National Harbor Live Cam
Views of Woodrow Wilson Bridge over the Potomac River
National Harbor History
National Harbor is a waterfront community in Prince George's County, Maryland, located on the banks of the Potomac River, just south of Washington, D.C. The development of the National Harbor began in the early 2000s and was opened to the public in 2008.
Before the National Harbor was developed, the area was primarily used for commercial and industrial purposes, including a power plant, a quarry, and a naval facility. In the late 1990s, the Peterson Companies, a local real estate development company, began exploring the possibility of transforming the area into a mixed-use community.
The Peterson Companies' vision for the National Harbor was to create a destination that would attract visitors from all over the region, with a mix of residential, commercial, and entertainment offerings. The development of the National Harbor involved a partnership between the Peterson Companies, the state of Maryland, and the Prince George's County government.
The National Harbor includes a variety of attractions, including the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, a 2,000-room hotel and convention center, as well as a marina, retail shops, restaurants, and residential units. The development also includes the National Children's Museum and the Capital Wheel, a 180-foot Ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the Potomac River and the Washington, D.C. skyline.
Today, the National Harbor is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike, with a variety of events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and fireworks displays. It has become a major economic driver for Prince George's County, generating significant tax revenue and providing jobs for thousands of people.
National Harbor Top Tourist Attractions
- The Capital Wheel: This 180-foot Ferris wheel offers riders breathtaking views of the Potomac River and the Washington, D.C. skyline. It features enclosed gondolas with climate control and is open year-round.
- MGM National Harbor: This luxury casino and resort features over 3,000 slot machines, table games, a poker room, a spa, and multiple dining and entertainment options.
- The Awakening Sculpture: This 70-foot sculpture of a giant emerging from the earth is a popular spot for photos and climbing.
- National Children's Museum: This interactive museum features exhibits and programs designed to encourage children to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
- Tanger Outlets: This outdoor shopping center features over 80 brand-name stores offering discounted prices on clothing, accessories, and home goods.
- Waterfront Park: This park along the Potomac River features a promenade, a carousel, a children's play area, and plenty of green space for picnics and relaxation.
- The Peeps & Company Store: This retail store is dedicated to the marshmallow candy brand Peeps and offers a variety of Peeps-themed merchandise.
- The National Harbor Marina: This marina offers boat rentals, charters, and tours, as well as waterfront dining options.
These are just a few of the many attractions available at the National Harbor.
National Harbor Climate
The National Harbor experiences a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. During the summer months, from June to September, temperatures can range from the mid-70s to mid-90s Fahrenheit (24 to 35 degrees Celsius), with high humidity levels. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months, especially in the afternoons and evenings.
In the winter, from December to February, temperatures can range from the mid-20s to mid-40s Fahrenheit (-4 to 7 degrees Celsius). Snowfall is relatively rare in the area, but it does occur occasionally.
The spring and fall months are mild, with temperatures ranging from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10 to 25 degrees Celsius). These seasons are generally pleasant with comfortable weather for outdoor activities.
Overall, the National Harbor has a moderate climate, with mild temperatures throughout most of the year, making it a great destination for visitors looking to explore the outdoors.
National Harbor Geography
The National Harbor is located on the banks of the Potomac River, just south of Washington, D.C., in Prince George's County, Maryland. It is situated on a peninsula that juts out into the Potomac River, surrounded by water on three sides.
The National Harbor covers an area of approximately 350 acres and is divided into three distinct areas: the Waterfront District, the Retail and Dining District, and the Hotel District. The Waterfront District is located at the southern end of the National Harbor and features a marina, a pier, and a variety of outdoor attractions. The Retail and Dining District is located in the center of the National Harbor and features shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The Hotel District is located at the northern end of the National Harbor and features hotels, conference centers, and residential units.
The National Harbor is easily accessible by car, with several major highways located nearby, including I-95, I-495, and I-295. It is also accessible by water, with several water taxis and tour boats operating in the area. Additionally, there is a free shuttle bus service that operates within the National Harbor, making it easy for visitors to get around and explore all that the area has to offer.
The Wilson Bridge was first constructed in 1961 and consisted of two parallel spans, each carrying three lanes of traffic. However, by the 1990s, the bridge had become severely congested and was in need of major repairs. Additionally, the bridge was not structurally sound and was in danger of collapse in the event of an earthquake or other major disaster.
In response to these concerns, plans were developed to replace the existing bridge with a new, wider span. Construction on the new bridge began in 2000 and was completed in 2008, at a cost of approximately $2.4 billion. The new bridge features 12 lanes of traffic, including two reversible lanes, as well as separate bike and pedestrian paths.
The new Wilson Bridge is also designed to be more resilient in the event of a disaster. It is built to withstand a 500-year flood event and has seismic protection measures that will allow it to remain standing in the event of an earthquake. Additionally, the bridge features a state-of-the-art traffic management system that helps to reduce congestion and improve safety.
The Wilson Bridge is now a vital transportation link between Maryland and Virginia, carrying approximately 250,000 vehicles per day. It has also become a popular tourist attraction, offering stunning views of the Potomac River and the surrounding areas.
The Potomac River is a major river that flows into the Chesapeake Bay on the East Coast of the United States. The river is approximately 405 miles (652 km) long and runs through Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
The Potomac River has played a significant role in the history of the United States, serving as a vital transportation route for goods and people since colonial times. The river was also the site of several major battles during the American Civil War, including the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Today, the Potomac River is a popular destination for outdoor recreation, with activities such as fishing, boating, and kayaking. The river is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, and river otters. Additionally, the Potomac River is an important source of drinking water for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
The Potomac River is also famous for its many landmarks and monuments, including the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Many of these landmarks can be seen from the river, making it a popular destination for sightseeing tours and cruises.