Student travel groups with a destination of Washington D.C. will want to spend some time at The National Harbor (NH). It’s located on the shores of Prince George County, Maryland, just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C.
The National Harbor encompasses a stretch of shoreline with magnificent views of Washington D.C. and the many famous structures that dot the skyline of the nation’s capital. National Harbor visitors will have a new treat when they come in the spring of 2014: The Capital Ferris Wheel. Get ready for a ride on an observation wheel that is 175 feet above the Potomac River, providing phenomenal views of downtown Washington D.C. and the surrounding area.
The Capital Wheel
This project is a small piece of the National Harbor as a whole, which offers hotels, shopping, dining and entertainment for visitors. While student tour groups may enjoy these activities, some groups may have limited time to further explore the National Harbor – but trip leaders will still want to schedule a ride on the Capital Ferris Wheel.
The Capital Ferris Wheel is slated for completion in May, 2014 and will be a great attraction to enhance National Harbor. Initially, developers wanted to build a Disney theme park and resort at National Harbor, but this deal fell through.
Now MGM will be building a casino at National Harbor instead, a decision that has left many unhappy. Student travelers and educational travel companies would have benefitted more from a Disney resort than a casino. Yet the harbor itself and the views of D.C. the Capital Wheel provides are reason enough to visit.
Representatives of the maker of the Capital Wheel, Chance Rides, call it an observation wheel, not a ferris wheel, making an important distinction. Rather than a carnival ride, the Capital Wheel is designed for those who want a long, slow look at landmarks with a bird’s eye view of the Washington D.C. skyline. Each ride allows for two revolutions around the Capital Wheel. Riders see views of the Washington Monument, U.S. Capital, the Pentagon, Alexandria, Virginia and Prince George’s County, Maryland.
There are other world-class cities that have observation wheels and these have proven to have great appeal for the public. The idea is to see iconic landmarks in cities like Washington D.C. from a high vantage point. Other cities with wheels include, Seattle, Washington and London, England, among others. The London Eye reaches heights of over 400 feet and surely bedazzles visitors.
Up to eight people can be seated in each of the 42 climate controlled gondolas and it can be used year round. Students can ride it anytime between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., making it convenient to complementary activities in Northern Virginia, such as a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and/or Mount Vernon.
On a pleasant spring or fall day, student travel groups will love a visit to the Potomac River waterfront, strolling along the docks of the National Harbor Marina. If there is time for the student tour group, perhaps they can enjoy a lunch or dinner at one of the fine restaurants in National Harbor, too. If time permits, groups may take water taxi rides or even add a sightseeing cruise on the Potomac River to their itinerary. Whatever the plan when visiting National Harbor, consult an educational travel company. Their experts will help to coordinate the trip with visits to many of the other rich historical and cultural sites to visit in the Washington D.C. area.
Visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information about student trips to Washington D.C. that include a stop at the National Harbor.