Wow, thanks for that (bit) of info DC and look forward to your future write up. Definitely looking at the Inner Harbor area for all the reasons mentioned (walking distance to food and drinks, safe environment, etc) and will look into the Hampton Inn. BTW it seems as if these hotels are filling up for that weekend, so anyone else thinking about this trip may want to make reservations soon. Was thinking of doing DC on another trip just to give all the sites sufficient time, but that BBQ and BEER fest you mentioned is intriguing!
Any opinions from anyone on which hotels to absolutely stay away from (say the Pier 5 for instance)? Going to nail down the hotel today, if possible.