If you’re looking for things to do at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD, we’ve compiled a list of can’t miss activities. This vibrant waterfront destination offers something for everyone, from exciting entertainment, hotels, and shopping options to beautiful parks and restaurants. Located just 20 minutes from Washington, D.C., this destination sits along the scenic Potomac River.
At the National Harbor, you will also find condo communities, a great Las Vegas-style casino, a full-service marina, a convention center and much more.
Here are some of our favorite things to do at the National Harbor!
1. See The Awakening
The Awakening is a 72-foot statue by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. that depicts a giant embedded in the earth, struggling to free himself. The sculpture is located on the small beach area at the Potomac waterfront in National Harbor. You can’t miss it.
2. Check out Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
As the largest hotel in National Harbor, the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center has 1,996 guest rooms and 110 suites, several retail shops, a 19-story atrium and garden, nine restaurants and bars, a luxurious spa, a high-tech fitness centre, and a large indoor/outdoor swimming pool. If you visit from December to March, you will get to see the Winter fest, a kid-friendly event featuring scavenger hunts and laser-light shows. Additionally, families can enjoy the fountain and light show that happens all year long in the atrium.
3. Sail, Cruise or Paddleboard on the Potomac River
National Harbor is situated along the shores of the Potomac River. The best way to experience the scenery is by boat, especially aboard a sightseeing cruise. Visitors can sign up for a yacht or sailboat cruise to view the capital’s most famous monuments and memorials from the water. Various lunch and dinner cruises are also available and you can enjoy multiple courses and live music to entertain you while you enjoy your meals and the river. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy river water activities like canoeing, kayaking, sailboats, and stand-up paddleboard. Whichever way you choose to experience the river, enjoy the scenery!
4. Go to the Casino or Enjoy a Show at MGM National Harbor
Visitors can enjoy full night entertainment at MGM National Harbor. The billion dollars Las Vegas-style hotel and Casino has 3,300 slot machines and 120 table games on an expansive 125,000-square-foot floor. There are also many restaurants, bars, and high-end retail shops here. Additionally, the 3,000-seat theatre is housed in this facility and it hosts concerts, comedy shows, and boxing events throughout the year. You can also check out the conservatory seasonal themes and top events like the Cherry Blossom Festival in March.
5. Ride The Capital Wheel
The Capital Wheel, which started operating in May 2014, is 180 feet above the Potomac River. This wheel is one of the National Harbor’s most popular attractions. When you are at the top of this epic Ferris wheel, you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Potomac River, the Washington Monument, and the Old Town Alexandria, located across the river in Virginia. Additionally, the wheel’s 42 gondolas are climate-controlled, making it a comfortable 12 to 15-minute ride regardless of the season. It’s an experience not to be missed.
6. Take your Kids on The Carousel at National Harbor
The Carousel at National Harbor is a must-do for families with young children. Situated in a beautiful setting overlooking the Potomac River, and the ride itself is both nostalgic and exciting. As you whirl around on the colorful carousel, your kids will be delighted by the sights and sounds of this one-of-a-kind attraction. Best of all, the Carousel is just a short walk from many of National Harbor’s other family-friendly attractions, making it the perfect place to start your day of exploration!
7. Go Shopping at Tanger Outlets National Harbor
Tanger Outlets National Harbor is the most popular shopping destination all year long. Make sure to be here during the holidays, weekends, and Black Fridays, because of the great deals! Visitors can treat themselves to good retail therapy at familiar brand-name stores such as Bath & Body Works, H&M, Gap, Express, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and J. Crew, among others.
Final Take Away
National Harbor is the perfect destination for individuals, couples and families to visit. This waterfront development is full of exciting things to do for the whole family, historians, outdoor enthusiasts, shoppers and even foodies. When you visit National Harbor, you can be certain you will be back for more! So plan your next trip’s destination to the beautiful National Harbor today!