7 Fun Things to Do in National Harbor in Washington

Planning a family vacation somewhere in the Washington DC area, you should pay attention to National Harbor. You can have a really wonderful time there! Find this amazing place 10 miles from Washington, Downtown. And you’ll surely find a couple of interesting things to do. This will be the best decision to relax in the harbor after a long tourist day or working hours.

Getting to the harbor

There is good news! First of all, you need to rent a car to get to the place. Of course, the idea of taking a taxi has a place but you can hardly find competitive rates in a hot season, especially when traveling with a whole family. So, renting a car from Enterprise at Ronald Reagan airport seems to be a perfect variant, since the choice of cars is really huge. So, when you get there, you’d better park your rental car and walk around. Remember, National Harbor is a walkable territory. You don’t need a car at all to see everything interesting that the harbor can offer.

What to do in National Harbor

Here is a list of places you should check when driving through the harbor area. Of course, you need a whole day to see them all. So, being limited in time somehow, it is better to pick one or two worthy points and explore them in and out.

1. Ride Capital Wheel

What is the capital wheel? This is a huge wheel, allowing you to observe the harbor and surrounding territory from the bird’s eye view. You can ride a wheel in the morning to meet the sunrise or in the evening when the temperature is cool and pleasant. Actually, it’s fun to ride at night when the city lights are on and everything looks bright and blinking. From the wheel height, you can see the monuments of Washington D.C. and lovely views of the Potomac River and National Harbor.

2. Go to the beach

Do you see a big sculpture at the beach? It is called Awakening and it was purchased and places here many years ago to show the beginning of the beach. So, what are you going to do at the beach? There is much free space for kids to play and run. Have a rest at the beach chairs and umbrellas. The benches are available all around. Go swimming, boating, or arrange a pleasant beach picnic. By the way, the local beach is a good place for photos.

3. Ride a carousel

Carousel is a classic American attraction for kids and adults. Just park your rental car somewhere and spend about $7 on tickets. This ticket allows you to ride the whole day long. If your kids are tired and need some time to rest and breathe out, find a playground and many comfortable picnic places around the Carousel.

4. Meet Local Motors creations

This is a good chance to develop your imagination. Local Motors is a company that designs many interesting things with 3-D printers. Take a tour to their micro-factory, situated right here, at the harbor. There is a zone for kids where they can design their own cars, buildings, even monsters.

5. Arrange the pirate party

Hey, you’ve been invited to a pirate party! Actually, traveling to the harbor you have a chance to leave your rental car and take a boat at least for an hour. This is the best entertainment for families! Here, at the pirate ship, you can live like a real pirate, hunt for treasures, and have fun adventures.

6. Go boating

Boat rental is popular in this area. You can rent a pirate ship for a party as it was mentioned above or take a paddleboat, pedal boat, or kayak hourly. Decide which variant is the best for you to explore the National Harbor waterfront. By the way, there is a genius variant of how to save some money for water attractions. This entertainment is already included in the Go Washington D.C. Pass.

7. Shop, can’t stop

The territory of the harbor is good for shopping. Traveling with kids you should visit Savannah’s Candy Kitchen where kids and adults will enjoy different sorts of candies. Of course, you can visit many book stores, educational shops, the Peeps store, and Marbles. Do you need a place to buy many things at once? Visit Tanger Outlets nearby.

Do you feel like you need to take a break and eat something? The National Harbor is full of restaurants. How about visiting Crab Cake Café? Kids will be glad to dine in Potbelly Sandwich and get dessert at Ben and Jerry’s.

Written by Lily Berns

Lily Berns is an experienced traveler and writer willing to share her rich travel experience.

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