National Harbor, MD Meeting Planning Overview
Planners might have heard about National Harbor, Maryland while scouting the Washington, DC metropolitan area for meeting locations. Well, it's new, it's developing, and it's even home to a waterfront convention center, the Gaylord National. Hosting a meeting here offers more than just business: It's a vacation, a resort and a weekend getaway in one - all within proximity to the sights and monuments of Washington, DC. Just across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge south of DC, National Harbor boasts a variety of both local and national retail stores, renowned restaurants and a marina that combine for unique setting. Five additional hotel venues in National Harbor round out the offerings.
The largest of the convention venues in National Harbor, the Gaylord National Hotel, which debuted in spring of 2008, is the epicenter of the harbor area. It is the second largest venue after the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington DC. The 2,000-room Gaylord National has 470,000 square feet of meeting space that is flexible enough to allow for the majority of business to come from smaller executive meetings with less than 200 room nights. The four ballrooms, pre-function space and exhibit hall can be combined for a one-stop convention or networking hot-spot. (Other, smaller hotel venues in National Harbor include the Westin, Marriott Residence Inn, AC Hotel, Hampton Inn and Wyndham Vacation Resort.)
For social events, the Sunset Room and Piers is a dramatically beautiful setting. Planners can choose from both indoor space with a view and outdoor terraces along the piers. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer breathtaking views of the Potomac River while the picturesque terrace grants a gentle waterside breeze and an intimate atmosphere. There is also the Capital Wheel, an 180-foot observation wheel that offers stunning views of the Potomac and the monuments of Washington, DC.
When the convention's over and attendees are looking for local entertainment, water taxis can provide direct access to nearby Old Town Alexandria, a quaint spot for both tourists and locals to stroll along cobblestones streets. Rent a sailboat, canoe, kayak or electric boat and enjoy some independence on the calm waters of the Potomac. The bike trail and running path are perfect for the remaining outdoor enthusiasts.
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