I was recently given an opportunity to enjoy a weekend at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. I am beyond excited to share the details of my stay at this gorgeous property. Full disclosure, from the first time I noticed this striking structure of glass and steel as I crossed the Potomac, I was smitten. During my first trip to the National Harbor in 2009, it was evident that the star of the show was the Gaylord National Resort. Now 2013, I was elated to return to the Gaylord National Resort as a hotel guest.
Our room on the 14th floor had sweeping views of the Potomac River, Old Town Alexandria and the National Harbor. Even my toddler stood motionless and simply pressed her face to the glass to soak in her new surroundings. We were officially on vacation! As a side note, I was offered the option of an upgraded room with a small balcony that overlooked the gorgeous lobby and 18-story glass atrium. I declined, if you have little ones I suspect you would very nervous with a balcony just off your room that sits high above the lobby.
As we unpacked, room service arrived with a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. This is customary with the Gaylord Resort Romance Package. With that kind of welcome we were off to a lovey start to our weekend!
Before heading to the harbor we took some time to discover the Gaylord Resort. The hotel lobby is open to the general public and bustling with guests and visitors. As we walked through the Gaylord we gazed at the incredible atrium views, the shops, restaurants, and the stunning nightly fountain show. From there we headed out to soak up all of the fun and excitement that the National Harbor offered on a summer evening.
We stopped at Fiorella Trattoria & Pizzeria for an early dinner and then watched the National Harbor concert series Friday Night Live! After dinner, music and even some dancing we let the girls play at the Awakening sculpture. Locals will remember that Awakening was moved to the National Harbor in 2008 from Hains Point. The sculpture is now surrounded by sand and serves as a wonderful play area for children of all ages. Bonus, set on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset while the band was playing in the distance. We rounded out the night with a trip to Ben & Jerry’s followed by a dip in the Gaylord Hotel pool. My daughter begged and I gave in…the indoor pool is open until 11pm.
Early Saturday morning we set out in search of more adventures. We made our way through the Gaylord Resort’s pristine walking trails that even accommodated my large stroller. We walked the piers and looked out over the Potomac River. We followed the path back to the main harbor area and stopped by the farmer’s market. Then it was back to the Gaylord Resort’s gorgeous pool and patio. Even on a busy summer day, there was ample space for guests. They even had small fountains for younger children. My toddler adored the patio area. We walked by a large gym and a small arcade area for children.
After some afternoon down time, we headed back out to the new National Harbor Carousel, then onto an early dinner and finally back to the hotel to watch the summer Saturday fireworks show. After a long and wonderful weekend one of the sweetest parts was the short ride home. This was the perfect staycation!
The Gaylord National Resort offers a multitude of hotel packages for guests. You can also earn and redeem Marriott Reward Points when booking your room. For my family, the resort was an absolute homerun. Despite the close proximity to Northern Virginia, we felt as though we were transported far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Within minutes of arriving at the hotel we settled in and enjoyed a mini-vacation.
Even if you do not stay at the Gaylord National Resort, I would highly recommend making the trip to the National Harbor. Take some time to visit the Gaylord National Resort. I bet you will change your mind about that stay.
Please note the concert series and Saturday firework shows are seasonal events.
So many thanks to our amazing friends at Washington FAMILY Magazine for giving me the opportunity to visit the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center.
You can find Washington FAMILY Magazine at local stores in the DC Metro area or you can view the June 2013 edition online by visiting this link.
Fireworks @ The Gaylord National Resort
Washington FAMILY Magazine
Big Night DC
Kid Trips Northern Virginia Edition
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Kid Trips' blogs profile fun events and cool family-friendly venues. We focus on regional and national family travel articles.
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