National Harbor : Maryland


What It Is Like to Retire in National Harbor


National Harbor, located on the shores of the Potomac River in Price George’s County, Maryland, was started in 2008 as a multi-use waterfront development.  The 300 acre site which was once a plantation, is directly across the Potomac from Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. In 2010, National Harbor was delineated as a census designated place with a population close to 4,000.  It consists of hotels, offices, retail stores, restaurants, and nightspots. There are also waterfront condos, a marina and convention center, Tanger Outlets and National Harbor’s most iconic attraction, The Capital Wheel.  The development has not been without controversy due to environmental impacts and traffic congestion, as over 10,000 cars are expected to commute daily.  Residents of National Harbor enjoy waterfront living with a marina, and a walkable community of shopping, dining and entertainment.  Picture of National Harbor courtesy of Wikipedia and Andreas Praefcke (public domain). Picture of McCormick & Schmicks courtesy of Wikipedia and Juxtapos99 (public domain); View of stores and restaurants at National Harbor (retail development) in Maryland, courtesy of Wikipedia and Tomwsulcer (public domain).


Where to Retire in National Harbor and Home Prices

National Harbor offers waterfront living in four different residential options including condos and townhomes priced from high $200's to over $1,000,000.


What Is Special about National Harbor

National Harbor is a waterfront community just south of Washington, D.C., and across the Potomac River from Old Town Alexandria. It's a very walkable community as it offers shopping, dining, entertainment and a marina right outside your door.


What Is Not Special about National Harbor

Some people say that because it is new it doesn't have the charm of Old Town across the river. Many of its residents are younger, single people or married couples with no children.There are no libraries, theaters, museums. Getting there is not accessible enough to the Washington Metro, although the developer and the state are investing in better roads to National Harbor.


Who Will Like Retirement in National Harbor

Retirees who like boating and like a small, walkable community with urban energy and nightlife would like it here.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, food service, hotels, retail.


Climate and Physical Environment

National Harbor has a total area of 1.9 square miles with 21% of that water (the Potomac River). The average January temperature is 35 degrees with the average July temperature about 80 degrees.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

National Harbor hosts a variety of entertainment with outdoor concerts by local artists and culinary events throughout the year. There is an annual ice sculpture exhibition and a Beatles festival, "Abby Road on the River", is also an annual event.



Crime rate for National Harbor as a community is not available, but surrounding communities have a little higher than average rate.


Medical Facilities

Fort Washington Hospital is in nearby Fort Washington, Maryland.



Transportation has been an ongoing issue for National Harbor. A local civic group dropped a lawsuit against the developer in exchange for assurances of greater investment in the surrounding community, and better access to mass transit. Maryland provides bus access from the Branch Metro Station, but as part of their long-term plan, will consider building a rail extension to National Harbor off the Green Line. There is a water taxi that connects Alexandria, Virginia to National Harbor. The beachfront walking path and bike trail on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge also crosses into Alexandria from National Harbor.


Valuable Links

National Harbor


What people are saying about National Harbor

Dont retire to National Harbor
I live close to this development. People living there dont shop locally for food or other types of stores they go into Virginia. The home pricing is very high, not worth it. I wiuld move to Alexandria Va prettier, more shopping and great hospitals. There is a lot of traffic since this community sits right off of beltway..a main route to get to DC and VA. This area has no space to fix this traffic problem. As a retiree I would not want to live next to a casino and every time I want medical care or shop I would have to fight a lot of traffic. Visit before moving and tour Prince George\'s county whuch is one of the largest counties in Maryland. Like any place do your home work and visit more than once.
Posted by 3beckner3 on March 30, 2022

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