Outside of Washington, DC, and Alexandria, VA, across the Potomac River, resides the gorgeous waterfront development of National Harbor, MD. From the highway, a multicolored, spiked sculpture guides you toward the center of this manmade metropolis. Once a plantation built in the 1800s, a fire destroyed it, and the property was put up for sale in the 1980s. A resort area that resembles a movie set for an idyllic city, it features hotels, stores, restaurants, a marina and points of interest – all within walking distance in one neat, convenient area. Many people and professionals also call it home.
You’ll find plenty of entertainment for a day trip if you live nearby or a weekend getaway staying at one their relaxing hotels. Skip through the charming downtown area to eat, shop and stroll by the marina while watching boats meander along the Potomac. Close enough to Washington to take advantage of sightseeing in our Nation’s Capital but nestled away from the crushing crowds of the city, you’ll find enough hustle and bustle of nightlife and fine dining without the hassle.
National Harbor affords the shopper in you endless options and a vacation-like atmosphere. Not only can you avail yourself of trendy jewelry purveyor, Alex and Ani, but you’ll discover the Peeps Store, honoring the favorite Easter basket treat as well as easy access to the Tanger Outlets which offer stores like Coach, J Crew, Nike, Pandora and much more.
Feel like having fun by the water? Venture on to the Capital Wheel, a 180-foot Ferris wheel with views of the White House, Capitol, the National Mall and other popular DC sights. Ride a Potomac River Company water taxi across the river to Alexandria. Gaze in wonder at and then climb on to The Awakening, a sculpture of a gigantic man sticking out of the beach for selfies no one else can claim. Bring along the kids to the Carousel at National Harbor which helms two playgrounds and a picnic area. A resort wouldn’t be complete without outdoor activities like biking, boating, kayaking and sightseeing, weather permitting.
Mouthwatering food of all flavors awaits you around every corner in National Harbor. Wake up with a latte from Starbucks. Snack on gourmet popcorn at BiggPoppa Kettle Korn. Hear twice the tickling of the ivories at Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar. Ride a bull at Cadillac Ranch. Dine on steak, seafood and Italian fare at popular restaurants around town for any level of foodie. When you’re craving dessert, indulge yourself at Spagnvola Chocolatier or grab a cone at Ben and Jerry’s. Some dining establishments even offer waterside views while enjoying the varied types of cuisine.
Six hotels within walking distance of the attractions offer plush accommodations and a host of amenities for visitors. Perfect for meetings, conventions and events like weddings, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center offers plenty of beautiful photo opportunities in their lovely indoor gardens and luxuries like a spa, salon and enormous indoor pool. In fact, all the hotels in National Harbor provide spacious rooms, fitness facilities, swimming pools and fine restaurants on the premises if you choose to stay in for the night.
Have you been to National Harbor, MD? What was your experience like?