The first week of July, my family took a mini road trip to National Harbor, Maryland. About a 5 hour drive from our home in Western New York. National Harbor has a handful of fabulous hotel options. Everything from casinos, to your basic inns. Since this was a family occasion with a 5 year old in tow, we opted for the super family friendly, Gaylord National! We were just at the Gaylord Texan back in November for Ice! So we were pretty stoked to check the National Harbor location out!
Discover an iconic getaway at our National Harbor hotel
Immerse yourself in an unrivaled stay at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Located on the Potomac River, just steps from the shopping and entertainment National Harbor is known for, our waterfront resort provides you with the best of both worlds. Whether you're enjoying a ride on the Capital Wheel, visiting MGM National Harbor® with the city's complimentary circulator bus or exploring our very own 19-story glass atrium, you'll discover an extraordinary adventure. Bring the whole family to enjoy our fountain show, then make a splash of your own in our indoor pool. Following the fun, satisfy your cravings at one of our seven stylish eateries, then end your evening with exotic cocktails and breathtaking views at Pose Lounge & Nightclub. When it's time to get back to business, host an inspiring meeting or conference, complete with customizable catering and dedicated event planners. Whether you're visiting for work or play, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center provides a memorable stay.
The Gaylord National definitely made us feel welcomed from the second we walked in! Just take a peak at this fabulous welcome package they had waiting for us in our room! They definitely rolled out the red carpet for us that's for sure.
Since I know many of you must be dying for all the details of our hotel stay, here are some of the highlights I would like to pass on to your family!
The Gaylord National is located on the Potomac River, just steps from the shopping and entertainment National Harbor is known for!!! The biggest perk of choosing the Gaylord National is that everything you're going to want to do during your stay is walking distance from the hotel! So save that gas money for a little shopping at the Tangler Outlets which are minutes away!
Obviously National Harbor is on the water. Duh! Harbor! The Gaylord National however is right on the waterfront. Walk outside and bam! The beautiful Potomac River is right there :)
I know splash pads are everywhere in the South, but in the north? Not so much. So when Western New Yorkers like ourselves find one. Omg!! Exciting stuff I tell you!!!! My daughter loved the fact that all we had to do was take an elevator and we were at a splash pad since the Gaylord National has one on site!
I don't think there is a kiddo out there that doesn't love a good ole dip in the pool. Heck, this mama gets just as excited when she hears the word pool! Thankfully, the Gaylord National is home to a giant indoor pool. They even have several
outdoor hot tubs. So you can maintain that active lifestyle by Swimming some invigorating laps or even break a sweat at the fitness center right next to the pool.
You will definitely not want to miss the amazing Atrium Fountain Show. Water shoots 60-feet high to fun musical tunes. If you're kiddo can make it to the 9pm show. I promise it will be worth it! The show is a tad bit more awesome in the dark once the sun goes down.
When: Nightly at 6, 7, 8, and 9pm.
Where: Lower Atrium
Atuim View Rooms
Atrium View sleeping rooms overlook the 19-story glass atrium. You will also have one killer view of the nightly laser show! This is the room we were fortunate enough to stay in and here are its features:
One of the most breathtaking views you will ever see! The sun setting on the Potomac River and the Gaylord National has a front row seat! Traveling without the kids? Once the sun starts to set, head to the Belvedere Lobby Bar for a cocktail. The sunset view from the bar is incredible!
I think when traveling with the family, buffets are always a win! There is something for everyone. When we found out the Gaylord National has a breakfast buffet, we all just looked at each other thinking sweet!
The breakfasts buffet is located at the Pienza restaurant. You will find everything from make your own omelettes, to waffles, favorites like bacon, sausage, potatoes and cereal and yogurt for the little ones.
Shuttle Service to MGM National Harbor, Tanger Outlets and more
Registered overnight guests at Gaylord National can enjoy FREE transportation on the Harbor Circulator Bus as part of the resort fee. This shuttle runs 7 days a week from 11am to 10:13pm on Sunday-Thursday and till 12:53am on Friday and Saturdays.
SummerFest at Gaylord National featuring
Music of AmericaMay 26, 2017 – September 4, 2017
Experience everything from a FREE Scavenger Hunt, to splashin' pool movie fun, delicious summer cocktails, musical entertainment and special events. Throughout the summer celebration, Gaylord National will play homage to American Music – including Jazz, Country Music and more - with first-class musical performers throughout the hotel and restaurants.
Gaylord National’s Christmas on the Potomac: November 18, 2017 – January 1, 2018
Experience Christmas On the Potomac, a magical wonderland with lavish décor, twinkling holiday lights and indoor snowfall. ICE! returns with a new theme, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, plus enjoy Gingerbread Decorating, Build-A-Bear Workshop®, a ice skating experience and an all live entertainment show - JOY A Holiday Spectacular.
The Gaylord National was definitely the right choice for us! If you're traveling with kids, this is THE hotel to stay at while visiting National Harbor. Nightly entertainment, kid friendly food options, a giant pool and a splash pad! The Gaylord was definitely designed with the traveling family in mind that's for sure!
The rooms were clean, mini refrigerators to store drinks and snacks! I can't even think of something the resort can improve on because all of my family's needs were met! We even had bad luck our first night in National Harbor. Rain galore! We assumed we were going to be stuck in our room twiddling our thumbs and nope! The Gaylord had so much entertainment. Hourly laser shows, scavenger hunts for kids, an arcade, pool, cocktails for mom and dad!!!! We didn't even remember we were trapped indoors because of rain.
Connect With Gaylord National Online
Have you stayed at a Gaylord Hotel before? Have you been to National Harbor?
"Thankyou Gaylord National and National Harbor for sponsoring this post. Regardless, all opinions, stories and typos, 100% my own."
For most of us here in Western and Central New York, Darien Lake is the place to be if you're after a thrill-seeking ride. Darien Lake is New York's largest water & theme park with rides, thrills and coasters after all!
This past weekend my family was given free tickets to the theme park in exchange for our honest review! Darien Lake has gone through many owners over the past few years, so I was excited to see what was new? What changed? Was it going to be the same thrilling place it was back in my youth? Here are the things we observed over our visit :)
Backwards or forwards, you won’t know which direction you are going on Boomerang Roller Coaster! Get thrown for a loop or 4 in Darien Lake’s suspended coaster, Mind Eraser! Or Hop into the tallest and faster roller coaster in New York State, Ride of Steel!
Visiting with little ones? That was us on this trip! My daughter is 5 and had a blast! So many family rides and a whole kiddie ride section. My husband and I were actually shocked at how many rides Darien Lake has for little ones. We would have brought my daughter a lot sooner if we had known the place was little kid friendly. Families of littles, don't let the coasters scare you off.
Take a dive into the 600,000 gallon wave pool, Crocodile Isle. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the park and relax on the heated Lazy River. Or take your kids to the ultimate kiddie water park attraction Hooks Lagoon!
Darien Lake also introduced a brand new racing waterslide, a six lane insane water slide racing complex in 2016 for those looking for a thrill!
We were at Darien Lake on a pretty hot day, so we were happy about the water park! Best way too cool off before hitting up those coasters again.
Locker rentals are available for $10 for a regular locker, $15 for a large locker and $20 for a jumbo locker.
When we decided to cool off at the water park in the middle of the afternoon, we took advantage of the locker rentals. The lockers do sell out on busy days. When we rented ours around 1-2pm, the only locker left was a small. So if you're visiting with a large group, you will want to rent one before you visit! BUY NOW!
Lockers can be found by Hook’s Lagoon, Big Kahuna, Haymaker, and at the Main Gate.
Suprisingly, Darien Lake is home to quite a few dining options! Everything from Western NY famous Anchor Bar wings, Tim Hortons coffee,fast food pizza, burger, fries and air conditioned restaurants such as Maria's Italian Kitchen!
One of the killer deals we spotted was a mega cup you can purchase for $25! Free refills all summer long when you purchase that cup!
Wagons and wheelchairs are available at Darien Lake. My daughter is 5 and walks perfectly fine, but when it comes to places like large theme parks, we are all about the stroller rentals! So wagon rentals were right up
• Wagons $20 for a single day and $10 for each additional day
•Wheelchairs $15 for a single day and $14 for each additional day (must be consecutive)
A picture ID (drivers license) of the renter will be taken as deposit for your rental. Wagons can be rented at the Main Gate or at the General Store. Save time, rent your wagon before you visit! BUY NOW
Darien Lake is definitely a total blast! Fun for everyone regardless of your age. There are rides for little ones, roller coasters for the more adventurous and even a water park to cool down in!
My one tip of advice would be to definitely get to Darien Lake early. If you happen to be planning your visit on a weekend or during a concert, there will be a crowd. Our visit was on a Sunday AND a country concert was going on so people galore! Arriving at the park early will guarantee a convenient parking spot AND shorter lines since concert goers aren't at the park yet.
Darien Lake Theme Park Resort
9993 Allegheny Road
Darien Center, NY, 14040
Have you been to Darien Lake? What was the last amusement park you had the pleasure of visiting?
"Thank you Darien Lake for sponsoring this post. Regardless, all stories, opinions and typos, 100% mine."
CourtneyLynne is former model turned mommy & wifey! When not blogging all things foodie, fashion, travel, mom life & straight up fabulousness to the masses, she can be found chasing her toddler around in 6in stilettos & laughing at her own jokes her glass of wine told her to tell.