The Capital Wheel at National Harbor

Similar to the London Eye, the Capital Wheel at National Harbor is a unique way to view the Potomac River, National Harbor, and our nation’s Capital.

The observation wheel soars 180 feet over the National Harbor and Potomac River, lights up at night, and provides amazing views of most of Washington’s signature attractions: The Capitol Building, National Mall, Arlington Cemetery and more.

(In full disclosure, the above sites are what they advertise you can see. In reality, you’ll get a great view of the National Harbor Complex and maybe the Masonic Temple in Alexandria, VA. You’ll be able to see the Washington Monument but it’s pretty small!)

There are 42 gondolas, as they are called, which are basically glass enclosed viewing pods, each of which will seat 8.  They are climate controlled, so your family can enjoy the entire Washington skyline in comfort and style all year long. Each gondola is handicap accessible, but strollers (as well as outside food/drink) are not permitted.

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  • $15 + tax for adults
  • $11.25 + tax per child 12 and under
  • Discount pricing is available for seniors and military with valid ID for $13.50
  • Tickets for National Harbor One (the VIP Gondola) cost $50 each. The VIP experience includes leather bucket seats, a glass floor, and an included photo package (a $20 value!).

Capital Wheel Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 12pm-10pm
Friday-Sunday: 10am-11pm

Have a Drink! Enjoy a cocktail, beer, or wine at the Flight Deck before or after your ride on the Capital Wheel! Reservations and tickets to the wheel are not necessary to enjoy a beverage and the views here. If you’d like to take your drink on the wheel with you, simply purchase an $8 souvenir cup and it’s yours to enjoy on the ride and keep afterward. Flight Deck is open Friday from 4pm-10pm and Saturday & Sunday from 12pm-10pm.

Ride the Carousel! Enjoy a ride on the carousel for $7 + tax. The carousel at National Harbor is open Friday-Sunday from 12pm-8pm.

Tip: If you plan to visit National Harbor and the Capital Wheel, make sure to also stop by and see the urban sculpture, The Awakening, which is adjacent to the wheel. This 72-foot larger than life statue is of a giant struggling to break himself free from being embedded into the earth. It’s fun to climb on and great for those Instagramable photos!

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Simple Directions to National Harbor:

Despite the national in its name, The National Harbor is not in DC. The best option is to drive and there is paid parking throughout the complex.

The National Harbor is available by Metrobus from the Branch Ave Metro station, also by water taxi from DC, Old Town Alexandria, Mount Vernon and Georgetown.

For more detailed information how to get to National Harbor, visit our post.

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