The Capital Wheel is a fairly new attraction at National Harbour. It is an air-conditioned and heated Observation Wheel that runs all year round.

The Capital Wheel - View from Below

The Capital Wheel

Driving over the bridge to National Harbour I just knew that I had to ride it, seeing it all lit up at night time was an immediate attraction for me.

The Capital Wheel - Entrance

Waiting to get on the ride

The wheel is 180″ tall and has 42 gondolas (including 1 VIP Gondola). The gondolas are very spacious and climate controlled so you don’t have to worry about freezing during the winter. The VIP gondola has a TV with iTunes, glass floor, binoculars, wine cooler, lights and luxurious leather bucket seats. Each gondola has two way communication with the operator in case of emergency. The ride lasts about 15 minutes.

The Capital Wheel - Heated Gondolas

These are heated & music plays during your ride

The Capital Wheel boast:

Visible from the top: Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol, Alexandria, Prince George’s County

The view was beautiful all around. I rode during the night, so I can’t say if you can see any of the above mentioned monuments and buildings.  I did get to see the wheel’s beautiful lighting though – 1.6 million LED lights, with a spectrum of 16,387,064 colors. It was truly mesmerizing.  From the top I also had a full view of National Harbour, The Potomac River, The Gaylord National Hotel & The Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge.

The Capital Wheel - Mesmerising LED Lights

Mesmerising LED lights

Even though 15 minutes seems like a long time to be on a observation wheel the ride is very smooth, you almost don’t notice you are even moving and it seems to end way too quickly. If you are in the area it’s definitely worth it to take a spin and enjoy the views. Next time I am in National Harbour I will ride during the day, I’m sure it’s a totally different experience.

Overall The Capital Wheel was a great way to end my birthday evening, Maybe next time I will take a ride in the VIP gondola.

Have you ever been on an observation wheel? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

14 thoughts on “Explore: The Capital Wheel @ National Harbour”

  1. It looks absolutely breath taking. If I am ever able to build up the nerve to take the flight I would definitely love to ride this. The pictures in this article alone made me feel like I was there.

    1. I think it’s something you would really enjoy, I’m not a fan of heights myself as I have motion sickness at times but to be honest the ride is so smooth you don’t feel it at all.

  2. The photos are captivating..makes me want to go there right away. This looks like something someone and their significant other can do for a romantic evening.(with the music,wine etc.) This will be on my list of things to do the next time I visit National Harbor.I think I would do the night and the day…both times should be interesting.

    1. This would be a really good idea for a romantic date. I definitely want to go during the day to see if you can actually see all of the monuments they listed on their website.

  3. Love the photos. Definitely on my to-do list whenever I go to DC, both night and day.

  4. Have to admit, the pics are captivating and catches a sense of great night life…..I wouldn’t mind giving it a try

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