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5 Reasons Why You Should Visit the National Harbor
The National Harbor
When I was a teenager growing up near Washington, D.C., discussions and rumors began to circulate about a place called the National Harbor. It was to be built in Oxon Hill, MD, near D.C. It would be right on the water facing the Potomac River. Sure, it seemed like a good idea, but it also seemed like an impossible dream to those of us living in the area.
The dream was to create a beautiful tourist attraction near the nation's capital. It would have upscale restaurants, shops, and hotels. The Baltimore Harbor was a favorite vacation spot to many visiting Baltimore, but could something similar be built in Prince George's County? As it turns out, yes, it is now a reality.
After years and years of planning, and what felt like forever during the building process, the National Harbor is now open to the public. Each year, it gets even better than the year before. It never ceases to amaze me each time I visit it. The National Harbor is beautiful, clean, and safe. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area or planning a vacation to D.C. You'll have many lodging, shopping, activity, and dining options. Check out 5 reasons why you should visit the National Harbor.
The Capital Wheel PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Capital Wheel
The Capital Wheel is a recent addition to the National Harbor. It is about 180 feet high over the . If you are afraid of heights, it can be a little intimidating. I will admit, I was a little scared to ride it, but the views make it worth it. Potomac River
While riding the Wheel, you can view all of the National Harbor, and enjoy some of the sights of Washington, D.C. Also, the gondolas are really comfortable. Each gondola holds about 6 people comfortably, although it is possible to fit 8 passengers. It is also air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter. It is an excellent place to visit year-round since it is opened every day, even on holidays. You can even arrange to have events and private parties on the Wheel. VIP treatment is also an option.
Peeps & Company PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Peeps & Company
If you love Marshmallow Peeps, you'd better brace yourself. There is an entire store devoted to Peeps at the National Harbor. Currently, there are only a few Peeps and Company stores in existence at all. The National Harbor is lucky to have its own Peeps and Company located in a very central location. It is also far more family friendly than a similar store, It'Sugar, located at many tourist attractions.
At Peeps and Company, you can buy plenty of candy, but also really cute candy related items. If you are a big fan of Peeps, there are t-shirts, magnets, pens, notebooks, and other products you will enjoy with Peeps on them. You can also choose from a wide assortment of Mike and Ikes if you prefer that over Peeps.
A recent addition to the National Harbor is the Tanger Outlet Mall. Tanger Outlets are located throughout the U.S. for bargain shoppers. For many years, fans of Tanger Outlets living in the D.C. area had to travel all the way to Ocean City or another state to shop at a Tanger mall. However, this is no longer the case! The National Harbor is a prime location for Maryland / D.C. outlet shoppers and perfect for anyone visiting the area.
The National Harbor Tanger Outlets is located just outside of the main streets. If you are travelling by car, it takes a few minutes to get there. If not, plenty of the hotels in the National Harbor provide direct transportation there.
Once you are at the Tanger Outlet Mall, you can visit outlet stores for popular brands such as Coach, Under Armour, Nike, Skechers, and J. Crew. There are many other stores at the location, like New York & Company, Claire's, Kitchen Collection, and Brookstone. For a full listing, you can visit their site at National Harbor Tanger Outlets Directory.
Gaylord National Resort PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
Even if you don't plan on staying at the Gaylord, you certainly need to visit it. The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is a sight to behold. It has a 19 story glass atrium, fountains, lounges, pool, fitness center, shops, and much more. If you are willing to splurge a little, staying at the Gaylord is a treat. However, there are many other upscale places to stay; no matter what, make sure to visit the Gaylord.
During the holidays, you can enjoy the beautiful decorations and indoor snowfalls. You can also buy tickets to see ICE! ICE! features over 2 million pounds of carved and colored ice. 2014's theme was Frosty the Snowman, so it is fun for the whole family. There are even slides carved completely from ice for adults and children of all ages to slide down. Thick coats are provided to everyone that visits.
Potomac River PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Potomac River
Part of the appeal of the National Harbor are the spectacular views. The Potomac River runs along the edge of the National Harbor. Depending on where you stay, you can see a wonderful view of the river. While walking along the streets of the National Harbor, the Potomac River is often part of the background.
A sandy beach area with statues has been added to the National Harbor. When the weather is warm, it is pleasant to walk through the sand, sit on the statues, and just relax in the chairs at the "beach" to view the Potomac. There are plenty of sidewalks along the water's edge so you can get a great view, too.
As if all of these reasons are not enough, a new MGM Casino is now being built at the National Harbor. Due to the passing of new laws in Maryland, gambling is expanding and the National Harbor is going to have its own casino. We can look forward to its arrival in 2016.
With so much to do and so much more to look forward to seeing in the future, the National Harbor is an ideal vacation spot. Even if you only have a short time to spend in the D.C. area, make sure to visit the National Harbor.
Copyright ©2014 Jeannieinabottle
The National Harbor, Washington D.C. / Maryland
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