Established in 2008, National Harbor, Maryland is a 300-acre development located on the Potomac River. Because of its location just minutes from Washington, DC, and the hotels located there, National Harbor is often a vacation destination. This year, for spring break, my family stayed a few days in National Harbor, and would definitely recommend a stay there.
National Harbor boasts several hotels, over thirty restaurants/bars, and dozens of shops, along with a newly opened Tanger Outlet complex. During our vacation, we stayed at the Gaylord National Resort, a gorgeous hotel perfect for families (see the whole Gaylord National review here). Other hotels include a Residence Inn, a Hampton Inn, a Westin, and a Wyndham Hotel, with an MGM Resort currently being built. There’s also a marina, where you can take ferry/water taxi rides to Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA, and Mount Vernon.
So, how is National Harbor for kids? My children really enjoyed our stay there. We arrived on a Saturday, and the whole area was bustling with families. Some of the shops, especially the Peeps flagship store, really appeal to kids. My children saw the recently opened Capital Wheel, pictured above, and immediately wanted to ride it. It’s definitely pricey – $11.25 for kids and $15 for adults – but it’s definitely a fun experience. Each of the 42 gondolas fit up to 8 passengers, so the whole family can ride together. The narration is great, but the view is fairly limited – don’t expect to see the DC monuments from the ride (they are pretty far in the distance).
The shops include local and national chains – including CVS, Charming Charlie’s, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and Tervis. Restaurants also include a few local chains. On most nights, we had dinner at National Harbor and enjoyed all of the food.
Getting to DC is pretty easy. It’s a quick drive, and there are many taxis available. You can also take a cab to the local metro station, or take a water taxi. We choose to take a cab each day, and found it to be quick and easy.
To learn more about National Harbor, visit their website.