National Harbor
Credit: National Harbor

I’ve traveled to many parts of the country over my short time here on earth but have never been to a place quite like National Harbor, Maryland. I equate this part of the DMV area (DC, Maryland, Virginia) to a hidden bonus level in a video game you really like as you may be unaware of its existence at first but are thrilled to find all the gems that exist once you are there.

National Harbor is located roughly 20 minutes outside Union Station in DC. The area is visually stunning from the minute you get off the highway and into its plush atmosphere that comes equipped with views of their breathtaking water, fabulous restaurants and so much more.

Credit: National Harbor

The area has come a long way over the past couple of years. They have undergone a Renaissance of sorts by taking the main part of the city and turning it into something superbly fabulous compared to the one note type of place it used to be.

National Harbor is now filled with an endless assortment of eateries (casual to fine dining), hotels (Gaylord National Center and AC Hotel by Marriott National Harbor are ideal) and tons of places to shop (Tanger Outlets) that will keep you happy and satisfied as your time there progresses.

There’s so much more to National Harbor that goes beyond the usual aspects one does when traveling. Yes, dining and shopping are fun to do but it is also important to take in the history of the area as well.

Oxon Hill Manor is one of those spots you must visit when you are in town. The location transports you a hundred years back with the design of its indoor space while including modern touches elsewhere. This treasure has been around since 1928 and continues to dazzle audiences with its unbelievable beauty seen throughout the property. This is a very popular place for weddings and any sort of events that will make your friends instantly jealous the minute you post one of your many Instagram snaps from your time there.

Credit: National Harbor

National Colonial Farm is another spot worth checking out while there. The beauty that encompasses this space is nothing short of spectacular and a great contrast to other parts of the area. You can travel across its seemingly endless area of farmland while petting some of the animals and getting an education on what took place hundreds of years ago while there. There are also shows that take place that discuss the history of National Colonial Farm, including an incredibly acted story about an enslaved woman in the mid to late 1700’s.

Oh! One more thing. Go to the MGM National Harbor. Enjoy some gambling at their spectacular casino, dine at amazing restaurants like The Voltaggio Brother’s Steakhouse and enjoy a unique shopping experience at stores by Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes and fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker.

Credit: National Harbor

Overall National Harbor is one of the best places I’ve visited in many years. Don’t just take my word for it. Click here for more information on why you should stop by there this summer and beyond.