6 Adventurous Places To Try Paddle Sports This Summer In The DMV

Lauren Piot Lauren Piot

6 Adventurous Places To Try Paddle Sports This Summer In The DMV

The perfect sports to keep you cool this summer!

With the Potomac River in our backyard, paddle sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing are very popular in the DMV area. Since this summer is going to be a hot one, we have gathered places where you can give these sports a try and explore the Potomac River!

1. Key Bridge Boathouse

Hidden under the Francis Scott Key Bridge, you’ll be able to find this little boat rental place. Since this spot is located close to DC, you can choose from different kayak tours that travel along the Potomac to Theodore Roosevelt Island, then to famous DC monuments like the Watergate, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Kennedy Center. You can do this tour at sunset, during the day, and even once a month at the full moon. Take a class too and learn about kayaking or take a yoga class on the water on your paddleboard. Indeed, there are so many adventurous activities this boathouse offers!

Where: 3500 Water Str. NW Washington, DC 20007

2. Fletcher’s Cove

[Taken at Fletcher’s Cove]
Located in Maryland in Great Falls National Park, Fletcher’s Cove is the place to go for a nature adventure. Rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, paddleboards, and sail down the Potomac River through nature. Navigate on your own or book a 90-minute tour with an experienced sailor and discover the Potomac River as you have never before!

Where: 4940 Canal Rd NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

3. Thompson Boat Center

Located on the peninsula of the Potomac River and Rock Creek, the Thompson Boat Center is another great place to try out paddle sports. They offer kayak, canoe, and paddleboard tours around the Capitol Riverfront, or a place to set off your own boat and explore the southern part of the Potomac River. Explore the calm waters of both the Potomac River and of Rock Creek at this one spot.

Where: 2900 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037

4. Tidal Bassin

Looking for the ultimate way to enjoy the National Mall and DC Monuments? Try this pedal boat experience. For only $32 for an hour rental, you and your family or your friends get to take a relaxing boat ride on one of America’s most iconic bodies of water!


Where: 1501 Maine Ave SW, Washington, D.C. 20024

5. National Harbor

Located in Southern Maryland across the Potomac from Alexandria, this boat center is perfect for all those who enjoy paddle sports. For families, rent a pedal boat and crews around the River, for those more adventurous, try renting a paddleboard that you can use for up to 4 hours, or kayak for up to two hours. You can even rent a hydro-bike that is unique to the National Harbor!

Where: 165 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD 20745

6. The Potomac River Gorge

For advanced kayakers only, this gorge offers a challenging spot for those who are already confident on their boat. Indeed, the force of the water can be dangerous at times and safety is the Park’s priority. If you are feeling up for the challenge, make sure you have the proper equipment and know your put-in and take-out locations. To access this spot, enter through Fletcher’s Cove.

Where: Washington, DC 20007, USA


[Featured image: @rossylnva / Instagram]

See also: 10 Stunning Rooftops To Check Out In DC

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