The Capital Wheel is an observation Ferris wheel at National Harbor that soars 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront and provides spectacular views of the Washington area. You can see the White House, U.S. Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and the National Mall, and Arlington National Cemetery, along with parklands throughout the region. The Capital Wheel's most spectacular views come at sunset, but they are stunning no matter when you take the ride high above the nation's capital.
When it opened in May 2014, the Capital Wheel joined a growing number of large-scale observation wheels around the world as an iconic, world-class attraction. Other cities with observation wheels in the United States are Seattle; Niagara Falls, New York; Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Outside the U.S. you'll find observation wheels in Paris; London; Brisbane and Perth, Australia; Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, and Malacca Island, Malaysia.
Riding the Capital Wheel
You'll ascend above Washington in one of the Capital Wheel's 42 climate-controlled gondolas on a ride that lasts 12 to 15 minutes. The VIP gondola, National Harbor One, seats four passengers and features glass floors, wine chillers, a retracting monitor/DVD player and leather bucket seats. The other 41 gondolas accommodate up to eight passengers and feature glass exteriors to maximize the panoramic views. The Capital Wheel operates year-round and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. This family-friendly attraction also hosts a variety of public, corporate, and private events, with catering available by Wolfgang Puck.
Hours of operation vary seasonally; check the website before you plan your visit.
Kids Club at the Capital Wheel: For $17 + tax, as of October 2017, children under 11 years old receive a Kids Club T-shirt and button, plus rides on both the Capital Wheel and the Carousel on the day they join. Kids can return on their birthday and ride both the Capital Wheel and the Carousel again for free.
Capital Wheel at Sunset
The Capital Wheel is a beautiful place to watch the sunset and take in the scenic views of the Potomac River and the Washington area. You'll get one-of-a-kind spectacular views of both the sunset and the city.
Capital Wheel at Night
If you take a ride at night, you'll see the Capital Wheel all lit up with a beautiful rainbow of lights, not to mention the Capitol dome, the White House, and monuments shining brightly. The attraction is fun for kids and makes an unforgettable memory.
View of National Harbor
You are treated to some awesome views of National Harbor from atop the Capital Wheel, especially at night.
The Holidays at the Capital Wheel
Santa Claus makes an appearance at the Capital Wheel during the holiday season, and you can get photos taken with the jolly elf before or after your trip above Washington.
National Harbor is a 350-acre waterfront community set along the banks of the Potomac River just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Prince George’s County, Maryland. National Harbor is a resort destination that includes the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, MGM Resort Casino, Tanger Outlets, thousands of hotel rooms, hundreds of residential and office units, tree-lined promenades with dozens of shops and restaurants, and a marina.