Virginia has a lot to offer families like yours, from historic sites to scenic state parks. Your most challenging decision is what to see first. Use our guide to help whittle down your choices. Use our guide to find six major attractions near Port Potomac when you and the kids need a new destination to explore.
Leesylvania State Park
Leesylvania State Park is a historic site along the tidal shores of the Potomac River. Local philanthropist Daniel K. Ludwig donated the land to the public in 1978, and Virginia opened the space in 1989. However, Native Americans lived on the site for thousands of years beforehand. English explore Captain John Smith visited the area in 1608, and the legendary Lee and Fairfax families called it their ancestral home.
This 556-acre park offers loads of land and water activities for families, like camping, hiking, boating, and fishing. Take your little ones for an outing on the playground, enjoy a picnic lunch, then book a guided canoe trip. There’s even a 20-station fitness trail if you’re looking to work out. This well-appointed facility also offers visitors an ADA-approved pier, a snack bar, kayak rentals, and a gift shop. You’ll find Leesylvaniea State Park off Daniel K. Ludwig Drive.
The National Harbor
Head to the National Harbor for family-friendly attractions. There are many things to see and do along the waterfront, including the carousel. This beloved 36-foot Americana-themed ride is a major attraction within this world-class entertainment hub. The area around the carousel features a playground, shaded picnic tables, and a pavilion.
Another top attraction at the National Harbor is The Capital Wheel. Soar 180 feet above the River inside one of 42 climate-controlled gondolas. This attraction is open year-round, and it offers breathtaking views of the area, including the Washington Monument, Alexandria, and Georgetown.
Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an outstanding preserve in Woodbridge. The nature lovers in your family will love this spot. It sits at the confluence of the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers of Dawson Beach Road and offers an oasis for migratory birds and urban dwellers seeking to escape busy city life.
The year-round playground offers plenty of activities. You can take a scenic road trip along Wildlife Drive and spot a wide variety of resident and migratory wildlife. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Occoquan Bay is home to more than 200 species of birds, 79 types of butterflies, and 77 varieties of dragonflies and damselflies.
If you enjoy your trip, consider volunteering. Occoquan Bay is looking for help, and there are many ways you can get involved. Whether you want to teach your children to love nature or share your passion with other Port Potomac families, you can do it here. There are many opportunities for you to help your community. For example, you can support the visitors center, lead activities, or assist with festivals.
- Richard Pfitzner Stadium
- Richard Pfitzner Stadium, nicknamed “The Pfitz,” is a local baseball arena in the County Complex Court. It was the home field of the Class-A Advanced Potomac Nationals before the club relocated to Fredericksburg in 2020. The Port Potomac community hosts various kid-friendly events at this outdoor attraction, like youth baseball summer camp programs. It was also home of the 2021 season’s 16U Perfect Game Coastal World Series, a regional youth baseball championship tournament for children 16 and younger.
The ballpark opened for the 1984 season under the name “Davis Ford Park,” with seating for up to 6,000 roaring fans. The city changed its name in 1995, honoring local politician G. Richard Pitzner, who helped bring baseball to the area.
In 2012, the Nationals unveiled a brand-new state-of-the-art Patriot Bermuda grass field that was laser-graded to MLB standards, making it a premier diamond throughout the league. However, with dwindling attendance and the loss of its baseball club, the park is now a neighborhood space. You’ll enjoy amenities at The Pfitz, like spacious seating, plenty of free parking, and six concession stands.
Whether you want to indulge in some retail therapy, attend an event, or dine out, you’ll find it all at Potomac Mills. It’s Virginia’s largest outlet mall with more than 200 shops, from clothing and footwear to home furnishings. Mom can shop the season’s most-wanted styles at Polo Ralph Lauren, dad can stock up on slacks and blazers for the office at Hugo Boss, and the kids can make a toy at Build-A-Bear Workshop.
You pick from 25 eateries at Potomac Mills. Get whatever you’re craving, from burgers and fries at the food court to upscale sit-down restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory. Get Caribbean-inspired dishes and handcrafted tropical drinks from Bahama Breeze or munch on the freshest seafood in town at the Crafty Crab.
Just for kids, there’s the ZavaZone It’s the mall’s indoor adventure park with trampolines, zip lines, and a ninja course. You’ll find it near American Freight or head to the free children’s play place near the Osh Kosh outlet.
Mount Vernon is George and Martha Washington’s historic home. Plan to spend a few hours at the estate, exploring everything this major attraction offers. You’ll find the property 12 miles from National Harbor, and this cool educational destination is a must-see for history buffs of all ages.
You can take a guided tour of the mansion and explore the museum’s exhibits. Learn how the Washington and Custis families helped shape the area and how the Vice Regents of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association have preserved the grounds since the 19th century. Visit the Education Center and discover America’s first president’s life story, watch a 4D Revolutionary War film, and sample classic cornbread at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant.
So, there you have it. Crème de la Crème of Port Potomac put together this list of six major local attractions. What do you think of the destinations we picked? Let us know if we forgot your family’s favorite place to visit. Send us a note so we can add your suggestions to our guide.