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“Nice change” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Harborfront Area

Harborfront Area
National Plaza, National Harbor, MD 20744
+1 301-203-4170
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: Perched on the historic Potomac River, National Harbor is a unique, all-in-one destination and all-American tradition, offering unrivaled shopping, dining and attractions and a roster of year-round, family-friendly events. Featuring expansive views from the riverbank-and from 180 feet up on The Capital Wheel, the waterfront's newest iconic draw-National Harbor combines an approachable, resort-like personality with a singular, dynamic experience for local residents and visitors alike. Attractions include: The Capital Wheel The Awakening The Carousel Tanger Outlets Waterfront Dining Boat Cruises & Tours Kayak & Paddleboard Rentals Free Events & Entertainment
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Nice change”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

Lots of food options. There are activites for all ages. The view of the water is wonderful. And lots of seasonal things to do. A must see!

Visited February 2013
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885 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“A fun place to visit, eat and shop”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

This place is a gem in our area. I live close to the Harbor so I frequently visit. Lots of places to eat (and they're adding more) and things to do. There's also some good places to shop. Definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia area.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Virginia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“not worth the time”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

If you are in the DC area for a visit, PASS THIS BY. There is just nothing there but chain restaurants you can find elsewhere in the city, and convention goers looking for an average meal. Stayed at the Gaylord, were disappointed, ate at ketchup, were REALLY disappointed. Nothing to do except take the water taxi AWAY from here!

Visited May 2013
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1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Trapped in National Harbor!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

Beware: if you are excited at the prospect of visiting the D.C. area attractions (museums, the Capitol, surrounding towns like Georgetown or Alexandria), you may be better off just staying at home than visiting "National Harbor." While the Washington monument is visible through hotel lobby windows, getting there is another matter.
You see, "National Harbor" is no harbor, but is rather a recent man made collection of hotels and restaurants sitting on reclaimed swampland. Hemmed in by interstates, there are no good mass transit options to get to D.C. which sits so tantalizingly close. The nearest metro stop sits at least 5 miles away, and while there is a bus line, I never saw it although it supposedly stops here every half hour.
Sure, the biggest hotel (Gaylord) offers a shuttle to D.C. ($13 one-way)--if you're lucky enough to get on one. We tried, and were told the wait would be an hour-and-a-half. My flight of almost 600 miles to D.C. took less time than that! We bailed on the shuttle idea and instead shared a taxi (roughly $26 each way, not including tip).
On a more adventurous day, we tried the water taxi to cross the Potomac to Alexandria Va ($8 each way). The boat trip takes about twenty minutes, and departures are at about the same 20 minute intervals. The ride is fine, but for some reason the ferry boat stops twice in "National Harbor" at docks just a few hundred feet apart. It would be much quicker to walk the short distance between the ferry stops than to ride the boat.
Now, to "National Harbor" itself. The whole "city" consists of an approximately 4 block area that has a theme park feel. Sure, the streets are lined with shops and restaurants like Cadillac Ranch, and if this is your idea of a vacation, maybe you'll like it here. I hated it. Utterly trapped in a recreation of suburbia, expensive and hyped-up on steroids. Hated hated hated it. Save yourselves, don't go to "National Harbor."

Visited May 2013
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Belcamp, Maryland
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Nice weekend Getaway!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

I visited the Harbor with my family last week and we had an enjoyable experience. There are several hotels, boutiques, restaurants and activities in the area to enjoy.

Overall, we felt very safe and will visit again in the near future.

Note: there is plenty of parking in the area, which is very clean.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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