From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Summertime is Sizzling!

The Harbor just keeps growing in leaps and bounds! The Capitol Wheel is fully operational and still generating a lot of buzz; the erection of the Jumbotron on the Plaza has added another dimension to the harbor experience; completion of the Esplanade luxury apartments is on the near horizon and construction on the new MGM Grand casino will soon be underway on the Plateau. It really is hard to believe that this place is only 6 years old. I have a hard time remembering what the shoreline looked like back in 2008.

Dining in the Harbor is taking on a new dimension as well. The new Redstone American Grill is attracting its fair share of visitors and locals. Located right on the water on the north side of the Awakening, it provides another great waterfront dining experience. Redstone is billed as a upscale, casual dining venue serving steak, chicken, pork and fish. The outdoor bar and patio is gorgeous. Soon to open is the Walrus Oyster & Ale House on the corner of American Way and Waterfront Street (the old Ketchup location). The concept was inspired by the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s eastern shore and is based on the Lewis Carroll poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”. Local award winning chef and proclaimed godfather of seafood, Bob Kinkead, will be overseeing the food program.  They hope to open their doors in early August (the renovation of this 6700 square foot space has been quite an undertaking) and will be serving local, moderately priced eastern shore style seafood and will, of course, feature an impressive oyster bar!

American Way no longer has a weekly vendor based market but you can find Miller Farms selling a huge array of fruits, vegetables and baked goods at their stand every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Also new to the American Way promenade is Goodies Frozen Custard & Soda Bar. This dessert oasis is a nice compliment to the other frozen delight vendors on the Plaza – Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Pinkberry frozen yogurt. Many of you are probably familiar with the Goodie’s food truck that has been roaming the streets of D.C. for some time. This is just a permanent version of the same! I am looking forward to treating myself to their gourmet root beer!

The retail situation here in the Harbor is still trying to get comfortable with its space. It has been a bit like musical chairs these last few months with businesses moving from one space to another and some making room for others. My favorite hot sauce joint, Pepper Palace has moved one block north of its original space on Waterfront Street, VIP Outdoor moved across the street from their original location on American Way where you will now find Del Sol and Cariloha sharing the space. Del Sol is a unique concept that features clothing and accessories that change colors with the light from the sun – you have to see this to believe it – and Cariloha is a purveyor of all things bamboo with their popular sheets, clothing line and accessories. These Utah based sister businesses offer another unique shopping experience to Harbor locals and visitors.

Also new to Waterfront Street is Tervis. I guess I am totally out of the loop but when I was told that a new Tervis store was opening I just stood there with a blank stare and acted like I knew what they were talking about. You know those insulated tumblers and water bottles that you see all over the place – you probably have even been given a few as promotional pieces – with various logos embedded in them? Those are Tervis products. These insulated tumblers, ice buckets, etc. are all American-made and come with various emblems and accessory combinations. You can even order custom-designs (now I know where the Pinehurst Golf Resort got the set that I now own). Stop in at the store at 189 Waterfront and check these products out. They are good things to have on hand during the hot weather!

In addition to the free fitness sessions that are offered on the Plaza every week here at the harbor (see calendar of events), Boating in DC at National Harbor offers another option to use up some energy on the water. Kayaks, paddle boards, canoes and paddle boats are all available for rent. You can even take a SUP (stand up paddleboard) class that may or may not involve some yoga. This Georgetown based business is a welcome addition to our waterfront activities. I haven’t done it yet, but I am going to rent the Rubber Ducky paddle boat and take afew spins around this place.

I’m sure I’ve left out other new things that are popping up here in my neck of the woods but there is always room in next month’s column to give them mention. Make it a point to treat yourself to the harbor experience if you haven’t already!

Written by: Lani Gering

July Events

31st– September 21st
Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna
Under the Big Top on the Plateau
Diane Paulus production inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest takes place on an island governed by goddesses.
Tickets and information at


Movies on the Potomac – Marvelous Musicals
Sundays at 6:00 p.m.
13th – The Wizard of Oz
20th – Willy Wonka
27th – Annie (1982 version)
Aug 3rd – Singin’ In the Rain
Bring your lawn chair but leave the coolers at home!


Friday Night Live
Every Friday night on the Plaza Stage from 7-9 pm
11th – Secret Society
18th – The Waiting
25th – The Reagan Years
Aug 1st – Southern Maryland Concert Band


Military Concert Series
Select Saturdays on the Plaza Stage from 6-7:30 pm
5th – Marine Band – Free Country
12th – Navy Band – Country Current


Waterfront Fitness
Free classes sponsored by Willpower Functional Fitness
In front of the Jumbotron on the Plaza
7-8 pm
Tues – Yoga
Wed – Zumba

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