Just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Washington D.C. is a little area on the Potomac called National Harbor, Maryland. Many times confused with Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, strictly due to the word ‘Harbor’ it is actually not even really that close to the Baltimore area.
Four years ago I was introduced to the head of the tourism board for National Harbor, Josh Winston, at the Las Vegas Travel Forum hosted by the Travel Show Marketing Group. During our short 6 minute round table introduction, Josh told us all about the area and I was sold in those 6 minutes. The area in Maryland is actually only about 4 hours from our agency headquarters in New Jersey so it was a very attractive selling point when considering putting together a group for Starstuff Travel to head down there at Christmas time. He put me in touch with the group department at the famous Marriott property Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center and the rest is history for our agencies annual Holiday Magic Experience in National Harbor, Maryland.
This year the agency hosted our third annual group trip to the beautiful area of Maryland. It is truly nothing short of spectacular during the holiday season. It reminds me of something out of a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. Besides all the great shopping and dining experiences available, the harbor has a great big Christmas tree right in the middle of town that offers a light show every 30 minutes and on select Saturday nights even has fireworks and snow! They also have a large movie screen in the same area of the Christmas tree where they feature holiday movies throughout the holiday season. A short walk down the pier and you can ride the Capitol Wheel which is listed as one of the ten largest Ferris wheels in the country offering magnificent views of the Potomac.
Although there are many great accommodations in the area, our group has been staying at the Gaylord National the past three years. One of my favorite parts of this trip is the ease of being able to park your car for the weekend and not needing to use it again until you are ready to head home. Everything in town is within walking distance and if you want to head to the nearby MGM Casino for a night out of gambling or the Tanger outlets for shopping they have a complimentary shuttle for those staying in any of the local hotels. Each year the Gaylord is home to ICE which is an event showcasing millions of pounds of sculpted ice that changes every year. This years theme was my favorite, the Grinch that Stole Christmas. The Gaylord also offers character breakfast that showcases whatever the theme of ICE is for that year along with Santa and Mrs. Claus meet and greets, ice skating, ice tubing, Build a Bear Workshop and many more holiday themed activities. You can see why the area would be such a draw for families looking to jump start the holiday season.
The Tourism Board of National Harbor has been absolutely fantastic to work with. They are all about growing the awareness of their area and all that it has to offer. Not only during the holidays but all year long. In fact, I have been advising clients it is a great destination during times like the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. They have a ferry that will bring you over to the Wharf area of DC as well as Alexandria, VA so it would be a great alternative for those looking to attend the festival during the day but also have some awesome nightlife with the amazing dining options that the Harbor area is known for.
For those not within driving distance, the National Harbor can also be reached by flying into BWI or Dulles airport and renting a car. Both airports are about forty five minutes from the area. So you can see just by reading this how 4 years ago I was sold within those 6 minutes hearing about what the Harbor had to offer me and our clients, now all that is left for you to do is actually book your next getaway or vacation to National Harbor, Maryland!
To book your next National Harbor vacation reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner today by clicking here!