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Top 10 Things to Do at National Harbor, Maryland


There are a variety of things to do at National Harbor, Maryland, the waterfront development on the Potomac River, just outside of Washington DC. National Harbor is a mixed-use community that will continue to develop with new attractions and events over the next decade. Find information about dining and entertainment for the whole family.

1. Take a Ride on the Capital Wheel

Photo © National Harbor
The Observation Ferris Wheel at National Harbor is a unique attraction soaring 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront providing spectacular views of the Washington DC area. It's open day and night and offers a very memorable experience.

2. Dining

Photo © Tetra Images - Yuri Arcurs
National Harbor offers a wide array of restaurants ranging from elegant waterfront dining to family-friendly and casual eating establishments. During the warmer months of the year, check out Foster’s and experience an outdoor clambake on the shores of the Potomac River.

3. Shopping

© Silverstock/Getty Images
Enjoy shopping at unique shops such as South Moon Under, Amelia’s Boutique, Build-a-Bear Workshop, America!, Potomac’s Gourmet Market and Hats in the Belfry. The shopping opportunities are expected to continue to grow as the development expands in the coming years.

4. Explore the Gaylord National Resort

© Gaylord National Resort

The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is a world-class destination with 2,000 guestrooms, flexible meeting and banquet facilities, six restaurants, a nightclub, retail shopping, a full service spa and fitness center, indoor/outdoor swimming pool and outdoor event space. The resort offers many special events through out the year and has a regular light and fountain show that provides a thrill for all ages.

5. Special Events

Special events are held at National Harbor throughout the year. Here is a guide to the most popular annual events:

6. Play at the National Children's Museum

© Rachel Cooper
The museum encourages kids to learn through play. The Sesame Street-themed 3 & Under gallery facilitates exploration and discovery for the youngest visitors, while Our World familiarizes older children with community citizenship through a variety hands-on exhibits.

7. Sing Your Heart Out at Bobby McKey's Piano Bar

© Bobby McKeys

At Bobby McKeys, dueling pianists lead a high-spirited, interactive sing-along offering a fun and unique night of entertainment. This is a great place to unwind and show your spirit with a group of friends.

8. Take a Cruise Along the Potomac River

Photo © Spirit Cruises

With a prime location along the Potomac River, National Harbor offers spectacular scenery. Enjoy a lunch or dinner cruise and see Washington's monuments or explore George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate.

9. Boating and Watersports

Photo © National Harbor
Rent canoes, sailboats, kayaks and paddle boards and enjoy a wide variety of outdoor fun along the Potomac waterfront.

10. Take the Kids on the Carousel

Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Kids love the 36-foot Americana-themed carousel which is located at National Harbor right at the water's edge. There's also a play area and picnic tables which makes this area an inviting place for families.

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