A few weeks ago I was invited to attend the U.S. Travelers Association IPW Conference Welcome Reception, Maryland Welcomes the World, that took place at the National Harbor. I heard this event compared to as the "Grammys of the travel industry," with people from around the world coming to attend the conference. For the welcome reception, the National Harbor invited the conference goers to an evening of food, cocktails, shopping, fun, and KC and the Sunshine Band, which made for a great evening
The event started with a reception at the Gaylord, featuring regional food and drinks from MD. Angelica, blogger of Angelica in the City and Clarendon Moms, also was invited to attend, so we took the Water Taxi from Alexandria Old Town to the Harbor. We had a beautiful day and the boat ride was such a fun way to start the night. From Old Town, its only about a 20-30 minute boat ride to the Harbor. You can opt for round trip or one way tickets and the boat runs all day and into the evening.
The reception at the Gaylord was lavish and over the top, and you could see the planners thought of everything when planning the event. My favorite was the signature drink, an Orange Crush, which is a go-to of mine in the summer, especially when on the water! Taking place in the resorts's atrium, we mingled with IPW members from all over, and gave them restaurant recommendations and things to do while in DC for the conference. After the reception, the party moved to the National Harbor dock by and along the walk, there was entertainment, food, and drinks offered to guests. I particularly liked the step-by-step bar that was set up, and your drink was made step-by-step as you make your way down the water to the dock. I had never been to the National Harbor at dusk, and I was totally floored by the views and how beautiful it was. I can't wait to go back and have dinner and drinks on the water with my husband soon!
From the National Harbor dock, the Tangier Outlets hosted us for a shopping party to promote the stores. All visitors were gifted a bag full of $200 worth of coupons to use while shopping and check out the stores. We unfortunately got there a little late, so we weren't able to shop much, but it was only my second time at the outlets, reminding me I need to make it back. From the outlets, we were taken to the MGM Grand for the finale of the evening- a private concert for KC and The Sunshine Band. Yes, you heard that- private! We had the entire MGM concert hall to ourselves and had front row views of the band, food, and an open bar! It was a great end to the evening and I was so impressed with the MGM. After the concert, we walked around the MGM ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the shops (especially the SJP store!), and all of the opulent decor.
A special thank you to Yvonne, for inviting me as a guest to this awesome event. Being at the Harbor for this event reminded me we have this amazing destination, right in our back yard. The National Harbor is an ideal destination for families with their evening concerts, shopping, date nights, and girls nights!
Blonde in the District