Awesome New Resort Holiday In Washington, DC – National Washington Harbor

Elias Shams
Finally, I visited our National Harbor yesterday in freezing temperature. I usually don’t visit places like this in Winter time, because of persistence from a few close non-DC friends, as a patriot DCian, I found it my duty to make the trip there so I can share my personal experience about the resort. You asked for it, here it is…. 🙂

I don’t mean to sound like a snob, if you have already traveled outside of the US (and, I mean the other side of Atlantic Ocean, not Canada nor Mexico), you might get bored with the area. You will enjoy the awesome view of the Potomac River though.. Otherwise, it a great place to visit. I might have a better experience during the summer. It is only 5 miles from where I live in DC

National Harbor is a new 300-acre waterfront destination in the Washington, DC area that opened over a year and half ago. It is set along side of the Potomac River. The area includes hotels, restaurants, retail stores, condominiums, a full-service marina, a convention center, and commercial office space. The cornerstone of the development of National Harbor is the new Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center which was beautifully decorated for the holiday. Their great atrium is adorned with holiday lights, sculptures and a great hanging Christmas tree made of glass. I was told the place is the largest non-gaming hotel and convention center on the East Coast. The resort hotel features 2,000 guestrooms, flexible meeting and banquet facilities, 6 restaurants, a nightclub, retail shopping, a full service spa and fitness center, indoor/outdoor swimming pool and outdoor event space. The area covers 41.7 acres and has spectacular views of the Potomac River and Old Town Alexandria.

Good News for families with kids, there are plans underway to build the National Children’s Museum there.

During the holiday season National Harbor offers some beautiful displays. The entire area is decorated for the season with lights and trimmings. In the center, just behind the great metal sculpture called “The Awakening” stands the harbors beautiful Christmas tree.

If you have kids, the most interesting part of the resort, is the Ice. It is a series of sculptures created from blocks of ice. It is housed in a large tent in the parking area near the Gaylord and the temperature in the tent is well below freezing. The exhibit is a bit expensive – twenty-five dollars for each adult ticket and twelve fifty for each child. It is worth the price though. It is a fun!

201 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, MD 20745

The Resort is located in Prince George’s County, Maryland on the Potomac River, just minutes from Washington, DC. The site is accessible from I-95/I-495, I-295, the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge, and by water taxi from Washington, DC, Old Town Alexandria, Mount Vernon, and Georgetown.

Parking: National Harbor has three public parking garages with convenient Pay-on-Foot machines. Rates begin at $2 for the first hour and reach a daily maximum of $10.
• Fleet Garage: Entrance located on Fleet Street
• Mariner Garage: Entrance located on Mariner Passage
• St. George Garage: Entrance located on St. George Blvd

Other Hotels in National Harbor Resort
Hilton’s Hampton Inn
Residence Inn
Wyndham Vacation Resorts Timeshare

The first phase of National Harbor includes retailers such as Fossil, Swarovksi, South Moon Under, Jos. A Banks, Godiva Chocolatier, America! and more. Additional stores will be added as the area develops in the future.

Here are a few great video of the resort:

You may also check out their Annual Events before heading there.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

One Response to Awesome New Resort Holiday In Washington, DC – National Washington Harbor

  1. Mike says:

    A pretty new place (only 1 year old or so) but as correctly mentioned might be a bit boring in winter – no clubs, just 1 bar (and it was closed when I was there). But they have a very cozy coffee place (which serves loaded coffees – Irish coffee for $9 and the mug is of a significant size ;)).

    In general – go there to at least check it out (it is only minutes from DC).

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