A Night Out in National Harbor

DC Bachelorette Party Ideas

Brides in the mid-Atlantic region have plenty of options when it comes to bachelorette party locales – Washington D.C., Baltimore, downtown Annapolis, Ocean City or even a road trip to Atlantic City, N.J., Philadelphia or New York.

But there’s one location she may have overlooked – National Harbor. This mini-town on the banks of the Potomac River, across from Alexandria, Va., and just outside D.C., might not even be on her radar. However, the plethora of bars, restaurants and hotels, coupled with its walkability, makes National Harbor just the spot to celebrate. For a locale with just two main streets, there are plenty of hotels to choose from – Aloft, the Westin, Marriott, Hampton Inn, and the sprawling Gaylord National Conference Center and Hotel.

For your BASH, we recommend Aloft for its chic and modern ambiance. Once you’ve settled into your hotel room, take some time for relaxation before the evening festivities begin. Walk along National Harbor’s waterfront streets, go shopping – a girl could get lost for hours in Charming Charlie, an accessory store – or enjoy a massage or facial at the Relache Salon and Spa at the Gaylord. Once you and your girls have wiled away the afternoon, head back to the hotel to get ready for a night out at the harbor.

Kick off the evening with a cocktail at the Wxyz Bar in the lobby of Aloft, then head out for a special dinner. For seafood, dine at McCormick and Schmick’s or Bond 45 Steak and Seafood. For an ethnic meal, Grace’s Mandarin or the Thai Pavilion offers up Chinese and Thai food, respectively. For a low-key atmosphere, check out Harrington’s Pub and Kitchen or Cadillac Ranch – watch out, though, you might be tempted to hop onto Cadillac Ranch’s mechanical bull after a few cocktails.

Conclude your BASH at Bobby McKey’s, a dueling piano bar and the only one of its kind in the Washington, D.C., metro area. Reserve a table in advance for your party and spend the night singing along with the talented piano players.

At the end of the night, no cab is needed – simply walk back to your hotel room to sleep in the peace. In the morning, grab coffee at Mayorga, National Harbor’s resident coffee shop, or a full breakfast at Ketchup, a fun restaurant serving everything from chocolate chip pancakes to shrimp and grits.

National Harbor might not be as well-known as its similarly named cousin to the northeast, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, but it just might be the perfect place to celebrate your bachelorette party.

Have you been to National Harbor? What would you recommend?

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