Tucked against the glistening Potomac, National Harbor is the DC area’s hottest new destination for living, working and playing. Since 2008, it has been transformed from an early-stage mixed-use development project into a thriving destination with top-notch dining, shopping, and fun.
Here are some of the best things to do at National Harbor, but be warned – with so many fun events throughout the year it may take you a while to get around to all of them!
Capital Wheel and Carousel
You’ve probably been on Ferris wheels before, but have you ever enjoyed a spectacular view of the DC area from the top? The Capital Wheel soars 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront and is open day and night.
Kids (and the young at heart) love the Americana-themed carousel that spins right at the water’s edge. The picnic tables and play area nearby make it a great place to stop and relax with the family.
Within National Harbor, Tanger Outlets feature over 85 brands including Calvin Klein, H&M, IZOD, White House Black Market Outlet, the Brooks Brothers Factory Store and more. Other unique shops at National Harbor include South Moon Under, Potomac’s Gourmet Market, and Hats in the Belfry.
From Baja Fresh to Potbelly Sandwich Works, National Harbor’s dining options include some of your old favorites for a quick bite to eat. However, if you want something a bit more special, check out Belvedere Lobby Bar, which features cocktails and sushi, as well as an amazing view. Or have a seat at Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar, the only one of its kind in the DC area. McLoone’s Pier House offers both casual and more elegant dining, and Pose is an exclusive, chic dining experience located within the Gaylord National Resort.
Each year, National Harbor offers Holiday events like Gaylord National Resort’s Ice – a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 blocks of ice that have been sculpted into beautiful shapes by international artisans. Holiday events also include ice skating, fireworks, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and more. Be sure to check out the Events calendar closer to the time.
In March, National Harbor Restaurant Week offers a fun way to sample the delicious dining options at great prices. And in May, the Food and Wine Festival is a great opportunity to sample wine while listening to jazz along the shores of the Potomac.
During the summer, National Harbor presents free classic movies at the Plaza on an outdoor big screen. Bring a lawn chair; films begin at 6 p.m. on Sundays. Summer concerts include Friday Night Live, featuring free weekly performances on the Plaza, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in a variety of genres as well as Military Music on Saturdays with the U.S. Air Force Band, U.S. Navy Band, U.S. Army Blues and more.
As you can see, there’s always something fun going on at National Harbor. It’s a perfect place to enjoy fine dining, exciting shopping, fun activities for all ages — but most importantly, it’s a wonderful place to call home.