D.C.-area resort gives you all the feel of a distant vacation without the hassle
Nestled on the banks of the Potomac River within eyeshot of Washington, D.C. towers the Gaylord National Resort anchoring National Harbor. An easy 51 miles away from Fredericksburg, Virginia, this resort meets the tension of wanting to get out of town as a family without a long road trip or the hassle of air travel. For families who can’t travel far this summer, but want to feel like they’ve gone somewhere totally different from home, Gaylord National holds loads of appeal.
Marriott’s iconic Gaylord National sits on 41 acres with 110 suites and nearly 2,000 guest rooms. A variety of layouts ensure families can find the best room to call home during their visit. Marriott members can earn reward points.
The resort provides families with amenities sure to satisfy all ages, such as the Potomac Playzone Arcade and junior-Olympic-sized indoor pool — which offers an outdoor splashpad, chalk, bubbles and other complimentary kids’ activities— boutique shops and the full-service Relâche Spa.
Each evening a fountain and light show occurs in the resort’s majestic 19-story atrium. This bedazzling free program features lights, lasers and dancing water set to music. Parents will be grateful for the outsized richness of the experience for their kiddos.
- Created with families in mind, the resort presents SummerFest. Free of charge, kids will enjoy participating in a Bug Quest, Campfire Tales & S’more and much more.
- Families can snuggle and take in Movie Under the Stars or boogey to Sunset Jams, live music by the pool deck and bar (Saturdays).
- Take the kids on The Capital Wheel, an 180-foot Ferris wheel with amazing views over the Potomac River.
- Sign up with Boating in DC to paddleboard, pedal bike or kayak on the Potomac River.
- Meander the popular Fleet Street littered with shops, pausing to enjoy the charms of the live music and entertainment happening in every direction.
- Take a spin on the Carousel ($7/child; accompanying adult rides free).
- Board the resort’s free shuttle to access Tanger Outlet Mall (80 shops).
- Parents, step into the stylish European-inspired AC Hotel nearby for their signature Gin & Tonic before exploring the MGM Casino nearby. UrbanSitter.com can match you with a babysitter if needed.
- Just a 15-minute drive from Washington, D.C., means visiting the sights will be low-stress, enabling parents to effortlessly infuse the vacay with a splash of education. Manage your own itinerary or let Gaylord National coordinate your plans with their many excursion partners.
- Water taxis can whisk families to The Wharf, Mount Vernon, Old Town Alexandria and Georgetown for excursions. They also service the Nationals’ stadium, providing a memorable way to attend a baseball game.
Where To Eat
Note: Resort restaurants offer kids’ menus and table activities to ramp up the dining fun.
- Pienza Marketplace offers families breakfast to fuel up for a full day of activities. Or simply opt for the continental breakfast or grab coffee and light bites at the coffee shop onsite serving Starbucks.
- A convenience store affords take-out provisions to have on hand for little hungry tummies. Every room is equipped with a mini-refrigerator for perishables.
- Looking to celebrate? Experience the rich elegance of Old Hickory Steakhouse.
- In a casual setting, the National Pastime Sports Bar and Grill boasts a 36-foot video wall, perfect for sports enthusiasts.
- There are 40 restaurant options in National Harbor so families are sure to find the best fit for them.