling with a large group by bus, you likely won’t have to give much thought as to where to go and how to get here. “Follow the leader” might serve as your motto. But if you will be leading a group, or traveling solo or as part of a smaller group, a little direction is important.
Three major airports service greater Washington, D.C.
Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) is the closest airport to D.C., located just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital in Arlington, Virginia. Taxi or Uber ground transportation makes for a relatively simple and quick way to get from the airport to the District’s downtown and National Mall, as well as the JW Marriott. The Metro, D.C.’s subway system, also offers service from the airport to D.C. and the Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs.
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), a second airport option for travelers, is located about 35 miles north of the District, in Maryland, a roughly 45-minute to 1-hour drive from DC during non-rush hour periods. (Anticipate much longer travel time during morning and evening rush hour.) BWI is accessible via taxi, bus, van/shuttle, and rail services. More information on ground transportation is available here.
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), a third airport servicing greater Washington, D.C., is located about 27 miles, or 45 minutes to 1 hour (non-rush hour) by automobile, outside downtown D.C. in Northern Virginia. The District is accessible from the region’s largest airport via the Metrorail system (bus connection from airport), as well as Shared-Ride Van Services, Washington Flyer Taxi Service, and other forms of public transportation. More info on ground transportation is available here.
Union Station functions as the District’s hub for all rail service, including Amtrak, MARC (Maryland Rail Commuter Service), and VRE (Virginia Rail Express). Metrorail also services Union Station. More information on train services here.
Perhaps the most efficient way to get around the District is via the capital region’s subway system, officially known as the Metro. Each Metro rider must enter and egress fare gates with a reloadable SmarTrip card, which functions like a debit card for rider use throughout the system. SmarTrip cards can be purchased at any Metro station.
The Metro Trip Planner is a helpful resource for identifying train schedules and planning your routes. Metro Center (serviced by the Orange, Silver, Blue, and Red lines) is the nearest Metro station to the JW Marriott (0.4 miles).
Metrobus is D.C.’s primary public bus agency, connecting riders to more than 11,500 stops via more than 1,500 buses throughout the metropolitan area. The Metro’s SmarTrip cards function interchangeably for use on Metrobus. For sightseeing, numerous bus companies offer tours of the city.
If you have extra time surrounding the Evangelicals for Life conference, you may want to take in a tour or explore some of the many D.C. sites and historic attractions.
White House and U.S. Capitol building tours can be scheduled through your U.S. representative. However, tours are generally booked well in advance, so it is it advisable to request a tour as far in advance as possible. You can find your representative’s information here.
For a different view of the capital’s sites, consider taking a guided or self-guided walking tour of the National Mall. The Mall stretches about two miles from the Capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial. Packed in and around that lengthy stretch are numerous monuments of history and working government buildings. While the Capitol and National Park Police patrol these areas, tourists should remain alert and use common sense when walking at night.
Most sites and museums along the Mall are located within walking distance of Metro stations. Here is a sampling of key sites and museums, followed by nearest Metro stations.
White House | McPherson Square, Farragut North, Farragut West
U.S. Capitol Building | Capitol South, Union Station
Senate Office Buildings | Union Station, Capitol South
House Office Buildings | Capitol South, Union Station
U.S. Supreme Court | Capitol South, Union Station
Library of Congress | Capitol South, Union Station
Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, DC War Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial | Smithsonian (20-30 minute walk on the Mall from the Smithsonian station to the Lincoln Memorial, passing each of the other monuments and memorials listed here)
Smithsonian museums on or near the National Mall (all FREE admission)
African American History & Culture | Federal Triangle, Smithsonian
African Art Museum | Smithsonian
Air and Space Museum | L’Enfant Plaza
American Art Museum Portrait Gallery | Gallery Place-Chinatown
American History Museum | Federal Triangle, Smithsonian
American Indian Museum | L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery | Smithsonian
Freer Gallery of Art | Smithsonian
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden | L’Enfant Plaza
Natural History Museum | Archives–Navy Memorial–Penn Quarter, Federal Triangle, Smithsonian
National Postal Museum | Union Station
Smithsonian Castle | Smithsonian
Renwick Gallery | Farragut West
Ripley Center International Gallery | Smithsonian
Ford’s Theatre | Metro Center, Gallery Place–Chinatown, Archives–Navy Memorial–Penn Quarter
Museum of the Bible | Federal Center SW (Opening November 2017)
National Archives |Archives–Navy Memorial–Penn Quarter, Federal Triangle, Smithsonian (Admission: free)
National Gallery of Art | Archives–Navy Memorial–Penn Quarter (Admission: free)
Newseum | Archives–Navy Memorial–Penn Quarter (Admission: $13.95–$22.95)
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum | Smithsonian (Admission: free)