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If you take the family to Washington, DC you’ll have a lot to explore and discover. But if you’ve already been and want to see something new outside of DC, then National Harbor could be the ticket for you.
It’s only 20 minutes from Reagan National Airport (DCA) by car to the Fort Washington area of National Harbor, Maryland. The Potomac River is the dividing line between DC Maryland state line. Once you’re over the river you will be in National Harbor.
Things to Do in National Harbor
The first thing the kids will see upon approach to National Harbor is the big Ferris Wheel in the Sky named The Capital Wheel. Towering 180 feet over the Potomac River the Capital Wheel, it can hold over 300 people and takes about 15 minutes to ride. The views are astounding! Even more spectacular at night the multi-color lights reflect off the river making for some stunning photos.
Take a short walk down the beautiful riverfront walkway to visit the Air Force One Jet used by various American Presidents in the past. It takes about an hour to tour through the aircraft while you listen to audio and videos and see all the details of how a President slept, ate and travelled in this big jet.
Where to Eat, Shop, and Stay
Adjacent to the Riverwalk is The Waterfront shopping and dining area. There are over 40 restaurants with a variety to meet everybody’s taste buds. Make sure you try the famous Corn Chowder soup at one of the many seafood restaurants.
Not far away is the Tangier Outlets which has 84 stores for all the shopping you can handle in a day. Should you decide to spend the night in the area, there are 2 Hotels you can easily spot on your visit to National Harbor.
The Gaylord National Resort towers 19 floors high and offers rooms with views of the Potomac river. This hotel is also a convention center. When I was there for a travel industry event, there was also a national Cheerleading event going on with hundreds of little girls dressed in sparkly outfits ready to compete for awards. If you go in the winter, the Gaylord offers their annual Ice Show for the whole family. If you go in Summer, there is an outdoor water splash area for the kids near the pool.
The MGM Hilton which offers a gambling casino for adults. Children, of course are not allowed in the casino. However, there is a food court in the hotel offering a variety of food choices with a miniature golf arcade nearby for the kids. There are also many other hotel choices in the National Harbor area you can check out here.
If you have rented a car and are driving in the area with family, stop at the Fort Washington National Park which has the Oxon Hill Farm with plenty of farm animals the kids can pet and learn about. Picnic tables are also available at the park making it a great place to have a nice family time outdoors.
Whatever time of year you plan to visit National Harbor, Maryland, you will have plenty to see and do making for a fun-filled family day.
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Author bio: Valerie Delzer is the owner of Travalerie, a full-service travel agency specializing in Adventure Travel.