Top 5 Things to Do in National Harbor, MD for Big City Fun Near the Capital!

Carrie is back on the blog today telling us all about her Top 5 for Washington D.C.!

When you’re looking to travel to Washington, D.C. during any season, consider staying in Wyndham National Harbor, Maryland. What’s National Harbor, you may ask? It’s an experience, not a destination, located 10 minutes outside the capital, and centered around one of the most historic river in the nation: the Potomac River.

This buzzing area features sights and attractions like the Capital Wheel, Tanger Outlets, a marina, and tree-lined promenades with scores of restaurants. You may feel a little overwhelmed (and excited!) once you arrive with so much to do and see not only in National Harbor, but also in DC! No worries—let us fellow travel lovers at Tripbound be your guide. Ready to jump right into your travel itinerary? Take the National Harbor courtesy shuttle to King Street Metro station, and enjoy a quick ride into the heart of the capital for sightseeing, foodie adventures, and more.

Set Your Sights on Monuments, Museums, and More


Where do I start? So much to see, and never enough time! From Arlington Cemetery, to the Capitol Building, to the White House, the National Mall, and more—get ready to put on your walking shoes.

In no particular order, here are my personal favorites:

  • The Lincoln Memorial: Even walking up the steps to the statue honoring the “Great Emancipator” can give you goosebumps. Be sure to make your way through the crowds of people to get a picture in front of Honest Abe, and a panoramic view of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
  • The Smithsonian Institution: With 19 museums and galleries, and the National Zoological Park, what’s not to love? Spend some time in the Natural History Museum, Air and Space Museum, and American History Museum to name a few. Oh, and admission is free!
  • Arlington Cemetery: There is truly nothing like setting foot in this sacred shrine honoring servicemen, women, and honorees. The city noise of Washington, D.C. is at your back, and in front of you is nothing but complete calmness spread throughout the rolling hills. Make your way to the Tomb of the Unknowns, and read up on what it means to hold the honorable position of Tomb Guard.


Satisfy Your Inner Foodie

Top 5 Things to Do in National Harbor

Sightseeing get your stomach rumbling for some D.C. flavor? Sit yourself down at any one of the landmark restaurants in the capital: Ben’s Chili Bowl, Clyde’s or Old Ebbitt Grill.

And if that wasn’t enough, hop back on the shuttle to National Harbor to enjoy a different scene—waterfront dining no matter what type of cuisine you’re craving. Romantic Italian at Fiorella Italian Kitchen, Mexican fiesta at Rosa Mexicano, or American fare at McLoone’s Pier House.

With so many restaurants to choose from in the area, everyone that’s along for the adventure with you is guaranteed to find something they love!

Venture Out Onto the Potomac

National Harbor offers you a variety of ways to see the area from another lense—out on the river!

  • Take a tour and sightseeing cruise with any one of National Harbor’s yachting and boating partners. Choose from Odyssey Cruise for a two to four hour experience with live entertainment, dancing, and dining; National Elite Private Yacht, which fits 149 guest comfortably for all types of events; or Spirit of Washington Cruises for buffets, dancing, DJ entertainment, and more.
  • Rent a kayak, pedal boat, or stand-up paddleboard when vacationing in the area anytime between May and September. No experience is necessary, and you’ll receive a quick lesson by Boating In DC before venturing out! If you’d prefer to have a guide, the company also offers lessons, classes, and tours (even at sunset!).


Get Your Shop On at Eastern Market

Top 5 Things to Do in National Harbor

Located on Capitol Hill, the Eastern Market is the capital’s oldest public market. Thomas Jefferson actually issued a proclamation for the market in 1805, showcasing just how much history this lively gathering place has.

The bustling marketplace is open year-round, every day of the week except for Mondays. During the week, you’ll find merchants in the South Hall selling meats, poultry, seafood, baked goods, flowers, and cheeses. And during the weekends, you’ll find all that and more—the plaza is filled with handmade arts and crafts, antiques, and even live music.

Time for Sports

Top 5 Things to Do in National Harbor


No matter when you’re traveling to the area or your sports preference, there are a variety of different games you can catch—all a metro ride away from Wyndham National Harbor. And near-constant cheering at any sporting event in the area will be sure to leave your voice hoarse, but your unforgettable memories crystal clear! Some favorites include:

  • Washington Nationals: If you’re into soaking up all things American, take in a Nationals baseball game. Hop off the metro at the Navy Yard Station stop, which is just half a block away from Nationals Park.
  • Washington Capitals: Get your cheering voice going at a Capitals hockey game. Take in all of the rock’em, sock’em action from any seat in the house! Verizon Center is located right above the Gallery Place-Chinatown station.
  • D.C. United: You won’t want to miss out on a unique fan experience at a D.C. United soccer game. But be sure to choose your seats wisely based on how rowdy you want to get! The stadium is divided into two halves: the Quiet Side and the Loud Side. Stadium-Armory station serves the RFK Stadium, home of D.C. United.


Well, there you have it. Our top five favorite things to do in National Harbor for big city family fun near our nation’s capital. So, if you leave this post feeling inspired to book a historic getaway ASAP, give your Resort Specialists at Tripbound a call at 1-888-816-5214 to get started. We’re ready to match you with your perfect vacation!

Have a favorite that wasn’t shared today? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you, travel lover!

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