Visiting the MGM National Harbor, May 2017

Hello everyone,

Continuing our recent adventures around Maryland (you can read my report on afternoon tea in Annapolis, here, and my report from my visit to Brookside Gardens, here), today I am going to share you with my thoughts on the new MGM hotel and casino in National Harbor, near Washington, D.C.

The MGM National Harbor opened in December last year, and is located on an outcrop in Maryland that straddles I-495 (the DC beltway), the DC border and the Virginia border. National Harbor itself is an up and coming resort area with a small town, the Gaylord convention centre (where Jon and I visit the ICE! exhibit every year, which I have posted about previously on Two Lost Boys and Character Central), as well as an outlet mall, and other hotels and amenities.

The new MGM is owned and operated by the very same MGM that owns many of the hotels in Las Vegas. When we first decided to visit, I wasn't really sure what to expect. There are a few other casinos in Maryland, including one not all too far away from National Harbor, in Arundel Mills. The Live! casino in Arundel Mills isn't the greatest place, in my own opinion, and even though it is attached to the outlet mall there, they didn't initially build a hotel with it. They are adding a hotel now, but it just has never had that same "resort" feel without a hotel. It was a casino at an outlet mall; it felt a little odd, honestly.

Anyway, I wasn't sure what to expect from the new MGM, but I can now say that I was very pleasantly surprised. As far as hotel-casinos that aren't in Vegas go, this one is really nice. While on a much smaller scale than any of the hotels in Vegas, it had a similar feel to it. It had a food court, upscale dining, bars, a patisserie, a neat roof terrace with a view over National Harbor, art displays, a chocolate fountain, a seasonal tree display (much like the Bellagio in Vegas, actually), events venue/theatre, and I am sure much more - all in addition to the main casino and of course the hotel rooms. It should be noted that the rest of the resort area can be easily accessed by foot, car and even a shuttle bus. We easily walked from the MGM to the outlet mall, and then down to the main National Harbor area all without a car, and without endangering ourselves through lack of walkways (as is the case in a lot of the US, unfortunately). There are clear paths, and it's a pleasant walk.

One word of caution (and this may be corrected/changed if you decide to visit in the future) - when you park your car make a note of the floor number specifically, because apparently when colour coordinating the elevator numbers with the parking decks, somebody didn't quite get the concept...

I have said a lot already, so now I'll share with you the rest of my photos from our day there. I will add just one more thing - don't be fooled by the outside appearance as it is in photos. At first you could think it is kind of ugly - and initially I would have agreed with you - but seeing it up close, and seeing the inside, and how it all comes together, well, it works for what it is. I was initially dubious, and I was left proven wrong.

After the photos of the MGM, I want to just share with you some more photos from our day at National Harbor from the town, the Gaylord and around the area - so be sure to keep scrolling!

From the roof terrace you can see the Washington Monument, situated on the National Mall, in Washington, D.C!

As promised, here are the photos from the rest of our adventures around National Harbor that day.

Have a great day everyone,