From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello….

National Harbor

By Lani Gering

You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello….

It was with a very heavy heart that I had to move out of the condo in One National Harbor where I had resided for over 10 years. I loved that little place. The economics just weren’t there anymore with the loss of income I have experienced in the past several months. Many of my neighbors stopped in while I was packing up to say “goodbye” and I have shed more than a few tears but I am looking at finding a silver lining. I believe all things happen for a reason and there are lessons to be learned so…on the upside I am back living in Old Town Alexandria in a place that has lots of windows and sunlight and I am pretty close to my old neighborhood in Del Ray. I am just across the river and since I will continue to write the column and promote all of the things the Harbor offers – and I love my restaurant pals – I will be a frequent visitor. I will be saying a lot of “hello’s” in the future.

The content of this section is going to take on a different perspective in the future. I will no longer be able to write it from a first person stance since I’m no longer a resident so I am going to concentrate on writing about the individuals and businesses that make the harbor work. The affect that this pandemic has had on the Harbor is heartbreaking but things are improving on an almost daily basis.

The above being said, I have to admit that I have been pretty swamped with the move and am going to take the easy way out with this month’s Harbor update. We received the following press release from our pals at Bendure Communications with an update about what is happening at the harbor as the summer goes on. This is definitely some good news for a change:

Summer Fun On and Around the Water

If you missed that trip to the beach this summer and have opted to stay closer to home, National Harbor has multiple entertainment opportunities. The property is welcoming visitors and residents back with many of its shops and restaurants now open.  Bobby McKeys Dueling Piano Bar is now open Friday and Saturday nights with live music and pub fare. The Capital Wheel, The Carousel at National Harbor and Topgolf are all open. And now, some of National Harbor’s boating options are open—all with special protocols in place to protect against COVID-19.

New this year are Monumental Boat Tours and Float Boat 360. “We are excited to have these new operators offering a water experience only available at National Harbor. They are a fun way to explore the Potomac River,” said Jackie Saunders, AVP of marketing for National Harbor.

Monumental Boat Tours allows visitors to cruise the Potomac River in their own two-person CraigCat with a knowledgeable guide (in a separate boat). Boaters will explore from National Harbor to Mount Vernon on their two-hour tour, where they will see the Jones Point Lighthouse, Fort Washington, lots of Potomac wildlife and more.

The Float Boat 360 at National Harbor is designed for groups and typically holds 6 (plus a guide.)  Right now, and due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Float Boat 360 will take a maximum of six guests, plus a guide. The guests need to remain on the opposite side of the boat from the guide in order to maintain the six-foot distance rule. The Float Boat 360 is available for a two-hour rental. “This is so much fun for small groups,” Saunders added. The Float Boat 360 allows guests to bring their own beverages including alcohol. Right now, rates have been reduced to accommodate the smaller group requirements.

All of the boats and boating equipment is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between uses. Face masks are required while on the docks but may be removed by guests during tours. Guests are asked to book online to minimize contact.  For more information or to book, go to Monumental Boat Tours: or to Float Boat 360.

For more information on National Harbor, visit

Rumor Has It….

There is a pretty reliable rumor that the very clever duo – sisters Jaqi Wright and Nikki Howard – who put together “Furlough Cheesecake” during the last seemingly never ending furlough of federal employees is opening a storefront in the Harbor! At the time of this writing it was also rumored that location would be in the space that the former Stonewall Kitchen housed. Keep your eyes out for more information in future issues.

Photos courtesy of
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