The National Harbor is a mixed-use waterfront development on the Potomac River in Maryland on the outskirts of Washington D.C. The complex covers an area of 300 acres with 1.5 miles of river frontage. It consists of more than 160 shops, 40 restaurants, a casino, full service marina, convention center and multiple options for entertainment including scheduled events.

The most noticeable feature of the complex is the 180 foot tall Ferris wheel called the Capital Wheel. It has 42 air conditioned cabins that seat up to eight people. It is located on the end of a pier and the ride provides nice view of the Potomac River and the surrounding area.

On the side of the Capital Wheel is a 62-slip marina and a pedestrian pier is parallel to the marina. These piers are shown in the photos below.

Statues, murals and other works of art

One of my favorite parts of the National Harbor was the art that was scattered around complex.

The most notable was the dramatic metal sculpture of a giant emerging from the ground. The sculpture is titled “The Awakening” and it is a fun place for kids to play on.

Other statues include political figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The remaining statues are part of the countries cultural history and include statues of Marilyn Monroe, Louis Armstrong, Henry Ford, Rosie the Riveter and “The Kiss”.

Aside from sculptures and statues there is lots of other art to be enjoyed in the complex. Some of the art that I enjoyed is shown below.

Strolling along the riverside walking trail is a nice way to take a break from shopping in the stores or to just have a peaceful walk away from the excitement.

During the summer many people enjoy water activities in the Potomac River. There are places in the National Harbor to rent a kayak, pedal boat or a stand-up paddle board.

Getting to the National Harbor can be a fun activity as I would recommend taking the water taxi from the Wharf in the National Mall area and it also stops in Old Town Alexandria if you want to include it as part of your trip.

The Dust on My Shoes

Visiting Washington D. C. is very inspirational. The monuments and historical sites can be overwhelming so taking a break from the serious sites and visiting the National Harbor was a lot of fun. The National Harbor is just a short boat ride away from the Capital but it is a completely different environment.

Walking around and looking for statues was fun and some of the statues were made for interacting with people. I never dreamed that I would be able to shake hands with Abraham Lincoln but there he was with a welcoming hand extended to anyone wanting to accept a handshake.

Some of the other art was nice especial “The Awakening”. The restaurants and shops are nice also but I thought the riverside walking trail was very pleasant. Rent a kayak or a pedal boat and play around on the Potomac if you have enough time.

When visiting Washington D. C. there is so much to see that it is tempting to try and schedule every minute seeing historic sites but make sure to take time for having some fun too. The National Harbor is a quick getaway for some fun time!

Related Posts


4 thoughts on “National Harbor – Maryland”

  1. Thank you so much for posting your travels, I really enjoy them!! Beautiful pictures!!

    1. Mrs. Hammons, Thanks for letting me know that you enjoy the posts on my travels. It means a lot to hear that from you!

      My travel experiences have been my most rewarding and life changing times of my life and I am happy to be able to share those experiences with people that are interested in seeing the world through my travels.


  2. We’ve been to DC twice now and I’ve missed the National Harbor. Gotta see that next time.

    1. Kevin, I think you will enjoy it. We had fun and it is a nice break from the more serious sites near the capital.

Comments are closed.