Meeting On The Potomac
National Harbor, Md., and the Potomac River present plenty of chances for fun and relaxation during the 71st Annual PVA National Convention.
This month’s annual Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) national convention in National Harbor, Md., will be busy with reports, meetings and electing the PVA Executive Committee. But it’s also important to take time to get away from the hustle and bustle and relax among the sites and beauty of this unique area along the Potomac River.
Located only about 12 miles south of the PVA national office in the heart of Washington, D.C., National Harbor is a 350-acre resort destination featuring hotels, tree-lined promenades with plenty of shops and restaurants, a marina, an outlet mall and a giant Ferris wheel. The vision for the area began in the 1990s with the idea to create a waterfront destination dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the Potomac River.
Roughly translated, “Potomac” means “where goods are brought” or “trading place,” and it won’t take you long to see how the area incorporates those ideas and why it’s become a popular destination for tourists and business travelers.
Get Started At The Gaylord
Statues of historical figures greet visitors as they enter the American Way shopping area in National Harbor, Md.
The best place to start exploring is right where the convention will be taking place May 15-21 — the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
Situated on the banks of the Potomac River, the resort offers a multitude of restaurants and bars, a spa and a large glass atrium. The most striking feature of the resort is the 19-story atrium that offers stunning views of one of the nation’s most historic rivers. The 2-acre atrium offers plenty of room to roll around lush landscaping, areas to stop and admire the view, as well as a few places to grab a bite to eat.
Fantastic views aren’t limited to the atrium, either. At the top of the resort, you’ll find the Pose Rooftop Lounge with dramatic vistas of Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Va., viewed through 18-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows and a wraparound terrace. The modern lounge is popular among hotel guests for late-night cocktails, music and dancing.
If you’re looking for some excitement without the view or plush setting, the resort’s National Pastime Sports Bar And Grill offers your favorite sports on a 36-foot, high-definition video wall. Featuring plenty of sports memorabilia, the bar also has traditional pub favorites such as wings, burgers and craft beer.
Ride The Wheel
Whether you’re rolling outside or gazing out of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center atrium, it’s hard to miss National Harbor’s biggest attraction, the Capital Wheel.
Take a ride 180 feet above the Potomac River for views of the Washington National Cathedral, the Washington Monument, the Masonic Temple and much of the surrounding countryside. Each wheelchair-accessible gondola has a 30-inch wide door, ramp access and can hold up to eight adults. The gondolas are also air-conditioned and heated so the 12-15 minute long ride can be comfortable year-round. Tickets are $15 for adults, with discounts available for seniors and the military.
If you want to take your ride up a notch, check out the VIP experience. The Capital Wheel’s National Harbor One (the VIP gondola) provides a luxurious ride with leather bucket seats and a glass floor. The VIP gondola can accommodate four adults, and tickets are $50 each.
For more information, visit
For more information, visit localmotors.com/posts/locations/national-harbor.
Meeting On The Potomac
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