Finding Food, Fun and History in DC Environs


National Harbor is a gateway port to Washington, D.C., situated just across the Potomac. For things to see and do while at the Vascular Annual Meeting, plan to vist the famous sights, monuments, museums, and cultural icons in the city (visit for a full rundown). Consider also the abundant lesser known tourist attractions unavailable anywhere else in the country.

There are many museums and cultural sites located away from the National Mall, and the DC’s Penn Quarter and Chinatown are home to most of them. There’s the Newseum, an interactive museum, devoted to the history of the news, and the International Spy Museum, developed to give a glimpse into the world of espionage. Nearby are the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum. And for an entertaining look at lifelike wax figures of the American presidents, stop in at Madame Tussauds.

The Capital Wheel soars 180 feet in the air and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area, including Washington, D.C.


The Capital Wheel soars 180 feet in the air and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area, including Washington, D.C.

Medical history enthusiasts may want to visit the National Musuem of American History, which houses collections of medical science and biotechnology artifacts. And those interested in the American Civil War with access to a car can visit the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Md., about an hour’s drive from National Harbor.

Cultural events abound during the annual meeting period. Theater goers can attend Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” or the musical “La Cage aux Folles.” You can attend the DC Jazz Festival or the National Symphony Orchestra’s performance of pieces by Bruckner and Mahler. For more cultural events, visit

For sports lovers, the baseball season will be in full swing. The Washington Nationals will be playing the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday and Sunday at Nationals Park.

And family and visitor favorites are the various Potamac River boat tours and excursions, including a cruise to and tour of historic Mount Vernon, the faithfully restored home and plantation of George Washington.

Excellent dining options are available in an almost infinite variety, and the Washington Post offers a website dedicated to “eating your way” through the city:

National Harbor, of course, has its own attractions. Hardest to miss is the Capital Wheel, a giant ferris wheel that soars 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront, with views of the White House and Capitol, the National Mall, and all the surrounding DC metro area.

To plan dining, shopping, or other recreation at National Harbor, visit


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