Just outside of our nation’s capitol sits a magical place.
A place that one can view from across the Potomac from the shores of Old Town Alexandria, yet a place that still seems so far away to us city-dwellers.
To get there, you can’t take the Subway. Your options are to drive, to cab, or (our personal favorite) to hop on the water taxi. Heads-up: this mode of transportation is $12 dollars each way.
So what is this magical place you ask? None other than National Harbor in Ft. Washington, Maryland.
Within the past few years, National Harbor has grown into a retreat of sorts, providing the citizens of the Washington metro area an escape from the hustle and bustle without having to venture too far from home.
A newly constructed Tanger Outlet Mall is home to dozens of high-end stores (as well as ones more friendly on the wallet). The 175 ft Capitol Wheel offers 360 degree views of the Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. landscapes, and the waterfront boasts some of the best and most unique restaurants the D.C. metro area has to offer.
This past weekend, we decided to venture out to National Harbor to check out some of the new developments, and to get a bite to eat. (ok, ok, we really went out there to join all the kids in costume to watch a showing of “Hocus Pocus” on the big screen.) Did we mention that there’s also a carousel close by?
After watching the movie for a while, we started to get hungry, so we walked up to Waterfront Street to check out the grub hubs. The aromas from restaurants like Bond 45, Old Hickory Steakhouse, Fiorella’s Italian Kitchen, and Redstone American Grill enticed us, but we ultimately chose Rosa Mexicano, a modern Mexican chain known for it’s table side guacamole and chic margaritas. (See below!)
To top off the meal, we ordered a side of Queso Fondito, corn tortillas, and chicken enchiladas (tip: add chorizo to the cheese! We did not, but we saw people around us do it and it looked delicious!)
And how about a close up of this bubbly, melted goodness?
After lunch, we were stuffed, but, as our luck would have it we ran smack into a custard shop (it was like the heavens opened up and said nope, you’re not done yet). So how could we resist?
We soon discovered it wasn’t any average custard stand. Goodies, which is locally owned and operated, is a 50’s style creamery that also offers seasonal, handmade specialties such as fried chicken, chili, peach cobbler, sweet cornbread, biscuits, and an assortment of freshly-baked pies and cakes a-la-mode. (Check out this “Red Velvet Donutwhich”!! Insane).
We shouldn’t fail to mention that Goodies is also a food truck (Capitol Hill staff keep your eyes peeled – he parks the truck across from Tortilla Coast!)
Here is another close-up of that Donutwhich just for good measure:
After scarfing down an entire jumbo doughnut *and* custard we took a walk (of shame) down the rest of the streets surrounding Waterfront and stumbled upon the cutest lil’ market with pumpkins, pies, cider, and gourmet popcorns.
Check out how cute these lil’ guys are!
We hit up a few more boutiques (a bit out of our price range, but still adorable. Never hurts to window-shop, are we right?)
Since it was late October, it started to get chilly, so we grabbed a coffee and called it a day. (Special shout-out to our Uber driver who took us home and was SUPER nice and fast). If you don’t have a vehicle and don’t want to pay $24-30 dollars for the water taxi, Uber is the way to go (it was about $6-8 per person from the Navy Yard neighborhood.)
National Harbor is a great “day getaway” for people of all ages. It has plenty of children-friendly activities, but also plenty of bars, restaurants, and night-life activities for adults (if you choose to leave the kiddos at home.)
To plan your visit to National Harbor for the holidays, visit http://www.nationalharbor.com/plan-a-visit/.